I wanted to update my Speed Dial 2 review by listing more New Tab extensions at the end. But then I realized that there are ton of extensions that deserve a mention so I decided to feature the ones that I liked the most here. This article is for those who dislike the default Chrome New Tab page and is looking for a replacement.
I’ve categorized the extensions as Feature Rich and Simple/Empty New Tab extensions. You can try the feature rich extensions if you want a start page that’s customized to tailor your needs. And you can go for Simple extensions if you want to disable the default start page.
Feature Rich New Tab Extensions
The following extensions are more than just a new tab page as they allow you to customize your start page and have several add-on features.
1. Speed Dial 2
Speed Dial 2 is one of the best Google Chrome New Tab extension that replaces your default new tab page with your favorite bookmarks, apps, most visited webpages, or even browsing history. Speed Dial is so powerful that you can customize almost all the aspects of that extension. It also tracks your browsing habits and shows you the most visited pages in the morning, afternoon, evening or night.
2. Lightning NewTab
Lightning NewTab is perhaps the most popular new tab extension with over 10 million downloads. Lightning Newtab is a light weight HTLM5 extension that’s customizable and provides quick access to your favorite websites. It also features Google Search, Weather, Bookmarks, Recently Visited Sites, Chrome Extensions, etc. on the start page. Also try, Lightning SpeedDial.
OneFeed turns your New Tab page into an ultimate social dashboard. You can get updates from all your favorite websites like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Instagram, or even updates from news sites. And it comes with its own notification center that keeps you updated whenever there is a new e-mail message or a notification in one of your social media account.
4. Awesome New Tab Page
Awesome New Tab Page is a combination of Speed Dial 2 + Windows 8 UI. It uses dynamic widgets instead of speed dials. Also, you can customize the widgets and even search websites directly from the widgets.
5. Modern New Tab Page
Modern New Tab Page replaces the default new tab page with beautiful customizable live tiles. You can customize the background image, opacity, color and can choose 25+ themes or can even create your own themes. Also, you can change the color, icon, and sizes of live tiles and can configure the live tiles to show news updates using RSS. Also try, New MetroTab which is another new tab extension with Metro UI.
6. X New Tab Page
X New Tab Page offers Speed Dial 2 like experience. So you can try this extension if you’re not satisfied with Speed Dial 2. And it’s worth to mention that X New Tab Page saves all your customization in the cloud for free (in Speed Dial 2 you need a premium account for that feature). Also, you can also configure dials to show the weather report and can even put a search engine in the dial box.
Start shows all the bookmarks in your Chrome Bookmarks Bar as a start screen with custom background. You can continue to bookmark websites into the bookmarks bar. It also shows all the Chrome Web Apps and you can even show news feed.
Currently is a beautiful extension that replaces the new tab page with the current time and weather. You can customize its appearance to some extent by using the options.
9. Fruumo New Tab Page
Fruumo New Tab Page is an elegantly designed extension that shows Weather, Time, Recently Closed Tabs, Apps, Voice assistant, etc. on its start screen.
10. iOS 7 New Tab Page
iOS 7 New Tab Page is another beautiful new tab extension that offers an iOS 7 like experience in Google Chrome with an App Store.
11. Google Now New Tab Page
Google Now New Tab Page adds a Google Search box, voice search, weather, news, apps, etc. to your new tab page.
12. Be Limitless
Be Limitless offers a rich interface with some tools to increase your productivity. For example, you can set your annual goals and follow-up with it and you can track the time that you have spent in a particular tab. You can click the Limitless icon on the browser to find your daily productivity. And it also includes a notepad, to-do, features inspiring quotes, etc. But wait, it is perhaps the heaviest Chrome extension that I have ever installed (it’s over 18 MB).
13. Knew Tab
Knew Tab is a productive New Tab page with quick access to your unread E-mails, Facebook notifications, Stock Quotes, News, Clock, Weather, Search, etc.
14. Incredible StartPage
Incredible StartPage is another productive start page for Google Chrome that’s highly customizable. It shows the bookmarks in our Chrome Bookmarks Bar, Recently Closed Tabs, and a Sticky Note that can sync with your Google account. Also, there’s a quick tab to access your Chrome apps and Most Visited webpages.
With Start.me, you can create a start page with bookmarks, feeds, and dozens of widgets (like stock, weather, Facebook & Twitter feeds, etc). You can also fully customize the design, and it works across all browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari) and devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), so that you will always have access to your start page.
Simple Or Empty Tab Extensions
If you don’t want a feature rich new tab page then you can try any of the following extensions as they offer a clean start page.
16. New Tab Redirect
New Tab Redirect is one of the most popular Chrome new tab extension out there as it allows us to set a custom URL as our new tab page. You can also set Chrome’s about pages, Extension page, History, Downloads, Bookmarks, etc. as your new tab page. Wait, you can also create a file on your PC and set as your new tab page. You can also try the Replace New Tab Page extension to replace the New Tab page with any website.
17. New Tab To Tasks
New Tab To Tasks is another productivity extension that redirects your New Tab page to Google Tasks.
18. Empty New Tab Page
Empty New Tab Page displays a blank new tab page instead of the default new tab page filled with website thumbnails. It’s a must-have extension for a distraction free browsing experience. An alternative is the Blank New Tab extension which replaces the new tab page with a simple “about:blank” page.
- Momentum — shows a personal dashboard featuring a to-do list, weather, time and inspiration.
- Motivation — replaces your new tab page with a real-time counter of your age.
- Noosfeer — replaces your new tab page with a reading list. If you have nothing to read then Noosfeer will suggest articles that you might like or you can synchronize your Pocket account.
- Dayboard — replaces your new tab page with a to-do list.
- Dream Afar — if you love the Bing.com homepage then you’re going to love Dream Afar.
- Earth View — displays a unique satellite image from Google Maps whenever you open a new tab page.
- Card Board — replaces your new tab page with a card interface that shows useful shortcuts and informations.
Don’t Need Another Extension?
If you don’t want to install an extension to customize your Chrome’s New Tab page then I would recommend Myfav.es. It’s a free, elegant, and customizable start page for any web browser, tablet or smartphone. Simply add your favorite websites and then set your custom Myfav.es page (e.g. myfav.es/your-username) as your Chrome homepage. It’s quite effective if you switch your web browsers (or devices) very often.
Like The Old Chrome New Tab Page?
Now if you prefer the old Google Chrome New Tab page then you can switch back by following the steps below:
- Open a new Chrome tab.
- Go to the following URL: chrome://flags/#enable-instant-extended-api
- Turn off “Enable Instant Extended API” by choosing the “Disabled” option.
- Now click the “Relaunch Now” button at the bottom and you’ll see the old New Tab page.
Have I missed your favorite Google Chrome extension to replace the new tab page? If so, let me know as a comment below!
First Published: January, 2014; Last Updated: December, 2014