Remove the Google Background Image

Jun 10, 2010 - 39 Comments

remove google background image

Ok so anyone that uses Google has probably noticed by now that you can change the background image of Google.com and set it to something you’d like. Today though people are finding a surprise; whether they set an image or not the Google background picture has changed!

Check out the absolute disaster of a background image in the above screenshot, not only is it just weird but it actually makes using Google.com really difficult, what on earth is that supposed to be anyway? …Moving along, here are some solutions to get around this Google background pic fiasco.

Use Google SSL instead of regular Google

Google SSL is the same as your regular Google.com except that all data sent between your browser and Google is encrypted through an SSL connection (note the https in the URL). As of this writing, Google SSL does NOT have the custom background images.
google ssl no background pics

Removing the Google Background Image by Changing it

If you are determined to be using Google.com and you just don’t want the custom background pictures, well, just customize it to a white background!

  • Click on the “Add background image” link on the lower corner of Google.com
  • Select “Editor Picks” from the list on the left of the popup
  • Scroll to the bottom of the list and select White as a color

Keep in mind Google’s random whacky background picture changes will stop changing themselves on their own in 24 hours (supposedly).

Use Firefox or a foreign Google search

Try Google.co.uk if you’re a native English speaker, as of this writing the Google Local sites outside of the USA do not contain the weird background pictures.

You can also use the Firefox default Google search URL at:
http://www.google.com/firefox?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

Remove the custom background image

From June 11 onward you should be able to just click the ‘Remove background image’ link at the bottom corner of Google.com and everything will be the same again.
remove-google-homepage-wallpaper-background

I always preferred the minimalist style of Google, but I’m happy with the custom background picture I set on my homepage.

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Posted by: William Pearson in How to, News

39 Comments

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  1. [...] Google local search engine, set the custom background to white, and some other techniques to remove the Google background if you hate [...]

  2. Starbuck says:

    I like just a white background I don’t want this fancy bing interface

  3. remove says:

    I bookmarked https://www.google.com . works just fine.

  4. Peter J Walden says:

    Selected white as per the directions above and got this little gem of a message. BAH!?!?

    “The background image is no longer available.”

  5. leflores says:

    I hate this “feature” there is not a simple way to switch back to the old interface.

    GOOGLE geve me back my white screen!!!!!!!!!!

    • Philip Musgrave says:

      I totally agree – the copycat thing with MicroSpumSoft is ridiculous. Google Plain is great in an office, the addition of the background image makes it, too, unusable. What, is Google trying to be the next Farmville?

      • Philip Musgrave says:

        P.S.
        I am using the Beta of SSL search now which is fine, but who knows how long till GOOG messes it up too?!!

  6. Sponge Finge says:

    Tips such as these are very helpful. If you could perhaps start a series on shoelace tying and how to find the ‘Any’ key, I would be most grateful.

  7. Eric says:

    What worked for me; use nummeric ip-address of http://www.google.com
    For example http://74.125.77.147
    It shows Google with the minimal interface in my own language.

  8. Nate says:

    Google, there was nothing wrong with you. Why have you done this to yourself? I liked the old page better. Maybe because as the article pointed out, it looks like many of the pictures make it harder to use.

    Also when I click “Change background image” it tells me to “Only select images that you have confirmed that you have the license to use.” How the (@%&#* should I know if I have a license to use the image that you, Google, are showing me an option of selecting (and not showing me the license of the image)?

    New Google is shipoopy.

  9. StoNe says:

    Is this the beginning of the end for google?

  10. Dave says:

    I’ve found just setting my homepage to the firefox Google default doesn’t have a background…

    http://www.google.com/firefox?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

  11. Worthy says:

    I agree with Nate. Google is now shipoopy. I don’t want a background image. It’s the reason I don’t like cluttered image-reliant bing. Now I have no choice but to have one. Gee, thanks for the forced background google.

  12. Pugh says:

    Removing the background image leaves the remaining anti-aliased text difficult to read, and we lose the coloured Google main logo.. Oh well – good while it lasted.. And hey – this is not a simple temporary aversion to novelty – this really is a bad move on Google’s part.

  13. Pugh says:

    Of the many solutions, this seems the best so far: set your Google bookmark as http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all

  14. stash says:

    Thanks for these solutions

  15. Sheryl says:

    I imagine that there will be enough backlash that Google will change the random background image approach pretty quickly, eliminating it or toning it down considerably. This is hardly the first time that a big company (including Google) has made an attempt to create a friendlier experience that instead annoys most users.

    Because — wow, yes — that does make the search engine results hard to read. I successfully set the background image to white.

  16. aaron543420 says:

    For the love of god….leave my screen alone… I like the white background with out all that junk….. change it back !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Burundanga says:

    Google, nuke the crap!! I am over a VPN, it takes 30+ to display those crappy pictures!! Morons…

  18. Mega says:

    I knew Google was nothing but a bunch of Commie Bastards! Google will lead the New World Order.

  19. Joey says:

    Use their URL: http://74.125.77.147/ for today. Stupid background pix goes away tomorrow.

  20. Paul says:

    Thanks, Joey – works like a charm!

    (WWTT for the luv of christ?)

  21. Alex says:

    Google becomes one of many others… Like everything else. First it is light and easy… then it becomes a bloated monster…

  22. rumah sehat says:

    thanks dude. I change google image to my picture and friends in vocation :-D

  23. Fandy says:

    I have a problem when I close the browser, the background image that I created has been lost. Can you help this problem?

  24. Tony says:

    Their motto is ‘dont be evil’ not ‘dont be tacky and annoying’.

    Google needs to think before they do crap like this. DO NOT WANT.

  25. Beer Haiku says:

    Serious blunder on Google’s part. The idea was dumb. The fact that they don’t have a simple “Remove Image” button is dumber. I’m going to use another search engine for a week to punish them.

  26. Mike says:

    This is just a visible tip of the iceberg. And the as$#%s want to control everything running on your computer from their servers.
    They also want you to load all your data to their servers.
    Big brother with cool/geeky corporate image will take care of you.

  27. Jeremy says:

    It appears to be gone. I am no longer getting the background image when I browse to Google. Thank God. Seriously, Google, thank you for removing the background image. Please only turn it back on if there is an OBVIOUS way to disable it. Many people prefer Google *because of* it’s simple white home page.
    Jeremy

  28. Carlos says:

    Google and the “New Coke” or Have you not learned from marketing history’s biggest blunder?

    Very simply put, You Didn’t ask “Me” (read all users) if I wanted this. You have made the mistake of thinking that everyone wants silly content on what should otherwise be a serious SEARCH engine designed for productivity. Speed and simplicity were the things that got you where you are now. Your new page is slow, distracting, childish and unproductive.

    You are eroding and destroying the one thing that made you stand out from all others! Here is a quote from an article about the “New Coke”
    “Sam Craig, professor of marketing and international business at the Stern School of Business at New York University, pointed to what he and other industry observers have long considered a fatal mistake on Coca-Cola’s part. “They didn’t ask the critical question of Coke users: Do you want a new Coke? By failing to ask that critical question, they had to backpedal very quickly.””

    You didnt ask me if I wanted to sacrifice speed for looks. Time to backpedal, or Google will become the new “New Coke”.

    I have asked my IT people to reset our search page for today or until this is fixed.
    If you dont fix then you have not learned from historical blunders and we will have to find another search engine.

    C. Ayala
    CARMIC ENTERPRISES

  29. brandon says:

    This makes me furious. When you use google.com as long as i have, you kind of take ownership of it and protect it. The hours i have spent over the years changing home pages to google.com and the hours i have spent removing all the automatic bing crap that microsoft forces on us. I expect it from MS, not google. Maybe i have gone too far, but i have uninstalled all google software from my pc’s. I am contemplating gmail suicide. How dare Microsoft force bing in IE, how dare google force backgrounds on google.com! For now i am using yahoo.com, does anybody have a better idea?

  30. Sebastien says:

    TechCrunch took your screenshot and put it on their site unaccredited. Go figure.

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/10/google-kills-its-homepage-background-image-experiment-early/

    And it looks like Google realized this was a total disaster and turned off the background crap early.

  31. furQ says:

    looooouuuud noises!

  32. LonePuma says:

    Take it easy people, Google did a great thing! However, I myself will have to read more to get it to stay, after I sign out. I’m sure it’s only a matter of reading the rest of the instructions for whatever is desired or not.

    Thanks Google!

  33. Vishu says:

    Is there anyway to get back that photo from google background?

  34. del says:

    my google doesnt have an option saying “change background image” …im hovering over the bottom leeft corner but nothings popping up…and btw i have logged in so thats not the prob.

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