How to Disable Google Chrome UI Theme Redesign and Return to Classic UI
If you have updated Google Chrome web browser recently you likely noticed there is a new themed visual overhaul called Material Design that comes along for the ride. The new themed Chrome appears to come as the default in Chrome version 69 or later. While some users may be pleased with the new theme look in Chrome and the different user interface, others may prefer Chrome to respect the operating systems default visual appearance instead of using a unique theme.
If you’d like to disable the newly redesigned Chrome browser themed interface, you can do so by toggling a vaguely named setting in the Chrome app.
Disabling the theme is demonstrated here on Chrome for a Mac, but the flag and setting to disable the new theme should be the same on Chrome for Windows and Linux too.
How to Disable Chrome UI Redesign in Chrome 69+
Want to return Chrome to the regular classic interface rather than the new themed appearance defaulted in Chrome 69 or later? Here is how to do that:
- In the URL bar of chrome, enter the following link:
- Search for “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” *
- Pull down the submenu next to “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” and select “Normal” from the dropdown list of options
- Restart the Chrome browser (quit and relaunch) for the visual change to take effect
Once Chrome relaunches, Chrome will no longer feature the redesigned rounded interface that differs from the rest of the operating system, and instead it should have the regular classic interface again.
Here’s the regular Chrome interface UI renabled:
And here’s what the newly redesigned Chrome UI looked like before:
While this is demonstrated on Chrome for Mac, the setting should be the exact same in Chrome for Windows and Chrome for Linux too, because each uses the same settings://flags system, and each now features the redesigned interface for the latest versions.
That’s all there is to it. You can always change the interface back again if you’d like, or choose one of the other drop-down settings from “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” and see what it looks like or if it suits your visual preferences.
* The curiously labeled “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” and the associated paragraph attempting to explain the setting is a bit of a nondescript word salad, but believe it or not changing that setting to “Normal” will remove the new theme interface in Chrome and return Chrome to the default classic user interface of the operating system.
Another interesting change made in the latest Chrome release is that Chrome defaults to hiding much of a websites URL in current versions, but you can change a setting so that Chrome shows the complete URL and subdomains of a URL if you’re interested in doing so, basically returning the appearance of URLs to what they were prior to the latest versions.
If you enjoyed this tip, you may appreciate some of our other Chrome tips here too.