How to bring back Chrome's old New Tab page
Don't like Chrome's new New Tab page? You know, the one with the big Google search bar that you don't need with Chrome's omnibox directly above it? With a quick tweak, you can return to the old New Tab page.
The largest element on Chrome's redesigned New Tab page -- the Google search bar -- is redundant. If you have gotten into the habit of entering search terms in Chrome's address bar, which Google refers to as the omnibox, then the Google search bar and large Google logo are just taking up space on the New Tab page.
Thankfully, you can return to the old New Tab page, and do so without installing an extension. Here's how:
1. Type or copy and paste chrome://flags into Chrome's omnibox
2. Search for "Enable Instant Extended API"
3. Change its setting from Default or Enabled to Disabled
4. Restart Chrome
Now when you open a new tab, you'll be greeted with the old New Tab page, which displays tiles of your most visited pages or your Chrome apps.
According to this option's description, in addition to bestowing upon you the renovated New Tab page, it also is good for "extracting search query terms in the omnibox, a spruced-up omnibox dropdown and Instant previews of search results as you type in the omnibox." I didn't notice my omnibox behaving any differently after I disabled this API, but if you do or are wary of making such a tweak, I have two extensions for you to try instead.
The first is an extension I wrote about earlier this year called. It lends a Microsoft Metro live tiles look to the New Tab page.
The second is the New Tab Redirect extension. It lets you set a custom URL for your New Tab page to open to.