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Customize and enhance Chrome's start tab

When you open a new tab in Chrome, you may want more than a few Google Apps or recently opened sites. Start is an extension that lets you add bookmarks and more to your start tab.

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Many of us have tricked-out home pages, but if you don't want to spend a lot of time and energy on it, the Chrome extension Start can add functionality to your start tabs without much effort. Here's how to use it: 

  1. Install Start here. 
  2. Click the wrench icon in the upper right, then select Options, then click Extensions in the left sidebar, then click Options for Start.
  3. If you want an RSS feed or bundle on your new tabs, follow the directions to create one, then add the URL. 
  4. Click Advanced to set layout and other options. 
  5. Open a new tab or window to see Start in action and change more settings. 
    Step 5: "Start!" in action.
    Step 5: "Start!" in action. Rob Lightner/CNET
  6. At the bottom of the page is a small tool pane that lets you access Start options quickly, change the background image (or set your own), set background opacity, and minimize the tool pane. 

That's it! While Start may not have a deeply robust set of tools, it is easy to use and is definitely a step up from the default start tab.