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Use Earth View to spruce up Chrome's New Tab page

Tired of looking at a nearly empty New Tab page with a search box and a few links? Check out this extension that'll show you images from all over the world, instead!

Earth View on the New Tab page Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Chrome's New Tab page is almost as empty as the search giant's official homepage. However, there have been many extensions over the last few years that sought to spruce it up a bit. As the unofficial Google Operating System blog shares, there's yet another competitor in the New Tab space: Earth View from Google Maps.

The Earth View extension will add beautiful scenes from Google Maps imagery to your New Tab page, making it more than just a (mostly) blank space you see every time you want to open a different website.

It's important to note that using this extension will remove the Google search box and recent links tiles from the New Tab page. You will still be able to use the omnibox at the top of the screen to open links or perform searches, or even open the default New Tab page (more on this later).

To get started, head to the extension entry for Earth View from Google Maps and click the +Free button to install.

Open a New Tab and you will see a satellite image that has been selected by Google.

Shortcut to Google Maps Nicole Cozma/CNET

In addition to the beautiful images, you can click the globe in the bottom right-hand corner to open the current image in Google Maps. If you visit the new menu in the top left-hand corner, you can gain access to: the default New Tab page, the ability to download the current image, and a link to the gallery containing all 1500 images used by the extension. The button in the top right-hand corner will allow you to share the current image by link or on social media. And finally, the arrow button at the bottom of the page will give you access to the last 10 images selected by the extension.

What have you done to make your New Tab more interesting to look at? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Editors' note: This How To was originally published on October 31, 2014, and has been updated to include new information.