Google Chrome Desktop Browser – How To Hide Tab Search Icon

Recent Google Chrome browser version introduced several User Interface (UI) changes which may be distracting to some users, at least, once they get used to them. However, there is an easy way to disable them and revert old look and feel back!

Google Chrome Desktop Browser – How To Hide Tab Search Icon

Latest Google Chrome version 89.0 introduced yet another revolutionary feature: a Tab Search icon located to the right side of the all opened tabs. As a reminder, we already wrote about newest Reading List feature few days ago. Search Tabs feature is, however, extremely useful to quickly locate a particular tab in case you have tens or hundreds tabs open. However, it may also create additional unnecessary clutter and distraction if you don’t. Another issue is the fact that Chrome’s Settings page (chrome://settings in URL format, learn more here) seriously lacks the option to disable it as per personal preference.

Chrome devs should really think about providing better customization of the best and most popular browser in the world!

Google Chrome Logo

Google Chrome Logo

Thankfully, for the moment, there is a hidden flag that you can use instead, but for how long will devs feel generous to provide it remains to be seen.

Google Chrome Tab Search

Google Chrome Tab Search

How To Hide Tab Search Icon in Google Chrome Browser?

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. Type (or Copy/Paste) chrome://flags into search/address bar (omnibox) + press ENTER key
  3. Special page will open. Type Tab Search into Search flags box
  4. Option about Tab Search will be shown – select Disabled from the right drop-down button menu
  5. Relaunch Chrome. Tab Search is gone!
Google Chrome - Tab Search Flag Setting

Google Chrome – Tab Search Flag Setting

Here’s the comparison between the two:

Google Chrome - Tab Search Enabled vs Tab Search Disabled - Comparison

Google Chrome – Tab Search Enabled vs Tab Search Disabled – Comparison

Tab Search flag set to disabled will provide few extra pixels for the tabs space, but not much. The reserved space between tabs and app window control buttons is probably to avoid accidental app minimization.

Btw. there are two additional related flags you can experiment with:

  • Scrollable TabStrip
  • Scrollable TabStrip Buttons

NOTE: As we have wrote about Google Chrome Flags before, keep in mind that these options are provided temporarily, there is no guarantee that they will remain in the very next Chrome browser update. Enjoy while you can!

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  2. 1. Renlid

    Well… It does hide the icon, but it keeps stealing some precious space in the tabs list.

    When will this multi-billion company find some time and money to allow for multiline tabs and also to hide the close tab button? (because most users do have a middle mouse button and would like to remove that useless close button…)

    Chrome is really lacking, UX-wise…

  3. 2. TehnoBlog (In reply to Renlid)

    Hi, we’ve compared the tabs space, there is some additional space gain, check comparison screenshot in the updated article.

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