Google Chrome Browser – New Material Design – 10 Years Anniversary

After 10 years of Chrome something had to be changed. Whether you like it or not.

After Google Chrome’s latest update to version 71 it is no longer possible to revert to the old classic design. Sorry, we’ve warned you that FLAGS are only temporary solution! :-(

Google Chrome Browser (version 69) – An Existential Crisis Anniversary

As part of the 10 years anniversary of Chrome browser (including Chromium browser project – its open-source counterpart), and new Material overhaul, users may expect the unexpected changes in their favorite browser.

Tastes are different. And getting accustomed to something new takes time. We get that. But, now Microsoft Edge actually looks like a serious browser in comparison to Chrome’s silly rounded look and “borrowed” elements like weird shaped tabs from other browsers (Firefox). Business/Tech oriented clear design is gone and replaced by a new, extremely rounded, circular look.

Rounded elements are everywhere, including search/address omnibox, last most visited tabs, hovering over Bookmarks links and folders, and so on.

Spacing between bookmarks also increased, reducing effective screen real-estate on devices with lower resolution (including tablets and mobile phones).

And, finally, almost overlooked change by many, User Login moved in-line with the omnibox, and become integral part of Google Account, instead of a separate browser-independent instance. This means that your device(s) will be automatically linked to your Chrome browser(s) instance(s) when/if you sign-in into any Google Account (Gmail, Google+, YouTube…). Before, you could use Chrome independently of your Google Account(s) without ever being signed-in. It was temporarily possible to disable Account Log-In linking via chrome://flags#account-consistency option set to Disabled, however, as you may now guess, this was also removed in Chrome version 71.

Update: Google developers later implemented actual option to opt-out from integral sign-in:

Chrome 3-dots Menu > Settings > Sync and Google services > Allow Chrome sign-in

slide switch to the right to turn this option ON (becomes blue colored) or to the left (grey colored) to set this option to OFF and relaunch

However, this should be set to disabled by default in our opinion, not enabled as it is now.

Comparison between old Chrome version 68 and new Chrome version 69 appearance

Google Chrome Browser Material Redesign - Farewell legendary trapezoid tabs :(

Google Chrome Browser Material Redesign – Farewell legendary trapezoid tabs :(

As mentioned, famous (like a trademark) trapezoid tabs are now part of the history, as well as HTTP & HTTPS in front of URLs; which are also gone by default – you must now double-click address box to reveal them ;)

How To Revert Google Chrome Browser New Round Design & Revert To Classic?


How To Revert Upper Tabs/Address/Bookmarks section appearance
  • STEP 1
    Type chrome://flags/ into address bar + hit ENTER key
  • STEP 2
    Type UI Layout into search box + hit ENTER key
  • STEP 3
    Under UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome select NORMAL from the drop-down list of options
  • STEP 4
    Re-Launch Chrome


How To Revert Most Visited Bookmarks & Google Search Bar section appearance
  • STEP 1
    Type chrome://flags/ into address bar + hit ENTER key
  • STEP 2
    Type Material Design into search box + hit ENTER key
  • STEP 3
    Set all 3 below options to DISABLED from the drop-down list:

    • New Tab Page Material Design UI
    • New Tab Page Material Design Icons
    • Material Design in the rest of the browser’s native UI [unavailable since Chrome 70+]
  • STEP 4
    Re-Launch Chrome


Remember, FLAGS are volatile Chrome options (as we’ve wrote about this before); they may disappear without prior notice in future updates.


Since this method no longer works and the good great old classic Chrome is gone forever (as it seems), you may be tempted to do some irrational things like uninstalling the latest and greatest, and keep (reinstall) the old version from somewhere (e.g. version 68, 69 or 70) back, then disable Chrome’s updater services, use firewall rules and what not.

Well, that might be OK if — IF — you know what you are doing, but keep in mind that Chrome 71 already brought great security measures against fake advertisements (e.g. You have a virus infection – Clean it now here!) and many other improvements will come later for sure. Not to mention speed and performance, HTML and JavaScript features and so on.

So, design is important, but your security is even more important than the looks! So, better get into the acceptance stage as quickly as possible, and get over it. Maybe (weeell, no, not really) Google & devs will listen, and make the old classic theme as a comeback at some point. Maybe for a 20th anniversary, who knows? Or improve this extravagance and make it more acceptable, which sounds like a much more plausible and realistic expectation.




    Add Your Comment
  2. 1. peatybog

    Thank you so much for the reversion instructions for tab shape and colour. V69 format was really annoying me.

  3. 2. Guest

    THANKS … just what I needed

  4. 3. Alexa

    Finally I’ve found a way to get rid of that ugly looking tab bar on my browser, even if it’s for a while. thankks

  5. 4. TehnoBlog

    Unfortunately, Google Chrome developers removed the old design. After Chrome’s latest update 71.0.3578.80 this method no longer works!

  6. 5. Guest (In reply to TehnoBlog)

    Is there any way to revert to the older version of the browser?

  7. 6. Man

    FFS! Curvy tabs suck

  8. 7. George

    Square tabs are ungood. Curvy tabs are doubleplusgood!

  9. 8. Matonga

    Can’t revert back to old design? Uncool :'(

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