Google is rolling out a new side panel for customizing Chrome on the desktop. The “Customize Chrome” button that appears on the bottom right corner of the New Tab page now opens a vertical side panel. It replaces the original dialog box that showed up in the center of the screen.
Google Chrome has offered a homepage shortcut for customization for years now, at least since 2019. It lets you quickly change the look and feel of your browser, including UI colors and background. The latest update improves this experience by letting you see the changes you make in real-time.
The Customize Chrome button now opens a side panel
The updated Customize Chrome shortcut opens a vertical panel on the right side. It houses 15 preset color combinations that you can be instantly applied to the Chrome UI. You also get a color picker where you can manually enter RGB/HSL values or the hexadecimal codes to select a color. Of course, Google won’t make you find those codes by yourself. You can use the built-in slider or a dedicated color picker button to pick any color you want.
Above these color presets is the button to change Chrome’s background. You can upload an image saved on your computer or select one from hundreds of existing options across various categories such as Textures, Life, Earth, Art, Landscape, Cityscapes, Seascapes, and more. Google also offers a few options that celebrate specific cultures or artists such as Native American Artists and Black Artists Collection. You can find more on the Chrome Web Store.
A Refresh Daily toggle at the top of each collection will give you rotating background. You will start with a new Chrome background every day. As Google notes in its blog post, “If you use Profiles to keep your work and personal accounts separate, try giving each Profile a distinct background and color to differentiate between them”. Chrome will save all your customization edits as you make them. So the last color combination or background you select will be automatically applied.
This side panel also features a drop-down menu at the top from where you can quickly switch to your Reading list, Bookmarks, or Journeys. Meanwhile, at the bottom of this side panel is a toggle to enable./disable shortcuts on the New tab page. You can manually curate your shortcuts or let Chrome automatically pick shortcuts based on the websites you visit most often.