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How to use Google’s refreshed Chrome UI right now, before anyone else

Published Apr 24th, 2018 2:57PM EDT
Chrome Browser
Image: Google

Google is a dominant force in nearly every area of its business. It all started with Google Search, of course, and the company’s search engine continues to be the most widely used option on the planet by a staggering margin. But that was just the beginning. Products like Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube are equally dominant in their respective categories. Then there’s Android, which is the most popular mobile platform on the planet. According to data from Net Marketshare, Google’s Android OS had a staggering 71% global market share as of March 2018. No smartphone platform has been that dominant since Nokia’s Symbian OS back in the early 2000s.

There’s another piece of Google software that’s nearly as dominant as Android, and it’s the company’s Chrome web browser. After showing the world that there was a simpler way to browse the web than Internet Explorer, Chrome has continue to grow non-stop for the better part of a decade. As of last month, Net Marketshare has Chrome’s global market share at nearly 62%. The next closest browser is Internet Explorer with just 12.5%. Chrome is indeed the preferred browser for most people around the world, and if you count yourself among the browser’s users, we’ve got something cool that you should check out.

You might not be aware, but there’s a special version of the Chrome browser called Chrome Canary. It’s “designed for developers and early adopters,” according to Google, and it offers users a preview of things to come. Chrome Canary is packed full of experimental features, so it’s a great way to see what Google is working on long before most Chrome users get to experience it. Of course, Chrome Canary also tends to break from time to time, but no matter — the beauty of this experimental Chrome build is that it can run side by side with the standard release version of Chrome, so you can always switch to the stable build anytime you want.

If you’ve never tried Chrome Canary before, now might be the perfect time to give it a shot. Why? Because Google is working on a refreshed user interface for the Chrome browser, and Chrome Canary users can try it out right now, long before the final version reaches the public.

As Ghacks notes, the new UI isn’t enabled by default in the latest Chrome Canary build. Instead, you have to enable it by accessing a hidden menu. It’s quite simple to do though, and Ghacks laid out the three-step process.

First, you’ll have to access the hidden menu that lets you enable hidden features. Simply click this link while using Chrome Canary to go to the page: chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md. Next, click the drop down menu next to “UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome” and select “Refresh.” Finally, simply restart Chrome Canary. That’s all there is to it, and you can head over to Ghacks for a rundown of the UI changes Google has implemented so far.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.