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How to get all of your old Google icons back on Chrome

November 5th, 2020 at 8:15 PM
Google icons
  • Google changed all of its browser icons recently as part of a rebranding for G Suite, which is now called Google Workspace, including Gmail, Meet, Calendar, and more.
  • The new icons are awful, but there’s a way to change them back with a free Chrome extension.
  • The extension has some bugs, but you might be willing to deal with them to fix the icon design.

In an affront to design and good taste, Google recently updated the app icons for its biggest services as part of a G Suite rebranding. That in itself wouldn’t have been a problem, but the icons are hideous and all look nearly identical, which makes it hard to tell if you’re clicking on the Google Calendar icon or the Google Meet icon.

The all-new Google Workspace “brand identity” has been universally derided, and I can confirm that it has made the bookmarks bar on my own Chrome browser more confusing than ever (which I genuinely did not think was possible). The good news is that there’s actually a way to change the icons back, and you can do it right now.

On Wednesday, Gizmodo spotted a free extension on the Chrome Web Store which changes all of the icons back to the design that we’re all more familiar and comfortable with. Once you install the extension, Gmail, Meet, Calendar, and Drive will all revert to the icons that they had before Workspace was revealed last month.

Here are just a few of the reviews from people who have installed the extension in Chrome:

  • “This extension helped me out so much. It will be perfect if the developer can make it so it distinguishes among Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.”
  • “I just installed this and immediately gave a sigh of relief when the icons were reverted to the previous versions. Now I can easily find my GMail and Calendar tabs among the other 20-30 tabs I have open!”
  • “Now I can finally see the difference between the tabs I have open all day!”
  • “Works great at reverting to the old icons, which I find much easier to see as someone who is colorblind.”
  • “Thanks, the new icons are horrible.”

It’s worth noting that some people are complaining that the extension has a few bugs, such as Slides and Sheets having the same icon as Docs, and Gmail not showing an accurate count of unread emails in the browser tab. This extension just launched, and the developer will hopefully update it in the days ahead, but it’s worth noting that you will have to make a few compromises (at least for now) if you decide to install this extension.

Finally, according to the developer’s website, Firefox will get a matching add-on as well in the future.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.

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