Google Chrome is getting a significant design refresh called “Chrome Refresh 2023” on Windows 11, macOS and other platforms. Previously hidden via experimental flags, Chrome Refresh 2023 is now rolling out to testers in Canary via “Google Labs, ” a new way to test upcoming features.
So what exactly is Chrome Refresh 2023? Chrome is changing, says Google. However, Google developers and internal flags refer to the new design using the word “refresh” as it’s not a significant redesign of Chrome. The interface remains unchanged, so your favourite features aren’t moving to a new space.
Chrome’s refresh updates all existing design elements to align with Google’s Material design. You do not have to fear Chrome’s UI changes; the browser is still the same, and nothing changes dramatically. Google has retained the familiar interface, but you will notice larger right-click menus, more colours and a subtle dark theme.
And yes, there are rounded corners almost everywhere. Right-click anywhere in the browser, and you will notice the context menus have been refreshed with rounded corners and increased padding to support touch-screen devices.
Chrome’s visual effects are now more noticeable than ever, especially when you hover over tabs. Speaking of visual effects, the toolbar is finally getting some icons.
It’s pretty clear the search engine giant is looking to make the browser more colourful, so these changes, combined with Chrome’s new customization colours, should result in a more visually appealing experience.
Google officials confirmed users could test different colours, themes and settings in real time.
Google is optimizing the browser for touch screens, and the address bar is now thicker. The profile menu is now more colourful too.
Chrome refresh also brings back icons to the main menu, and you will notice icons next to all options, such as a new tab, new window, new password manager, extensions, settings, and more.
How to enable Chrome 2023 design refresh
Chrome Refresh is now available via Google Labs, so you can install Chrome Canary and click the Labs icon. Finally, turn on the toggle and restart the browser to see the new look.
If you do not see it under Labs and still want to try these changes yourself, follow these steps:
- In Chrome Canary, open chrome://flags (experimental flags menu).
- Search “refresh 2023” and enable two flags – #chrome-refresh-2023 and #chrome-webui-refresh-2023. It is worth noting that chrome://flags/#chrome-webui-refresh-2023 needs to be enabled manually, even if you have access to Labs.
- Restart the browser.
You can now access refreshed Chrome experience if you follow the steps correctly.
Google is also experimenting with other design tweaks for Chrome’s address bar, but it’s unclear when those changes will be tested.
As for the release date, we don’t know when Google plans to roll out the changes to everyone, but it should happen in the coming months.