Here’s how to change your Google background in Chrome

Google Chrome is pretty simple, but it doesn’t have to be. One way to spice things up is to change the overall look with a new theme. Not only can you change the new tab background, but you can also change the overall colors of your tabs, bookmarks bar, etc.

This method does not work in the Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge, nor does it change the appearance of the Google website. This method only concerns Google Chrome, the best browser you can download right now, and its New Tab page.

Here’s how to change your Google background. But before you continue, make sure to update Chrome, as the following instructions reflect Chrome version 119 and above.

Find the Theme setting

First, we will tell you how to change the background of your Google Chrome using a theme. Here we install a theme that you can download from the Chrome Web Store. Themes usually include a custom image that appears on the New tab background and new colors splashed throughout the browser.

First, locate the Theme setting in Google Chrome. To do this:

Step 1: Select the three points Customize and control Google Chrome icon located in the upper right corner.

2nd step: Select the Settings option in the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Select Appearance listed on the left.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Step 4: Choose Theme listed on the right. This action takes you to the Chrome Web Store.

Note: You can also access this setting by typing chrome://settings/appearance in the browser address field.

A Theme category web page from the Chrome Web Store

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Choose your theme

The Chrome Web Store Themes section opens in a new tab. Here’s what to do next.

Step 1: Browse the store’s many available themes, divided into broad categories. The main image you see is usually the one that will appear as your New tab background, so you can use that as a guide for which one to choose. If you need help, here are our favorite themes.

2nd step: Once you’ve selected a theme, be sure to check out its preview images and reviews. THE Support (if available for this theme) will also give you information about issues (if any) users are experiencing while using the theme.

Step 3: Remember that most themes extend their colors and patterns throughout the browser window and tabs, so take a look at the full look before installing it.

Add it to Chrome

Next, it’s time to add your theme to Chrome. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: If you find something you like, select blue Add to Chrome button.

2nd step: When Chrome applies the theme, this button should now say Remove chrome. You will also see a blue Cancel button to delete the theme.

Chrome's Undo and Delete buttons.

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

Step 3: Take a look at your new theme, which automatically transforms the appearance of the browser. The tabs may or may not change color, and if you open a new tab you should see the main theme image.

Step 4: See if you like the overall theme. Sometimes you might like the image, but not what it does to your tabs or the colors it adds in the browser. If so, select the Cancel button or return to Appearance in the Settings menu and return to the default theme.

Warning: Although Google is supposed to scan everything downloaded from the Chrome Web Store, be careful about what you install in Chrome. Try sticking with a Google-developed theme or install a custom image for your New tab background. Not all non-Google themes are malicious, but you never know.

Select a custom image

Maybe none of the themes interest you or you prefer to use a personal image instead. The following steps walk you through the steps to add a custom image, while the next section shows you how to change colors without installing a theme.

First, let’s install a custom image provided by you or Google.

Step 1: Open a new tab and select the Customize Chrome button located in the lower right corner.

Select Customize Chrome then the Change Theme button

screenshot/Anita George / Digital Trends

2nd step: To upload your own image, select Change the theme > Upload an image. Select the desired image and choose Open.

Step 3: If you prefer to use a predefined background from Google, simply select the background you want. That’s it. This will change automatically.

Step 4: When you open a new tab in Chrome, the image now appears on your screen. You can delete it at any time by selecting the icon Personalize button again – it’s simply a pencil icon in this case – and choosing Reset Chrome to Default.

Select a color and theme

You can select a background image, or if you want a more personalized look, you can customize your entire Chrome layout. If you don’t know which theme you want to install, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open a new tab and select the Customize Chrome button in the lower right corner.

2nd step: A window in the browser should appear. Under the Change the theme button, you will see an assortment of complementary color swatches – choose your favorite. That’s it: you will see the results immediately in your browser.

Step 3: To get rid of your chosen theme, return to the color swatches menu and select the swatch titled Default color (It should be the very first one, from the left.)

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