Chrome is set for a significant design refresh. Google has already added experimental flags to the stable branch, allowing anyone to try Chrome’s new look that matches Windows 11’s rounded corners. The new design is called “Chrome 2023 refresh” and is expected to ship later this year.
Google’s new design is officially called “refresh” and does not dramatically change the browser’s interface. Your favourite features, buttons or options aren’t moving anywhere. Google is not changing anything but updating sharp corners with rounded corners, adding colours to some buttons, and more.
Google’s Chrome refresh aligns the browser with Google’s material and Windows 11’s Mica effect. The screenshot below shows Chrome’s new look, which can be enabled in Chrome 116.0.5845.111 or newer. However, remember the new look is experimental, and the overall experience could be buggy.
How to enable Chrome’s new look in version 116
To enable Chrome’s new look, download the latest version of the browser, which is version 116 and use these steps:
- Open chrome://flags
- In Chrome, search for “refresh 2023” and enable all flags related to the new design, such as #chrome-refresh-2023 and #chrome-webui-refresh-2023
- Restart the browser
Hands on with Chrome 116’s new look
As mentioned above, there are rounded corners everywhere. Right-click anywhere in the browser, open the address bar, links, or menu, and notice rounded corners.
Google officials justified the rounded corners by promising better support for touch-screen devices.
Google is trying to make Chrome more engaging and colourful, so you will notice visual effects when you hover over the buttons, tabs, or menus. There are new icons, too.
You can always customize the interface by clicking “Customize Chrome,” which lets you change colour, add themes, and more. Google wants to create a more personalized Chrome experience, and it won’t be surprising if the company adds new features to let you change the look of the browser.
You’ll notice the updated profile menu when you click the icon in the toolbar. Google uses a subtle shade of blue, matching the company’s material design.
As mentioned at the outset, we don’t know when the search engine giant plans to enable Chrome’s 2023 refresh by default. It’s possible it could be enabled in the next release or via some server-side update.
Google has rolled out several updates for the browser in the past few months. For example, the most recent update added Google’s generative search experience to Chrome’s panel, similar to Edge’s Bing sidebar.