How to Remove Shortcuts from Google Homepage in Google Chrome

Depending on your settings, when you open the Chrome browser, you are greeted with either the Google homepage or an empty page titled “New Tab”.

If it is the latter, the address bar on the top doubles as the Google search box and the center of the page displays several thumbnails. Also referred to as favicons (favoriteicons), they mirror your most visited domains.

This must have often made you wonder as to how to remove shortcuts form Google home page.

It is understandable if you would rather some of your sessions not be common knowledge.

For the sake of avoiding such humiliation or loss of professional face, the most prudent choice you can make is to remove the thumbnails or favicons from public view.

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Be it hiding the icons temporarily or removing them completely, some of the most preferred methods to go about it are listed below.

1. How to Remove Thumbnail Shortcuts from Chrome New Tab Page:

Google Homepage with Favicons

The current Google browser is version 69. While older versions lower than 69 displayed large rectangular boxes on the New Tab page, the current version overhauled that layout to show smaller circular thumbnails that can be removed with a single click.

You can now delete most visited sites instantly.

If that was not enough, we now have an option to immediately fix a potential mis-click via the undo option that shows up when you remove a thumbnail.

2. Deleting Browser History

How to delete history in Google Chrome
How to delete history in Google Chrome

One of the cleanest methods to remove the most visited thumbnails is the bulk removal of browser history.


Though using this option means you will lose all your saved addresses and will have to begin from scratch, this choice guarantees a zero chance of data residue.

If your profession or preference does not require you to save your browsing habits so you can revisit them at a moment’s notice, it is always advisable to clear the data.

If you are also lazy to boot, the chrome history cleaner extension offers a massive amount of help.

You can set it to either clear your history every time you open the browser, or you can specify a fixed schedule on a daily or weekly basis when it will automatically clear said history.

Chrome History Cleaner Extension Screenshot

3. Deleting Favicon Shortcuts:

If you’re interested in how to remove thumbnails from Google, refer to the first point.

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To elaborate, the simpler yet less secure alternative to completely removing your browser history is to selectively remove icons from the New Tab screen.

If you want to retain your browsing data while at the same time get rid of thumbnails of specific sites, the best solution is to delete shortcut or select the “remove” option from the drop-down choices.

For Chrome version 68 and below, all you need to do is click on the “X” mark on the top right corners of the aforementioned boxes (which preceded thumbnails), with the description “Don’t show on this image”.

4. Clearing Cookies and Cache:

Cache represents all your temporary downloaded data, including images and videos while cookies are your login details in every site you ever visited.

They help in loading web pages faster when you revisit them.

One of the other alternatives to bulk deletion of history, if you want to clean Chrome of all the accumulated junk, clearing your cache and cookies is the way to go.

5. Chrome Cleaner

If you are a private person and prefer being by yourself at all times, chances are you have a knack for browser personalization.

If you like fine-tuning your browser to suit your needs and yours alone, you deserve a solid backing to “I like to clean my Chrome”.

That is where the Chrome Cleaner extension comes in.

It has the same functions as the Chrome History Cleaner extension.

6. The “Remove Most Visited Pages”Extension:

Considering all that has been listed so far, it would be unfair to not give this extension a chance.

Being relatively new, the search query feature is still under development in the former, but it gets the job done.

A more efficient alternative is the “Humble New Tab Page” extension.

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7. Changing Flag Settings:

If you want to hide most visited in New Tab page for good, this part is for you. Part of the hidden advanced settings, this shows how high risk can yield a high reward.

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Needless to say, only attempt this if you know what you are doing.

Enter “chrome://flags” in the address bar and a list of options will open.

Look for “Top Sites from Site Management”, click on “Default”, and change it to “Disabled”.

Of course, this helps also if you are wondering about how to remove Google shortcuts or if you want to permanently stop Chrome from showing most visited.

8. Changing Passwords:

If you possess underlying insecurities about data theft, it would be in your best interest to periodically change your Gmail password.

The move doubles as a security measure against falling victim to psychoanalysis by someone close to you, which is to say a routine changing of the password will dissuade anyone who can guess it.

9. Customization of the New Tab Page:

If you were unsure about how to change New Tab page Chrome, the customization instructions are quite easy to follow. Simply go to the Settings page and look for Advanced Settings.

You can choose how the browser will greet you under the Show Home Button under Appearances.

10. Deleting New Tab in Google Chrome:

Often, we come across infected sites that open unwanted tabs in our browser.

Even if we close them, the virus stays and after a set amount of time opens another couple of tabs, even if the browser itself is not launched.

If you ever wondered how to delete New Tab in Google Chrome, your prayers are henceforth answered.

Enter “chrome://settings” in the address bar or simply go to the Settings tab.

There, under Extensions, click on the bin icon beside New Tab Search.

You can also keep an eye out for any other suspicious sites that may have weaseled their way in.

11. Addition of New Thumbnails:

This is one of the easier tasks of the lot.

A New Tab page holds up to eight thumbnails.

If there are seven or less recorded, a “+” symbol shows up, clicking on which opens up a small dialogue box where you can manually enter and save an existing site.

Adding thumbnails to Google Chrome has never been easier.

12. Deleting All Tabs:

Chrome, like most other browsers, use up processing power.

So, it is not surprising that more than a certain number of tabs opened at the same time can damage your system.

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To combat that, the “Clear Tabs” extension has come to your rescue. Once installed, all you need to do is click on it.

It closes all tabs other than the one you are in, boosting your machine’s processing speed. The bonus is, it can also work in reverse.

If you have a lot of tabs open and you close your browser my mistake, it records your browsing history and offers you the choice to restore the exact state you closed your browser in.

You can delete all tabs in Chrome and still rest easy.

13. Removing Themes from Chrome:

Themes are what make your browser look interesting since the default is quite bland.

Themes can be downloaded and installed from the Chrome Web Store for free.

If you ever thought about how to remove themes from Chrome, all you need to is again straightforward.

Simply go to the Settings tab and choose “Reset to Default” under Appearances. That is how you say adios to your Chrome theme.

14. Browsing Chrome History:

If you ever need to take inventory of your browsing habits or need to backtrack your searches to find that one website which had exactly what you were looking for, you need to look at Chrome search history by date. Following this, you have two options.

The first is the Better History extension, which sorts your browsing history by date.

The second is manual personalization through Google My Activity.

All it requires you to do is click on “Filter by Date and Product” and input your desired range.

Contemporary users of the internet are inclined toward using bookmarks and saved pages to easily access their work. It is the age of information technology, and they are not worried about invasion of privacy. Borderline intrusion is commonplace.

That does not imply Chrome leaks data, because the Incognito mode has been developed for that very purpose.

Even if privacy is not the issue here, certain situations like sharing your screen for an official online presentation or simply booting up your system in direct view of a colleague or friend can lead to some awkward situations if you have embarrassing searches like “Is watermelon a cucumber?” 🙂

Let me know if any questions in the comments below, Happy to answer them ASAP. Have a great day!

Rahul Setia was born and raised in the Kaithal, Haryana. He worked at brands like Jabong, ProProfs etc. He was also in the List of Top 100 Social Media Influencer's 2019 by Status Brew. He lives in Delhi/NCR and is a Digital Gig & Founder of Websites i.e,, Follow me on: LinkedIn, @rahulsetia007 and Facebook.

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