How to activate the hidden look of Google Chrome on Windows 11 & Windows 10

Chrome’s New Design on Windows 11

Chrome is preparing for a significant design overhaul, and Google has already introduced experimental flags to the stable branch, allowing users to test out Chrome’s new appearance that aligns with Windows 11’s rounded corners. This fresh design, known as “Chrome 2023 Refresh,” is expected to be released later this year. Rather than dramatically altering the browser’s interface, Google’s new design, referred to as “Refresh,” maintains all your favorite features, buttons, and options. The only noticeable changes are the replacement of sharp corners with rounded corners, the addition of colors to certain buttons, and more. Google’s Chrome refresh aims to harmonize the browser with Google’s material design and Windows 11’s Mica effect. You can catch a glimpse of Chrome’s updated look in the screenshot below, which can be activated in Chrome version 116.0.5845.111 or later. However, keep in mind that this new look is experimental, so you may experience some glitches during your overall browsing experience.

How to Activate Chrome’s New Look in Version 116

To enable Chrome’s fresh appearance, ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of the browser, which is version 116, and follow these steps:

1. Open chrome://flags in Chrome.
2. Search for “Refresh 2023” and enable all flags associated with the new design, such as #chrome-refresh-2023 and #chrome-webui-refresh-2023.
3. Activate the flags to relaunch Chrome with the updated look.
4. Restart the browser.

A Hands-On Look at Chrome 116’s New Design

As mentioned earlier, rounded corners are now prevalent throughout Chrome. Right-click anywhere in the browser, open the address bar, links, or menu, and you’ll notice the switch to rounded corners. Google justifies this change by promising improved support for touch-screen devices. Additionally, to make Chrome more visually appealing, Google has implemented various visual effects when hovering over buttons, tabs, or menus. You’ll also spot some new icons. If you prefer a more personalized interface, click on “Customize Chrome” to customize the color, add themes, and more. It wouldn’t be surprising if Google introduces new features that allow users to further customize the browser’s appearance, as the company aims to create a tailored Chrome experience. When you click on the profile icon in the toolbar, you’ll notice the updated profile menu, featuring a subtle shade of blue that aligns with Google’s material design.

Looking Ahead

While it remains uncertain when Google plans to enable Chrome’s 2023 refresh by default, it may be included in the next release or introduced via a server-side update. Google has been consistently rolling out updates for the browser in recent months, such as the addition of Google’s generative search experience to Chrome’s panel, similar to Edge’s Bing sidebar.

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