A Chrome window with a Mac desktop in the background

Google Chrome has a tab search feature that looks like a small down-arrow icon in the top-right corner of the browser window. As of April 2021, it’s enabled by default for some people, but not others. Here’s how to turn it on or off.

Update: This feature is now enabled by default for all Chrome browsers. As of June 2021, the below flag no longer exists. This means it isn’t possible to hide this icon unless Google adds an option to do so in the future.

To add or remove the down-arrow icon from the tab search feature, you must enable or disable it from Chrome’s flags page. This works for Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

To do this, open Chrome on your computer. Type the following text into the address bar at the top of the browser window and hit “Enter”:


Chrome's address bar

You’re now in Chrome’s flags menu, which hosts all of Chrome’s experimental features. Here, click the search box at the top and type “Enable Tab Search” (without quotes).

In the search results, click the drop-down menu next to “Enable Tab Search.” Select “Enabled” to activate the feature, or select “Disabled” to disable it, removing the button from your browser toolbar.

Disable dropdown menu in Chrome's flags menu

The feature is now enabled or disabled. To make your change take effect, you must click “Relaunch” at the bottom. This closes and then reopens Chrome.

Relaunch button in Chrome

To undo your change, return to this page and select “Disabled” (to remove the icon) or “Enabled” (to restore it).

While you’re at it, how about getting rid of Chrome’s Reading List option if you aren’t using it?

RELATED: How to Disable and Remove the Google Chrome Reading List

Profile Photo for Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
Read Full Bio »