Google Chrome logo.

The design of Google Chrome hasn’t changed much over the past decade, with the last significant update happening in 2018. Google is planning to give the browser a fresh coat of paint later in 2023.

Over the past few months, Google has been working on “Chrome Refresh 2023,” also referred to as “CR23” in some snippets of Chromium code. It’s inspired by the company’s Material You design language that is already used to varying extents on Android and ChromeOS. The details are subject to change, but the main toolbar has larger buttons and rounded top corners, and many of the popup windows and buttons have been given more rounded corners.

image of Chrome with new design

Material You on Android allows you to change the main colors, but Chrome doesn’t seem to have any color customization options right now. The tab bar is a light blue color by default on my Mac, and in dark mode, it uses the same black and gray colors as Chrome’s current dark mode. A recent commit to the Chromium codebase shows Google is continuing to experiment with background colors, element heights, and text colors, so it’s possible that some level of customization will be available in the final design.

The search bar has the most noticeable changes right now, with the lock, warning or Chrome icon at the left side now appearing as a filled-in button inside the search bar. Clicking on the button still reveals the same information about the current page, such as the SSL security or which permissions are enabled.

image of search bar with Chrome button

The design refresh accessible through a series of experimental feature flags, including #chrome-refresh-2023, #omnibox-cr23-expanded-state-height, and #omnibox-cr23-expanded-state-shape. We’ll have to wait and see how the design progresses over the coming weeks and months — there’s currently no public date for the final rollout, except a vague timeline of sometime in 2023.

Profile Photo for Corbin Davenport Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
Read Full Bio »