Have you ever noticed that the thumbnails for your most visited sites in Chrome aren’t refreshing like they should?  Here’s how you can flush your old icons and get the latest screenshots of your websites in your New Tab page.

Many of us use Google Chrome as our default browser, and have come to rely on the new tab page to get us our favorite pages.  Unfortunately, we’ve also noticed that Chrome often seems to get stuck on the same thumbnails and doesn’t refresh them as it should.  In the screenshot above, you can see how our install of Chrome looked, complete with an old screenshot of Twitter, a Bing picture from months ago, and messed up icons on sites.

Reset Your Chrome Thumbnails

To fix your thumbnails, exit Chrome and then open your Chrome User Data folder.  On a Windows PC, enter the following in the address bar in Explorer or in the Run command to open it:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\

On a Mac, browse to /users/[username]/library/application support/google/chrome/default, or enter the following in Terminal:

~/library/application support/google/chrome/default

And in Ubuntu, you should find it at:


In this folder, scroll down to the Thumbnails file, and delete it.  On our Windows 7 computer, our Thumbnails file was over 200Mb when we deleted it, which is absurd.

Once that’s done, re-open Chrome.  You should notice now that all of your website thumbnails have been replaced with a broken camera image.

That doesn’t look better than before, but we can quickly fix it.  Simply browse to each of the sites on your new tab page, then close any New Tab tabs and open a new one.  You should now see up to date images of your sites.  Plus, your Thumbnails file should be much smaller now; it was only a little over 1Mb after getting new shots of our most popular sites.

So this is a small tip, but one that made Chrome nicer for us again.  Do you have any favorite Chrome tips?  Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
Read Full Bio »