As much as I love Chrome, I’ve always felt the biggest thing missing was the ability to customize the New Tab page. Luckily, we live in a time where the most popular browsers are open to public customization, bringing in beautiful and useful tools from developers all over the world. Today I’ll be examining a nice little Chrome extension called New Tab Redirect. This extension allows you to, you guessed it, redirect your usual new tab page to a page of your choosing. There are many options for the redirect and I’ll go in-depth on a few of them and offer some of my own personal code I used when creating my own personal new tab page.

Installation

Since you’re still reading this, I’m assuming you’re using Chrome and that you’ve probably installed a few extensions on your own. However, for the sake of giving a complete tutorial, I’ll run through how to install Chrome extensions.

You can hit the three-lined button in the top-right of your browser, go to Tools, then Extensions, and search for the extension. In this case, you’d search for “New Tab Redirect”. Once you’ve done that, select the top result, click “Add to Chrome”, confirm any sort of installation pop-up, and you’re done. Or you could just click this link and then “Add to Chrome”. Whatever floats your boat.

Options

New Tab Redirect Options

As you can see from the image above, the options for New Tab Redirect are abundant. To find this page, head back to Tools > Extensions, find New Tab Redirect, and hit the options link below. You probably shouldn’t concern yourself with the “About Pages”, those simply tell you things about your Chrome installation and are useful to essential only developers. The only option (other than a custom html page or web link, which we’ll discuss later) you’ll want to concern yourself with is the “Bookmarks” page.

If you find yourself using bookmarks a lot, having your new tab page redirect there will beneficial as it will give you plenty of choices for your next visit and may potentially remind you of some sites you forgot about after bookmarking.  Organizing your bookmarks as shown below will also give you the added benefit of the original new tab page, but with better organization and more links at your disposal.

New Tab Redirect Bookmarks

Custom HTML Page

The greatest feature of this extension is the ability to use your own html page as your new tab. Now, most of you probably know nothing about coding, so this may be lost on you. However, I’ll give you the necessary starting code and explain how to customize it to meet your needs should you decide to use it. And for those of you that do know code, you’ll be fine on your own, while disregarding my simple page.

New Tab Redirect Custom HTML

You’ll need to download this file and add it to a secure, yet easily findable location.

Now, in order to use this file, you’ll need to copy the location (something along the lines of “C:\Users\Mark\Documents\New Tab Redirect\new_tab_redirect.html” on Windows). Once you have that, head back to the options page for the extension. Before you copy the location into the field, however, you’ll need to add “file://”. This will tell the extension that the location of the redirect is a file on your computer’s hard drive.

Once you save the option, your custom new tab page should be up and running. You’ll just be needing to customize it though, so open the file up in Notepad and simply edit the links and site names to match your personal needs.

And if you have any trouble or perhaps would like a different color scheme, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out.