Friday, September 25, 2020

Chrome - home button, pin to taskbar, default page on new tab, custom homepage

Chrome is my favorite browser. It has an important place in my daily workflow, but by organizing things a little I save a couple of clicks on every startup, adding up to quite a few clicks per day.

1. Home button

Tree dots / Settings / Appearance / Home button

2. Pin to taskbar (Windows 10)

You can pin the regular shortcut to the taskbar. You can NOT pin a shortcut, that you created by dragging the URL to the desktop, to the taskbar.

No idea why 🙄

It works, however, by taking the longer route.

  1. Three dots / More Tools / Create Shortcut
  2. Change the name
  3. Find the new shortcut on your desktop
  4. RMB it and change the icon, if you want
  5. Now drag it to the taskbar, and it works

3. Default page on new tab

You can set the default homepage to load on pressing the home button:

     Three dots / Settings / Appearance / Show home button

You can set the default page which loads when Chrome starts:

     Three dots / Settings / On startup

But you can not set the default page when opening a new tab. Weird... But you can change that by adding the extension New Tab Changer.

  1. Three dots / More tools / Extensions
  2. Search for New Tab Changer
  3. Install
  4. Set default page

Another click saved. On each new tab button (clicking '+') it loads your preferred homepage.

4. Custom homepage

This is actually the more involved one, because a. you need HTML knowledge or an HTML editor, and b. you need to place that HTML file somewhere.

If you already have a website, then you probably know how to access it, and place a file or page there. The advantage of that is that you can point the browser on your smartphone or on another computer to that same URL, and you have your most often used links immediately available, wherever you are.

Of course, you can also place the file on your PC.


My personal homepage is just a collection of blocks, each block has a corresponding .JPG file, and a link. Plain old HTML, no tables, no text, nothing fancy. I sorted the links in groups.

A tip: try different formats, and check how it looks on your mobile device. You may have to mess with scale. If you code it yourself, you may try something like this in the <head> section:

     <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=5">

It's old, outdated, incorrect, and still seems to work 😁

Tip. Many (mobile) browsers try to be smart, and will mess up with the 'scale' trick above, as soon as you use tables (all platforms) or blocks of text (Apple). Things just may, or may not work. Don't use tables and things just still might work...

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