Chrome always works to make things easier for you. So, whenever you frequently visit a website, it gathers information from your history. Then, it auto-generates suggestions and creates widgets, also known as shortcuts, in the new tab page for quick access.
But, if you don’t want these shortcuts for privacy reasons, you can take multiple approaches to resolve it. One way is to delete your history. You can also change your shortcut widgets on your new tab layout or use additional tools.
Remove, Change, Hide Shortcuts
If you dislike the shortcut suggestions, Chrome allows you to customize the shortcuts on your Google homepage. You can remove a shortcut by hovering over it and then clicking on the More actions icon. Then, click on Remove.
If you’re on mobile, go to Chrome and then long-press on the shortcut. A drop-down menu will appear. Tap on Remove.
But doing so will add a new frequently visited website to the shortcut field every time you open a new tab. This is because the shortcut layout is set by default.
An easy way to dodge default shortcut suggestions is by setting up your preferred collection of websites as shortcuts. You can add up to ten websites at once. After the spaces have been filled, Chrome will no longer add any most-visited website to the current layout.
This method works the same even after you delete a few of your assorted shortcuts. The number of shortcuts may decrease, but Chrome won’t add new ones. Here’s how you can customize it:
- Open a new tab in Chrome and click on Customize Chrome in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- From the options on the left, click on Shortcuts. Here, you can choose from two styles. My shortcuts are your personalized ones. Most-visited sites are Chrome’s default options.
- Click on My Shortcuts.
- Click on Done.
- On the new tab page, select the Add shortcut option.
- In this pop-up window, copy and paste the URL of your desired website as well as its custom name. Then, click on Done.
If you don’t want any shortcuts on your Chrome homepage, you can hide them all at once. This will also not allow Chrome to auto-add any most-visited website shortcut suggestions.
- Follow the same method as above to go to the Shortcuts menu.
- Below the My Shortcuts and Most Visited Sites, switch the toggle for the Hide Shortcuts option.
- Click on Done.
You’ll now find that your homepage is clean and doesn’t have any shortcuts.
Clear History from Chrome
Since Chrome creates default most-visited site suggestions from your history, you can try deleting your browsing history altogether. Doing this will refresh data on your browser and will no longer make automatic shortcuts.
- Click on the three dots (More icon) in the top-right corner. Then, go to History from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + H.
- Now, you can select and delete which item/website you want to remove from your history. But, if you have a lot of data to remove, go to Clear Browsing Data from the left panel.
- You’ll now view a new pop-up window where you can choose what data you want to delete from Chrome.
- Check the box only for Browsing history and deselect other items, like Cookies and other site data, and Caches images and files.
- Then, click on Time Range and select a specific period. It’s best to estimate and select a period where you were actively using the site that you don’t want on your new tab page.
- Then, select the Clear Data option.
The process is almost similar on your mobile device.
Clear Site Data for Specific Sites
If you don’t want to clear all your history, you can choose to delete all the site data for only the sites that you select. It’s worth noting that this action will remove all data and related cookies and will also log you out of the site. So you’ll need to re-login later.
- Go to Chrome Settings by clicking on the More icon.
- Navigate to Privacy and Security from the menu on the left. Then, go to Site Settings.
- Below the Recent activity option, click on View Permissions and data stores across sites.
- This will show you the complete list of websites you’ve visited. By default, the websites are sorted by Most Visited. If not, you can click on it and change it.
- Now, locate a site of your choice and then click on the Trash icon on the right to delete.
- A pop-up window will appear asking you to verify. Click on Clear.
Use Chrome Extensions
If you fancy customizing your Chrome browser, you can set up a new homepage design using extensions or themes. Such creative layouts will replace the default design and also remove all frequently visited sites while enhancing the look of your browser. Some extensions/themes also help in productivity or add to the fun element.
Simply go to the Chrome Web Store and add what you like to Chrome. Some good examples are Momentum, Google Arts & Culture, and Tabby Cat.