Google Chrome is well into its adolescence and is celebrating its 15th birthday with a redesign and new safety features. Say goodbye to the standard white background because Google is rolling out background customization using its Material You design language, including new colors and smoother access to light and dark modes.
To change the design of your browser, click a new button at the bottom of your homepage titled "Customize Chrome." Then, a pop-out gives you the option to change themes, with colorways ranging from yellow to purple and everything in between. Chrome will automatically switch to whichever choice you click on, so you can explore the different colors before committing to one. Here's where you can also choose to have your browser be in light mode, dark mode or to match your computer's settings. Your settings can differ based on which Google account you've logged into (and can even stay the standard white if you prefer).
Google has also added more options to Chrome's drop-down menu that the company says will make it quicker to access tools like Google Password Manager and extensions. You can also check out a public preview of Chrome's"fresh, modern" web store. It now has an AI-powered extensions tab and an Editor's spotlight section if you want recommendations for ones to download.
The birthday updates are mostly design-centered, but Google is also attempting to improve its Safe Browsing technology. Instead of updating its internal list of sites with phishing or malware threats every half hour to hour, Chrome should now check sites in real time. Google claims that 60 percent of bad sites exist for less than 10 minutes and that this change should improve protection by 25 percent.