How to enable the new Google Chrome Refresh 2023 (CR23) interface

Google is preparing to unveil a new look for its browser with the Chrome Refresh 2023 (CR23) update. In this guide, you’ll learn how to enable some of the expected visual changes in the latest stable version of Google Chrome. For a long time, Google Chrome has had a simple but generally user-friendly interface. However, with the CR23 update, Google intends to introduce some visual modifications. While the new interface will retain the essence of the classic design seen on platforms such as Windows 11, 10, macOS, and Linux, it will incorporate elements of the Material You design language that is already present in ChromeOS and Android.

Key visual changes in Chrome Refresh 2023 (CR23) include:

  • Toolbar with larger buttons and rounded corners at the top;
  • Updated dialogs and menus with rounded corners;
  • Redesigned buttons in the address bar, such as the “Share” and “Site Info” buttons;
  • The main menu has been updated with new icons for each option;
  • New menu for switching profiles.

Google is also developing a feature that will automatically select a color scheme for the browser based on the current wallpaper image, similar to the feature on Android. Another notable design change is the inclusion of Mica dynamic material to align with the Windows 11 design language.

In addition, Google is working to improve the browser’s customization capabilities. Soon, users will be able to match Chrome to the color accents of Windows 11. However, this feature is currently only available to a limited number of users for testing.

Steps to enable new visual updates for Google Chrome:

  • Open Google Chrome (version 117 or later);
  • Go to chrome://flags/#chrome-refresh-2023 to enable the Chrome Refresh 2023 option. Select the Enabled option;
  • Go to chrome://flags/#chrome-webui-refresh-2023 to enable the Chrome WebUI Refresh 2023 option. Select the Enabled option;

  • Go to chrome://flags/#customize-chrome-side-panel to enable the Customize Chrome Side Panel option. Select the Enabled option;
  • Optionally, go to chrome://flags/#omnibox-cr23-expanded-state-height to enable the Omnibox Expanded State Height option. Select the Enabled option;
  • Optionally, go to chrome://flags/#omnibox-cr23-expanded-state-shape to enable the Omnibox Expanded State Shape option. Select the Enabled option.

After following these steps, you should be able to see the new visuals in Google Chrome, which are expected to be officially released later this year.