Have you ever wondered why you get the same display page when you open a new tab in your browser? Want to learn to change it so you get the page displayed that you want? Well, we have you covered. Keep reading and we’ll show you why it happens and how you can change your Chrome, Firefox, and Safari settings to display new tabs just as you want them.
Chrome and Firefox will display pages that you have visited previously when you open a new tab in your browser and Chrome will even share some “trending stories” for you to look through if you want. Other browsers provide other content, ads, etc. most of which we don’t want or need.
Usually, when we open a new tab it is to search for something that we want to open, to open a bookmark, or to type in a web address for where we want to go. In such cases, all we really need is a search page and since Google is the leading search engine, we will walk you through the steps using Google Advanced Search as the example page.
Unfortunately, Google Chrome does not have an option in its settings to specify the URL that displays when you open a new tab. Therefore, we need to install an extension and you’ll need to go to the Chrome extension site to get one. One that works well is aptly named New Tab Start Page.
Next, go to the extension’s page and click “Add to Chrome” and it will install automatically.
Now click on the New Tab Start Page button that is on your toolbar and select “Options” from the drop down menu.
Enter the URL for the webpage you want to display. In this example, we would type “http://www.google.com/advanced_search” in the field since we want the Google search page to open each time we go to a new tab. Once the address is typed in, click “Save”.
In a perfect world you would be done, but you have one more step because Chrome is going to verify that you indeed want to change the new tab settings. It will do this the first time you open a new tab after changing the settings.
A message will be displayed asking if this is the page that you intended and if it is, click “Keep Changes”. If for some reason it isn’t or you changed your mind, click “Restore Settings”. Keep in mind that if you “Restore Settings”, the webpage will still open in the new tab, but next time it will revert back to the default settings.
If you ever want to stop using the new settings, you can go to the Chrome menu and select “More Tools” > Extensions. There you can either disable the extension by deselecting the “enable” box or by deleting the extension altogether.
Of course, Mozilla Firefox doesn’t want you to easily change the new tab settings either so we need to jump through a couple very small hoops to make our changes. Mozilla has a specific way to change the new tab URL, they just don’t let us access it in the standard settings.
Instead, we will need to open our browser and type in “about: config” in the address bar of the browser and press “Enter”.
Don’t be alarmed! You are going to see a warning pop up on your screening stating that continuing might be harmful to the stability, security, performance, etc. and you shouldn’t continue if you don’t know what you’re doing. Lucky for you, you DO KNOW what you’re doing because we are telling you.
Just click on the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button to continue. We aren’t going to do anything significant that would jeopardize your computer or its warranty.
On the page that is displayed, type “browser.newtab” in the Search box at the top. You will have some matches, but you’ll want to click on the one that says, “browser.newtab.url”.
Next, it is going to show you a box titled “Enter String Value”. Type in the URL you want to use for your new tabs. In this example, we type in “http://www.google.com/advanced_search” and then click OK.
Now click on a new tab and Voila! You’re all set.
Now, if you decide you want to change the URL or go back to the default settings, just go through the same steps, but choose the default value in the Enter String Value box.
Setting up your new tabs on Safari is much simpler than Chrome and Firefox. It is mostly just point and click operations and that is the good news. The bad news is that Safari won’t differentiate between your start page and your new tab page. Therefore, whatever you set your new tab page to will also be your start page when you open your browser.
If you’re still interested, read on.
Start by opening Safari and clicking on the “Preferences” option in the Safari menu.
In the General screen, go down to the box titled “Homepage” and type in the URL you want for your new tabs (and your homepage). In this case, we are using “http://www.google.com/advanced_search”.
Now select the box labeled “New tabs open with:” and in the drop down options select “Homepage”. Next, click on the red “close” button in the top left hand corner of the Preferences box.
You’re all set to go. Try it out by opening up a new tab.
You can change back to the default settings by repeating the steps and selecting “Favorites” from the new tabs drop down box.
We hope this guide proved to be helpful. Happy Surfing!