Chrome’s ugly Tab Search icon is being redesigned to fit in with its surroundings


Ever since Google introduced the excellent and extremely useful Tab Search feature to the Chrome browser, users have complained about how out of place the button’s visual design was against its surrounding elements. The close, maximize, and minimize buttons for the top of the browser are all in alignment with one another, but the Tab Search icon sits lower and has a white circle around it. Whatever the designer was thinking when they rolled this out, it seems that they’ve reconsidered as a new Chromium Repository commit discovered by Leopeva64 on Reddit now shows that it’s been recreated on Chrome Canary for Windows 10 and is in early testing.

[tab search] Add tab search entrypoint next to caption buttons on Win10

This CL adds an option to position the tab search entrypoint besides the browser frame caption buttons on Win10. If enabled this will replace the tab search entrypoint in the tab strip for Windows systems.

This new entrypoint will be gated behind the Win10TabSearchCaptionButton feature flag.

Chromium Repository

The new design places the Tab Search button to the left of the minimize button and strips it of all of its fancy styling. Now, it’s more utilitarian – as it probably should have been from the start. It fits right in with the other buttons and feels more like an actual feature of the browser and less like an add-on or an early test that someone forgot to update. Even the hovering animation is in step with the other buttons – it’s really starting to come together, and I love it!


Tab Search recently received another major upgrade that’s still being tested on Chrome Canary – the ability to restore previously created Tab Groups that you’ve closed. In addition to calling them up via the browser’s History page, users will soon be able to quickly access and recall entire groups of content with just a few clicks. Needless to say, the Tab Search button is becoming quite welcome as an essential part of the browser for many, and I’m glad to see that it’s finally going to look the part as well. It should only be a matter of time before the new design becomes available outside of this highly specific Windows 10 implementation, so we’ll let you know more as things develop further.

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