❤ How to turn off Chrome’s new download tray and revert to the bar

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Chrome’s most recent change leaves the bottom download bar out of the fray completely, opting for a new tay next to the address bar. Here’s how you can revert back and get the familiar downloads bar back.

You’ve likely noticed that Chrome has a slightly new UI in place. When an image or file is downloaded, rather than the traditional bottom downloads bar appearing and showcasing your most recent file, nothing happens. If you look keenly, a download icon near the address bar’s right end will light up blue. Clicking it opens a new tray deemed the “downloads tray.”

The new UI element is an approach to user concerns on several fronts. One of the most compelling is that the new tray has no effect on whatever webpage you’re visiting. The downloads bar in Chrome had the potential of squeezing an active website. That wasn’t ideal, especially for laptop users.

Google also noted that the old look was no longer modern and was deemed inconsistent with the overall improved look of Chrome.

Whatever the case, some will inevitably prefer the old look, and if that includes you, it can be changed on Windows, ChromeOS, and macOS.

How to revert to the downloads bar

To change Google Chrome’s new downloads system, you’ll have to disable one of Chrome’s settings flags. While this isn’t a perfect solution, it’s the only one currently available to all users.

Flags have the potential to change other aspects of Chrome for the worse, so doing so may cause issues. While we haven’t had issues completing the following process, doing so is at your own risk.

  1. In Google Chrome’s search bar, enter chrome://flags/#download-bubble.
  2. A highlighted option will appear. Change from Default to Disabled.





Relaunch Chrome, and you’ll no longer see the downloads tray introduced recently. Rather, you’ll get the downloads bar that appears at the bottom of the Chrome window when something is saved to your computer.

Chrome ‘Tap to Search’ on Android picks up Material Theme tweaks

One underrated Chrome feature on Android performs a subtle Google lookup when you highlight anything on the web. Chrome’s Tap to Search has now gained some Material Theme tweaks.

Tap to Search — originally Touch to Search — dates back to 2015 and activates when you select any text on a page. This surfaces a bar at the bottom of your screen that loads Search results for the highlighted query. For quick lookups, you don’t have to switch away from what you’re originally viewing, while there’s the option to “open in new tab.”

Learn about topics on websites without leaving the page. Tap to Search sends a word and its surrounding context to Google Search, returning definitions, pictures, search results, and other details.

A quiet update in recent days has redesigned Tap to Search with Material Theme tweaks. For starters, the bar is now a sheet with rounded corners. It’s more obvious that you can drag to open instead of just clicking.

There’s now a button in the top-right corner that lets you open the full result in another tab, while Tap to Search no longer takes up the entire screen when expanded. It’s a minor change, but one that continues to modernize the look of Chrome for Android.

The feature — available in both the browser and Chrome Custom Tabs — can be enabled/disabled from Settings > Sync and Google services > Tap to Search. This new look (chrome://flags/#overlay-new-layout) is widely rolled out with the latest version of Chrome 79.