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Jim Schubert edited this page Feb 7, 2015 · 25 revisions

Version 3.0 Permissions

Please refer to the permissions page of the wiki for a full rundown of the extension's permissions.

If you're looking for the original text from this section, see permissions 3.0 original.


There are a few questions which people regularly ask. This is probably the best place to find an answer.

I've also started compiling a list of questions users have asked and I answer directly here.

New! I've added a new page for user-submitted videos. Check it out!

"Why doesn't the URL Focus/Highlight?"

Extension install paths

Once installed from Chrome Web Store, New Tab Redirect can be found:

Linux: ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna/

Windows: C:\Users\**username**\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna\

Mac: Macintosh HD\Users\**username**\Library\Application Support\Google\Chrome\Default\Extensions\icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna\

Where **username** is the name of your computer's login/username. Within this directory are installed versions. For example, v2.2 will be in a folder named 2.2. All source from this repository is located under this directory.


How do I access this extension?

In the top-right of your Google Chrome browser, click the Wrench icon, then select Tools -> Extensions. A new tab will appear. Alternatively, you can type chrome://extensions/?id=icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna into the address bar.

Scroll down (if necessary) to New Tab Redirect! and click Options.

Alternatively, you can navigate directly to the options page: chrome-extension://icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna/options.html This is where Chrome takes you when you click the Options link, as defined in manifest.json

How do I remove this extension?

In the top-right of your Google Chrome browser, click the Wrench icon, then select Tools -> Extensions. A new tab will appear. Alternatively, you can type chrome://extensions/?id=icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna into the address bar.

Scroll down (if necessary) to New Tab Redirect! and click Uninstall.

Why doesn't the URL bar focus?

For security reasons, Google Chrome does not allow extensions to access certain parts of the browser. This has nothing to do with New Tab Redirect, and has everything to do with Chrome itself.

It is possible to create a static new tab page (i.e. a local or hosted page which can't be changed). In this case, the new tab will gain focus because this is handled internally in the browser. Because New Tab Redirect allows the user to dynamically change and load a customized URL, which is done after the browser would focus the address bar, this functionality is lost. Unfortunately, this the only way to have a customized new tab page which can be easily modified by the user.

If you'd like to create your own static new tab page, you can download one of the samples from and modify it to meet your needs.

There is an experimental API for interaction with the omnibar. However, this interaction is currently little more than watching the omnibar for changes. It does not allow an extension to modify the bar in anyway. If/when this functionality is available, I will implement it as soon as possible.

For those who want a quick and dirty way to highlight the address bar, do as I do and click CTRL+L. This will highlight the omnibar and is only difficult if you don't regularly type with both hands on home row.

How do I change the new tab page after I have installed?

Accessing the options page can be done as with any other extension.

Steps can be found here:

If you still have trouble finding the options page, you may copy/paste one of the following links into your address bar and hit ENTER:

  • All extensions: chrome://extensions/
  • New Tab Redirect options: chrome-extension://icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna/options.html

However, I recommend becoming familiar with accessing the options pages for extensions you decide to install. Although the Chrome team has done a fairly good job of designing an extension system which provides a great deal of security, there are still extension out there which can track and maintain your personal information without your consent. This, of course, violates the terms which all developers must accept before submitting an extension to the gallery, but that doesn't stop certain people from breaking the rules. Gaining the trust of users is one reason why I've hosted the code for the extension.

How do I edit the extension's source locally?

This is a question I've only received once so it doesn't exactly fit the "Frequently Asked" requirement to make this page. I think this is very important for everyone to know, so I'm including it anyway.

To edit the extension's source code (e.g. options.js), the locations are:

Linux: ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Extensions/icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna/

Windows: C:\Users\**username**\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna\\options.js

Mac: Macintosh HD\Users\**username**\Library\Application Support\Google\Chrome\Default\Extensions\icpgjfneehieebagbmdbhnlpiopdcmna\\options.js

Of course, you would need to modify "" with whatever version you have installed. Also, different versions of Chrome may maintain the version numbers differently. Once you are in the folder which begins with "icp..." you should be able to enter the folder with the highest version number to make any local changes.

Page focus on file:// redirects?

As a user reported, when redirecting to a local file the page won't receive focus. If you'd like the page to receive focus, you'll need to host the file on your machine through a web server. The simplest way I know how to do this is to install nginx and use the following server configuration for localhost:

server {
    listen       80;
    server_name  localhost;

    access_log  logs/localhost.access.log  main;

    location / {
        root /path/to/file/location;
        index your_file.ext;

Replace /path/to/file/location with the full path to your file and your_file.ext with the name of the file you're redirecting to. Navigate to http://localhost and verify that you see your local file.

I'm assuming here that people using their own local HTML or other file are more of a power user than most, and that installing a web server on your machine won't be a big deal. However, any software you install can impose certain security risks. Setting the server name to localhost in nginx only allows access to your file from on your computer. This doesn't mean that nginx is bulletproof. Be sure to investigate whether or not this option is valid and you're comfortable with the consequences.


Bookmark Google's New Tab page!

This extension was written before the Google Web Store was launched, so losing the original new tab page wasn't a big problem. You may notice that once you replace your new tab page, there's not really a way to access your apps any longer. One solution is to bookmark the original new tab page and use that bookmark when you need to access your apps. (The thought being you use your new tab more often than apps)

Mike Sheppard writes:

Helpful Tip: Any apps you install are shown on the original Google New Tab page. New Tab Redirect takes over that function and it’s then difficult to get to your apps. SOLUTION: Before installing New Tab Redirect, click + for a new tab; click the star at right end of omnibar (address bar) to create a bookmark. Right click this New Tab bookmark and choose Edit.

Put in whatever name you want (I chose Google New Tab) and for URL enter “chrome-internal://newtab/” without the quote marks. NOW install New Tab Redirect.

When you click the + for a new tab, you get your chosen page. If you click “Google New Tab”, you get the page with Apps, Web Store, Most Visited, etc.


Add a 'Hotkey' to access apps

This isn't a 'Hotkey' like CTRL+E, I just couldn't think of another word for misusing a search engine shortcut

Before Google Chrome existed, I used Firefox. I loved the ability to add shortcut keys to bookmarks. You can do this to add a shortcut to your original new tab page:

  • Click [Wrench] -> Preferences
  • Select the Basic tab
  • Click Manage Search Engines
  • In the box labeled Add a new search engine, type NewTab
  • In the box labeled Keyword, type apps
  • In the box labeled Url with %s in place of query, type chrome-internal://newtab

Here is what you should see:

Results of the Chrome Search Engine Shortcut
image link

Be warned, adding too many shortcuts this way will prevent you from being able to type that single word into the address bar to perform a search. You may never need to search for the single term 'apps', but if you find that you've created a term that opens a shortcut, Chrome has an internal query term: ?. To use this to query 'apps', for example, you would type into the search bar: ? apps and hit enter.

Now, you can have your new tab be whatever page you want, and whenever you want to access the original New Tab Page for apps, you just type apps in the address bar and hit enter.

For coders or people who aren't afraid to hack away at code

Some users want non-redirect functionality. The way this extension is intended to work is to allow everyday Chrome users to define a new URL they want to load in a new tab. It does this by loading redirect.html, loading the saved URL from local/sync storage, then redirecting to that page. Sometimes, this HTML redirect can cause issues. For example, if a user wants only a blank page, a redirect to about:blank will cause the address bar to lose focus or focus and typing appends to the end of 'about:blank'.

I've added two example new tab replacement extensions. These can be enabled in one of two ways.

Save locally

These instructions are for the empty example. Follow the same directions for redirect, updating filenames below accordingly.

  1. Create a directory under your user's Documents directory called empty. (We'll refer to this as Documents/empty)
  2. Save empty.html as Documents/empty/empty.html.
  3. Save manifest.txt as Documents/empty/manifest.json (note: saved filename ends in .json, not .txt)
  4. Navigate to chrome://extensions
  5. Check 'Developer mode' if it is not checked
  6. Click 'Load Unpacked Extension'
  7. Select Documents/empty directory

Once loaded, every new tab page will be an empty white page. If you have other extensions enabled which override the new tab page (like New Tab Redirect), you should disable those extensions.

Referenced in New Tab Redirect

If you have New Tab Redirect installed (v2.2 or higher), you can point to these files directly. Refer to the locations at the top of this page for your operating system. I'll refer to the New Tab Redirect location as [NTR].

  1. Navigate to [NTR]\examples\empty
  2. Rename manifest.txt to manifest.json`
  3. Navigate to chrome://extensions
  4. Check 'Developer mode' if it is not checked
  5. Click 'Load Unpacked Extension'
  6. Select [NTR]\examples\empty directory

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