Recently, I wrote an article explaining how to change Most Visited Sites on New Tab in Chrome to help those people who are not happy with the thumbnails of the most visited sites being automatically displayed in the new Tab of Google Chrome browser. Users want the power to customize these thumbnails, since many of them are not comfortable with the thumbnails for certain sites being displayed automatically whenever you open a new Tab in Chrome. In the above-mentioned article, I described in detail as to how you can change the most visited sites in the new tab of Chrome; however, that method was not meant for every user since novice users would find it very difficult to make those changes. Luckily, there is good news for such novice users. In this article, I describe a Chrome browser extension which can do exactly that, i.e., allow you to customize the most visited sites being displayed in the new Tab of Chrome in a very easy manner that even a novice user would be able to do. In fact, if you so desire, you can have no thumbnails at all (for most visited sites) in the new tab page or you can as many thumbnails as you want (instead of a fixed number of 8 thumbnails). Moreover, as a bonus, you also get several other features through this free extension which is called Speed Dial 2. [Also see: Really an Awesome New Tab Page for Chrome for regular sites]
The Speed Dial 2 extension can, in fact, completely change the face of the new Tab in Chrome browser. Here, the thumbnail for each most visited site is called a dial. It is like a visual bookmarks of your favorite websites. So, in the remaining part of this article, I may inter-changeably refer to thumbnail as a dial. Thus, speed dial basically means speedily visiting a site through its thumbnail.
Speed Dial allows you to keep as many dials (i.e., thumbnails) of the most visited sites, as you want. You’re also given the freedom to organize them into different groups of sites.
The default behavior of a new Tab in Chrome is that a most visited website is automatically shown by the browser depending on how many times you’ve visited it. You don’t have any control over it (though in the above-mentioned article: how to change Most Visited Sites on New Tab in Chrome, I have described a detailed manual method of controlling it). However, Speed Dial 2 extension changes it completely. It gives you full freedom to create new dials / thumbnails of the websites of your own choice by providing their URLs or web address. These sites can be picked up by you on random basis as you’re your own choice, and they need not actually be the most visited websites in your Chrome browser. So, you can easily create a new thumbnail / dial by just manually entering the URL of that site.
How to create a new thumbnail for a most visited website in new Tab of Chrome?
Well, it is very simple. After you install the Speed Dial 2 extension, it gives you 3 different methods to create a thumbnail or dial of a new most visited website (of your own choice) in the new tab of Chrome. These 3 methods are (you can select any method):
(1) Open a new tab in Chrome. There is a plus button on it (see below):
Just click this plus button, and then fill the dialog box, which appears on the screen, with information about the most visited website that you want to add to the new tab.
(2) Open a new tab in Chrome. Now, right-click anywhere on empty space in the new tab, then select Add dial from the context menu to create a new thumbnail for a site.
(3) You can also directly add the web page that is currently displayed in Chrome as a thumbnail as one of the most visited websites. To do so, display the website or web page in Chrome that you want added as a most visited websites. Now, right-click anywhere on the page and select Speed dial 2 from the context menu, and then select Add current page from the sub-context menu.
After you create a new thumbnail / dial by specify the URL address, you can customize it with one of predefined logos or with a custom image from the internet. Alternatively, don’t provide any image for the thumbnail, and just visit the website for the first time in Chrome, and Chrome will automatically create a thumbnail for this most visited website that you just added to the new tab page.
How to edit details of thumbnail of a most visited website in new tab of Chrome?
Speed Dial 2 extension also makes it easy to edit details of the thumbnail (dial) of a most visited website in new tab page by following these steps:
(1) Right-click on the thumbnail, and then select Edit from the context menu.
(2) You can now modify title of the dial or thumbnail, its logo and URL address, or you can place it in a different group.
How to remove thumbnail of a most visited website in new tab of Chrome?
You can remove a dial or thumbnail easily by right-click on the thumbnail of the most visited website that you want to be deleted, and then select Remove from the context menu.
How to further customize the most visited websites on new tab of Chrome?
Speed Dial 2 provides several options to further customize the new tab page in Chrome. Click Options in the drop-down menu after clicking on its icon in the Chrome toolbar. You get several options to customize, some of which are mentioned below:
(1) Change how many thumbnails to show in a row on new tab page. Default is 5 thumbnails.
(2) Change spacing between two thumbnails in new tab page. Default is 24 px.
(3) You can decide how to order the thumbnails or dials. They can be ordered automatically by number of visits to the most visited websites or by your own manual order. If you decide to order most visited websites’ thumbnails manually, you can drag them to change their position (as per your choice) on the new tab page in Chrome.
(4) You can change the way the thumbnails of the most visited sites refresh. Available options are: No refresh; or refresh after 2, 5 or 10 visits to that website.
(5) Whether or not to show number of visits made to the most visited websites.
(6) Whether or not to show the title of the site in the thumbnail.
Sidebar of recently closed tabs and installed applications:
In addition to showing customized thumbnails of the most visited websites in new tab of Chrome, Speed Dial 2 extension also gives you option to display a right sidebar that provides you with access to your Recently closed tabs, list of installed applications from Chrome Web Store, and your Chrome bookmarks. You can turn specific sidebar features on and off in the options for the extension. This right sidebar is hidden by default and it will be shown only when you hover your mouse near right edge of browser screen. Have a look at the following picture that shows this sidebar:
Overall, the Speed Dial 2 offers several ways to easily customize the most visited websites on the new tab page in Google Chrome browser, with several advanced options, that Chrome itself does not provide. Being a free extension, you can try it to fully customize the new tab page in your Chrome browser as per your own liking.
Download and install: Visit this page on Chrome Web Store, and then click Add to Chrome button to download and install the Speed Dial 2 extension.