What Do Chrome’s ‘New Tab’ Thumbnails Reveal About Your Browsing Habits?

What Do Chrome’s ‘New Tab’ Thumbnails Reveal About Your Browsing Habits?

The latest version of Google Chrome automatically displays your most visited pages every time you open a new tab. The update has caused a swathe of anger online; particularly among closet porn fans. Here’s what Google’s browser revamp revealed about my own browsing habits…

Porn picture from Shutterstock

Whoever thought it was a good idea to display “most viewed” website thumbnails in Chrome obviously never worked in an office before. While it’s true that most workplaces can easily track your browsing habits, that doesn’t mean we want to advertise it right there on the screen.

Like most people, I tend to do a little personal browsing in my lunch break. This got me curious about what might show up on Google’s ‘new tab’ page. Would it reveal the history of a diligent worker or a time-wasting slacker?

Here’s what my browser window currently look like on my work computer:

Phew! As you can see, it chiefly consists of Allure Media websites, traffic-monitoring tools and stock photo provider Shutterstock; everything I need to do my job as a journalist. But hang on — what’s Facebook doing on there? Well, if you follow Lifehacker on Facebook, you’ll know that we regularly update our page with the best articles of the day. So it’s totally 100 percent work related! No really.

As for my home computer, those records have been permanently buried. Click here to find out how you can switch back to Chrome’s old ‘New Tab’ page to hide the evidence from view.

Which websites are currently cropping up on your Chrome page? Embrace the anonymity of the internet and dish the dirt in the comments section below!


  • This isn’t really that new, it was always an option. I just go incognito if I want to look at anything either dodgy or naughty that I wouldn’t want another user (though no one uses my PC but me) to see.

    At work I have gizmodo, OCAU, XDA-Developers, Whingepool, Facebook, Reditr, google play and ebay. The way it gets the results are weird cause I open gizmodo then from there I open Kotaku and Lifehacker from the links at the top of the page and they have never appeared on the home page.

    • yeah, my homepage was the tabs before, I’m glad we don’t miss out on the google doodles anymore.

      My tabs are: Outlook webapp, Jalopnik, Carsales, gumtree, gizmodo, oppositelock, abc news, and kotaku

      I’m surprised at how Gawker my homepage is.

  • On a related topic, what’s everyone’s highest score on today’s pinata doodle? I got 156 earlier but don’t seem to be able to repeat it.

  • mine are as follows at work: Kotaku, yammer, gizmodo, ebay, facebook, polygon, netbank, lifehacker

  • Well to go against the grain, I really like it. You know you can get it to delete thumbnails for websites by hovering over the top right hand corner and clicking the cross? That website will then never show back up in that list. Its really handy for quick access sites i visit often, ie. Gmail, Bank, Reddit, OzBargin and Lifehacker/Gizmodo.

    Stuff that I visit daily and its right then when i open by browser in the morning.

    • Exactly! I’m sure this has been in Firefox for ages, and the embarrassing sites just get “X’d”. Most of the ones appearing now, besides Google and eBay and stuff, tend to be news sites of various types.

  • I’m not annoyed about it because of embarrassing browser history, I just don’t want browser history there at all. I just want a blank god damn tab. At least before I could set it to Apps, which was actually somewhat useful but also reasonably neutral.

    They can make the default their search/thumbnail thing. That’s fine. I just want to be able to turn it off, which you currently can’t.

  • Google has had this feature for ages! And surely anyone worth their digital salt is using another google chrome feature, incognito tab, to do their more embarrassing web browsing.

  • Yeah, if you’re not using Incognito and something like Hush to browse and store bookmarks, you’ve got only yourself to blame for whatever comes up on your new tab page.

      • But what if I close a very important tab I close the previous links to?

        That one possible perfect image has now been lost forever.

        Thanks Google.

  • Heh – the only non-local addresses in my 8 tabs are Github and gmail…
    Stupid how the other 6 are local only addresses really…

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