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How to Change Chrome’s Color and Theme

Chrome is one of the most popular browsers, but it just looks bland and boring. While the minimal look is okay, you can change Google Chrome’s color and theme to personalize it. Change colors, add images, and even create custom themes for others to use. Currently, this only applies to the desktop version of Chrome.

Get New Chrome Theme from Chrome Web Store

The most straightforward way to change Google Chrome’s color and theme is to install a preexisting theme from the Chrome Web Store. Alternately, access the themes area of the Web Store by opening the Chrome menu and selecting Settings.

Select Appearance on the left, then select Theme. This opens the Google Chrome Web Store. If you currently have a theme installed, the theme’s page in the Web Store opens instead.

Browse through the store to check out the wide variety of themes available. Select any theme to view more details, such as what’s included, how often it’s updated, and to see reviews from other users. There are thousands of options to choose from, so use the Categories filter and even the Ratings filter to narrow your options. Check out our list of some of the best Chrome themes to try.

When you find one you like, select it, and click the Add To Chrome button to install it.

It should only take a few seconds before your Chrome theme changes. When you open a new tab, you’ll see the new background. Regardless of the site you visit, your tabs and borders will keep the new theme.

Example of the Cat City theme in Google Chrome.

Alternately, click the Edit button (the pencil in the lower-right corner of a new tab) to access a quick access menu. Change your theme, choose whether to show shortcuts or not, and reset to Chrome’s default color scheme.

Editing Chrome's appearance with the Edit pencil.

Remove a Theme in Chrome

If you want something else, you have two options. Go back into Settings, and scroll down to Appearance.

Chrome only keeps your current theme. If you want something different, click the arrow beside Theme to visit the Web Store again. When you install a new theme, your old one will be replaced.

You can also click Reset to Default beside Theme to reset your theme to its original look. You can always reinstall any theme as long as it’s still available in the Web Store. If you like to change things up often, consider adding links to your favorites in your bookmarks. Please note that sometimes creators remove themes from the Chrome web store. You can keep the theme, but if you remove one that the creator has also removed, there isn’t a way to reinstall it.

Reset your theme to the Chrome default.

Change Chrome’s Colors and Background Image

If you only want to add a background image to new tabs or change the color scheme, open Chrome and click the Edit (pencil) icon in the bottom right. Click Change theme, and select Upload an image.

Menu for uploading a custom image to Chrome.

Choose any image stored on your computer to become Chrome’s new background.

If you want to keep a more minimalist look, just change the color by selecting Chrome Colors in the same sidebar menu. Choose any of the presets, or create your own.

Choose from a selection of color schemes for Chrome.

Create Your Own Theme in Chrome

Want to change Chrome’s color and theme but can’t find anything you like? Create your very own Chrome themes instead. While you can code your own, an easier method is using Theme Beta’s Chrome Theme Creator. It’s a free tool that requires no coding knowledge. Theme Beta also has a variety of Chrome themes to pick from.

The Basic tab lets you upload an image, generate compatible colors from it, and create and install a theme package. There are directions within the tool on how to use your theme package.

Tool for creating your own Chrome themes.

If you want more customization, the Images and Colors tabs give you more control over each element of the theme.

Preview your changes on the sample Chrome window in the editor. If you don’t like what you see, keep tweaking your settings until you get it just right. If you think others will love it, upload it to the Chrome Web Store for others to use. Just make sure you’re not using any copyrighted images. Use these Creative Commons image sites for free images.

Change Chrome’s Color and Theme on Mobile

Currently, you can’t customize much about the look of Chrome on mobile devices. All you can do is switch between Light and Dark themes.

Open Chrome and tap the three-dot menu. Select Settings. Tap Theme and choose between System Default, Light, or Dark.

Theme selector in mobile Chrome browser.

Change Even More About Chrome

Now that you know how to change Chrome’s color and theme, add some music to your browsing with the best music extensions for Chrome. Also, make navigating Chrome much easier by learning these helpful Chrome keyboard shortcuts.

Image credit: Unsplash, All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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