Is there a way to manually add a web page to the 8 thumbnails that appear when you open Chrome?

I want to add Google Maps for easy access. The Google front page already shows up so I presume the Google Maps page never will as it's a subset of Google (i.e. I get to it via the main Google front page). I know I can add a shortcut to the toolbar but would rather add it as a thumbnail.

And while I'm here, is it possible to increase the number of thumbnails that appear?

I'm running the release/stable version of Chrome in Windows XP.

  • 4
    Go to google maps and hold F5, perhaps? :P
    – Phoshi
    Commented Oct 20, 2009 at 11:00
  • I've got Gmail, Google Reader, the iPhone version of Google Reader and Google Tasks on the homepage. It's not limited to a single domain, you can have multiple subdomains on the homepage.
    – alex
    Commented Oct 20, 2009 at 11:03
  • Having read through all the answers here I've come to one conclusion: It's very odd that Google would actively work to obfuscate what used to be easily customizable as opposed to actively adding this customizability to the application of their own accord.
    – JMD
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:59

6 Answers 6


Yes, there is a way. Go to

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

You will find a file called "Preferences." Open the file with a text editor. You will see the list of 8 tabs at the bottom. Just modify the locations, i.e. the site that you want to appear.

  • 1
    Yes, it works - Thanks Danny. I'm using the Dev release now but I assume it would work on the other releases. I would add that you should edit the 'Preferences' file (after backing it up) when Chrome isn't running.
    – andygrunt
    Commented Nov 13, 2009 at 22:25
  • 6
    I can't seem to find the tabs in the preferences file. Are they no longer in there? Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 14:00
  • 2
    Windows 7 users can now find the file here: C:\Users\Lee Scott Reis\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
    – Lee Scott
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 18:35
  • 4
    Does not seem to work anymore. It's just a massive JSON object with no tabs listed at bottom; not very human readable either.
    – Joe Coder
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 22:35

As of 2/21/2012, Chrome version 17.0.963.56 m, most visited URL thumbnails are no longer stored in the Preferences text file, or any other easily editable text file.

It's probably stored in an SQLite database. Here's more info on the this frustrating "enhancement" to newer versions of Chrome:

It was bad enough they made it so inconvenient to pick your own favorite sites to begin with, now they don't let you at all. (I have a feeling it's because they are trying to push Apps.)

I solved the problem by dragging the URL shortcuts I really needed to my Start Menu.

I'll probably stop using the "New Tab page" from now on.


Looks like an extension called Speed Dial is the answer.

  • 1
    This speed dial app needs too much permissions, like ability to read all the pages I view. That's crazy just to be able to add a bookmark on the home screen. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 2:42

To answer your second question:

is it possible to increase the number of thumbnails that appear?

It seems that Google has overlooked this very simple setting.

However, there are various 3rd party extensions/plugins to get more than 8 thumbnails (as well as bookmarks, sticky notes, etc). Note that extensions can sometimes cause Chrome to crash; that's why I minimize the use of them.

and there's even more.


EASY - I just did it. Open one Chrome browser to the thumbnails page. Open another to the page you want to add. Click on the title bar of the page you want to add, and drag it to the thumbnail on the other page. Ta dah!

  • 3
    That strategy used to work but it doesn't look like it's working anymore, at least for me. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 23:39
  • Seems to work again :-)
    – vonjd
    Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 16:44
  • This just opens the site in the other window for me. It does show a box icon with a plus sign, but....
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 15:16

You can also edit your pinned tabs on Mac OS X. Note, you MUST pin a tab to edit it. Open ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Preferences in a Text Editor. The information is at the end of the file and you edit it the same way you do in Windows. Again, make sure Chrome is closed before you do this.

Title is the information that appears below the thumbnail and URL is the URL the thumbnail directs to.

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