One of the options in Chrome is to have it show the most visited pages when you open a new tab. It also takes a snapshot that is displayed as a thumbnail for each site, e.g.:

enter image description here

How is that snapshot chosen? Are they just taken at set intervals? Is there a way to force another one to be taken?


The thumbnails you're looking for are stored in a cache in the Chrome User Data folder, which is located at

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\                       (Windows)
/users/[username]/library/application support/google/chrome/default   (OSX)
/home/<user>/.config/google-chrome/default                            (Ubuntu)

Just delete the Thumbnails file. Once that's done, revisit each site you care about to make Chrome generate a new thumbnail for that site.

Info from this HowToGeek post.

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  • 4
    This is good info but it doesn't answer the question. – kel Sep 26 '13 at 0:00
  • It answers the third question, which I figured was the most important. As for the first two, what I saw in my quick earlier search implied that it just took a picture after the first time the page loaded and then never updated it, but I'm not sure enough to put that in the actual answer body. – Pops Sep 26 '13 at 0:02
  • Chrome certainly does update the thumbnails eventually on its own, but I'm also not sure how frequently it does so. For at least several days my facebook snapshot was stuck on a close-up of a friend's face, cut off below his eyes. It was creepy, like he was watching me every time I opened a new tab. Today I just noticed that he is no longer watching me. – rob Nov 29 '16 at 18:32
  • how about in Linux? – Yan King Yin Mar 15 '18 at 16:50

Often Chrome doesn't update the thumbnails and seems to "stuck" at old ones. A simple way to improve your access is the extension "Speed Dial 2".

It is also possible to refresh the thumbnails. But its very frustrating to do it over and over again. Because chrome won't "learn".

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