Adventuring through the internet shouldn’t be difficult, and to make sure we don’t go the way of Hansel and Gretel and end up in a pot of hot water, browsers have always provided us a safe way back appropriately called our Homepage.
Years of clever development from some of the world’s greatest minds and you find yourself opening your Google Chrome browser only to find some weird page you weren’t expecting. What happened? Where’s my homepage?
Don’t worry (we are pretty sure you weren’t anyway) because your homepage didn’t go anywhere. The issue is that for some strange reason, Google Chrome treats homepages, new tabs, and start pages a bit differently and using multiple devices can stir the pot even more.
Here is a breakdown of why this happens and what you can do to prevent it if you care to.
The Home Page Versus the New Tab Page
When you open Chrome on your device, the browser makes a distinction between your Homepage and your New Tab Page, which is the page that opens when you start your browser, open a new tab, or open a new browser window.
Intuitively, one would think that we would start at “home” when we open our browser, but the geniuses at Google have a better idea. They would rather show you your most commonly visited sites and their wonderful search engine. Fair enough, most of us are using the search engine anyway, but where exactly did our Homepage go?
Fortunately, you can simply click on the “Home” button next to the address bar and Hansel and Gretel’s pebbles will have led you back. Unless…
The world is full of geniuses and they don’t all work at Google. Oftentimes, when we download software, do updates on existing software, and other activities on the internet our homepage will be “automatically” changed to something else without our direct knowledge. Sure, sometimes you’ll get a pop-up during a 30 minute install process that tells you, but who reads those messages anyways before they click OK.
Note: Some Chrome Extensions will automatically change your page and tab settings also, but Chrome will tell you which one of the extensions is controlling the change.
So, if your homepage has been unscrupulously altered and you want to get back home, here is what you need to do.
You Can Manually Change Home Pages and New Tab Pages
Manually changing the settings for your homepage and for new tab pages isn’t very difficult with Chrome and only requires a few clicks and light typing.
First thing to do is open Chrome and then click on the “3 dots” in the upper right hand corner of your screen. This is the settings menu.
When you open it, click on Settings.
Next, go to the “Appearance” section and look for the “Show home button” title.
Here you can select to use your Home button for the New Tab page or you can enter any URL you prefer. Most people use the advanced Google search page as a default – http://www.google.com/advanced_search
Once you have set your Homepage, you will want to scroll down to the “On Startup” section to set your “Start Page” for when you first open your browser.
Here you have options to use a series of pages, your New Tab page, or open the tabs that were open last time you quit Chrome. You only need to type in the URLs for the sites you want to open at Startup.
Give everything a run through by closing your browser and then reopening it. If your start page opens as intended, click the Home icon and check to make sure the setting for your Homepage is working correctly. Lastly, open a new tab and verify it as well.
You should be good to go, but if not you can go back through the process again and double check. Welcome home Hansel and Gretel.