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March 16, 2013

A Google Experiment Hides the Navigation Bar

There's an interesting Google experiment that seems to be limited to Chrome 27 (dev/canary channel). The experiment removes Google's navigation bar from both the homepage and the search results pages.

To confirm that the experiment is limited to Chrome 27, I opened Firefox, changed the user agent to "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.33 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/27.0.1441.2 Safari/537.33" using this extension and the navigation bar was gone.

Maybe the experiment has something to do with all the strange features that will be added to Chrome: search box on the new tab page, special Google interface that removes the search box, replacing the URL with the search terms in the address bar for search results pages. More about this in a future post.


  1. Works for me, reminds me the first version of Googles home page (aka=retro version)

  2. I have the same thing is the HTTPS version of Chrome stable build.

  3. This is not a great idea. It is impossible to access Images, Gmail or Calendar from homepage.


  4. One temporary workaround is to spoof the user agent.
    This will work until G desides to remove the navigation bar from the all its sites
    (because the bar is there, but G decided to meke it invisible for users of the latest Chrome/Chromium builds)

    So, here it is:
    install "User-Agent Switcher for Chrome" into Chrome or Chromium,

    create a custom user agent, for example I copied my current string
    from the latest Chromium build, and changed the 28 to 25 ,
    creating this (remove quotes):
    "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1458.0 Safari/537.36"

    You can either use this fake user-agent permanently, for any site,
    or just for the Google sites,
    by going to the extension settings,
    Permanent spoof list, and add, the above user-agent for
    domain (remove quotes) = "google.*"

    you can see your current string visiting this site with various browsers: