Do you sometimes find it hard to locate a specific setting in the Chrome browser’s ever-expanding Settings menu? You’re not alone. The developers of Chromium feel your pain, and they’re doing something about it. A redesigned, more compartmentalized Settings menu was spotted in the Chromium.org developer discussion, coming soon to a browser (or lightweight operating system) near you.
The changes focus on showing the user fewer options on a single page, and spreading the sprawl of Chrome’s various sub-menus across more links controlled by the left side column. The adjustment is live in the Canary build as of today: you can see it if you manually change chrome://flags/#settings-landing-page-redesign to “Enabled.” If you’d rather not mess around with beta software, check out the demonstration video below, posted to Chromium.org by a project member.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison between stable and Canary with the flag enabled:
Left: current stable. Right: Canary with flag enabled.
I’m no UI designer, but I have found myself resorting to the search bar in the Settings menu, and occasionally a straight-up Google search, to find a Chrome setting I had misplaced. This change brings the browser and the OS more in line with more complex systems like Windows and macOS, which is a mixed blessing. But considering how complicated Chrome is becoming, and how vital to more and more people, I think it’s the right call.
As always, changes made to the Canary build may or may not make their way to stable, and there’s no telling how long it will take if they do. But since these changes came from an internal directive, and they seem to be fairly simple and complete, I doubt we’ll have to wait too long before we see it come to most Chrome users.