Fix: Google Chrome Most Visited Thumbnails Not Showing

The Google Chrome’s most visited thumbnails are the thumbnails that show up on a new tab. The most visited thumbnails can also appear whenever you open your browser (only if you have enabled the settings). This is a very useful feature that a lot of users use but this feature broke after the latest Google Chrome update. A lot of users are either not seeing any at all or seeing a couple of thumbnails when opening a new tab. This issue appears out of nowhere and you cannot rectify the issue by a simple restart of the browser.

Google Chrome Most Visited Thumbnails Not Showing
Google Chrome Most Visited Thumbnails Not Showing

What causes the Most Visited Thumbnails to Disappear?

Here are a couple of things that can cause your most visited thumbnails to disappear from Google Chrome.

  • Google Chrome Bug: The most likely cause for this issue is a bug under upgrading to new design homepage. In fact, a lot of people experienced this issue back in February of 2018 as well. Google Chrome usually checks and updates itself on regular basis, so this would explain the sudden appearance of this issue even if you didn’t update the browser yourself.
  • Search Engine Option: The Google search engine as your default search engine can cause this issue as well. It might have to do with a conflict between the thumbnails and the search engine text box. And the issue appears only when you have the Google search engine.

Method 1: Turn on the Local NTP Flag

There is a flag named #use-google-local-ntp in the Google Chrome. This flag is disabled by default. Turning this flag to enabled has resolved the issue for the majority of the users. You can turn on this flag by following the steps given below.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Type chrome://flags/#use-google-local-ntp in the address bar and press Enter
type chrome://flags/#use-google-local-ntp and press enter
Access use-google-local-ntp flag
  1. Select Enabled from the drop-down menu in form of the flag
Enable use-google-local-ntp flag
Enable use-google-local-ntp flag
  1. Relaunch the browser

This should fix the thumbnail issue.

Note: If this doesn’t fix the issue then follow the steps given in method 2 and then perform the steps given in this method.

Method 2: Change Chrome Flags (Alternative)

There are a couple of other Google Chrome flags that you can turn on or off to fix the thumbnail issue. These flags are experimental in nature but allow the users to change the Google Chrome’s configuration. So, do not change any other flags and follow the instructions given below.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md in the address bar and press Enter
type chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md and press enter
Access top-chrome-md flag
  1. Select Normal from the drop down menu in from of the flag
Disable top-chrome-md flag
Disable top-chrome-md flag
  1. Type chrome://flags/#ntp-ui-md in the address bar and press Enter
type chrome://flags/#ntp-ui-md and press enter
Access ntp-ui-md flag
  1. Select Disabled from the drop-down menu in from of the flag
Disable #ntp-ui-md flag
Disable #ntp-ui-md flag
  1. Relaunch the browser

Once done, check if the issue persists or not.

Method 3: Update Google Chrome

Since the bug was introduced by the Google Chrome itself, they will most likely be releasing a fix in the latest updates. Sometimes it takes a little bit time to get the latest updates so we will advise you to manually check for the updates to get them ASAP.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Type chrome://help/ in the address bar and press Enter
  3. You will see a circle spinning and a status saying Checking for updates. Just wait for it to finish checking for updates.
Update Google Chrome
Update Google Chrome
  1. Your browser will automatically be updated if it wasn’t updated to the latest version.

Check if the issue persists once the browser is updated.

Note: If you see weird circles on the thumbnails after the update, then try to change the flags (mentioned below). This will revert the changes that you made in the methods 1 or 2.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Type chrome://flags/#ntp-icons in the address bar and press Enter
type chrome://flags/#ntp-icons and press enter
Access ntp-icons flag
  1. Select Disabled from the drop-down menu in from of the flag
Disable #ntp-icons flag
Disable #ntp-icons flag
  1. Type chrome://flags/#ntp-ui-md in the address bar and press Enter
type chrome://flags/#ntp-ui-md and press enter
Access ntp-ui-md flag
  1. Select Disabled from the drop down menu in from of the flag
Disable #ntp-ui-md flag
Disable #ntp-ui-md flag
  1. Relaunch the browser

This should bring your thumbnails back to normal. Note: For some users, changing the values of these flags brought back the original problem. If you are experiencing this issue then follow the steps mentioned in method 2 and then follow the steps from method 1 (in this specific order). This should bring back the old thumbnails and fix the issue.

Method 4: Change Google Search Engine

Changing the default search engine has solved the issue for a considerable amount of users. Although we aren’t sure why it solves the problem it might have to with a conflict between the thumbnails and the search engine text box. And the issue appears only when you have the Google search engine. So, if you don’t mind using a different search engine, anything but the Google search engine, then follow the steps given below.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Click the 3 dots on the top right corner
  3. Select Settings
Google Chrome open settings
Google Chrome Settings
  1. Scroll down and you should be able to see a section named Search engine
  2. Select any other search engine from the drop-down menu of Use Search Engine option
Change search engine
Change search engine
  1. Relaunch browser

This should bring back the most visited thumbnails.

Method 5: Reset Settings

Resetting the settings of Google Chrome should be your last resort. This has worked for a few users but keep in mind that this will reset everything and clean the entire history. So, apply this solution only if you are ok with getting rid of your history, saved password, and several other things (the things that will be erased and reset will be mentioned in the confirmation dialogue).

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Click the 3 dots on the top right corner
  3. Select Settings
Google Chrome open settings
Google Chrome Settings
  1. Scroll down and click Advanced
Select Advanced
Google Chrome advanced settings
  1. Click Restore settings to their original defaults. This should be under Reset and clean up
Google Chrome Reset settings
Google Chrome Reset settings
  1. Click Reset settings
Google Chrome Reset settings
Google Chrome Reset settings

Once done, reboot the browser and check the thumbnails. They should be working fine now.

Expert Tip

Fix: Google Chrome Most Visited Thumbnails Not Showing

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