The purpose of this short and sweet tutorial is equally concise: how to get the original look and feel of the Google Chrome web browser back after installing on a Windows 8 computer.

Having recently been forced into buying a new laptop, I finally took the plunge and decided to start using Windows 8 on a daily basis. In fact I upgraded the Windows 8 OS that came with my Lenovo Y510P laptop to Windows 8.1 Pro, and am happy enough with it apart from a few small UI niggles which I will be addressing in a series of brief Windows 8 UI tutorials. The first problem identified itself after I installed my preferred web browser client, Google Chrome. The install itself was as smooth as expected and once I had signed in and synced my bookmarks I thought I was good to go. Wrong. This was not the Google Chrome browser I was used to.

The problem is that Windows 8 defaults to running Chrome as a Windows 8 app, which is OK if you like that kind of full-screen tablet experience but pretty useless on a laptop (even though I do link my laptop to a 22" touchscreen monitor) if you ask me. The main gripe though, is that you lose the resizing buttons completely. When running Chrome I found myself with something that consumed my entire large screen and didn't provide any way to allow other applications to share the screen estate with it.

If, like me, you want your old browser back then fear not as it's pretty easy to accomplish when you know how. Here's the solution in one simple step:

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Click the 'customize and control' button (the one that has three horizontal lines and is located to the extreme right on the address bar. Scroll down and select the "relaunch Chrome on the desktop" option. That's literally all it takes, and Chrome will now fire up in desktop program mode instead of as a Windows 8 app unless you tell it differently. Which is how Google should have coded it in the first place with the app UI format as the optional configuration, not the other way around...

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

I tried this method, however it didn't fix my problem. Today I opened chrome from the desktop & everything was shrunk. So I tried this method. I appreciate how short & sweet it was. However, This did not put the broweser back to it's original size (even though the default & fonts are the same default, the page is still tiny & centered, tabs shrank in width, text is too small, etc.) I truly hate windows 8. It's always messing things up for me!

I don't remember having any problems putting Chrome on Win 8.1. I do hate the "apps" though, they take over an entire screen and can't be minimised or resized (except to a half screen option). They just don't "play nice" with desktop windows. Solution: don't use them.

@MsLeannInnocent-excuse me if this is way too obvious, but have you tried just dragging the edge of your chrome window to the size you want? The OP was not talking about a size issue per se, he was lamenting the absence of the resize buttons in the app version. If you now have a true Window, then the normal window protocols apply.

alternative is to buy the very cheap ModernMix utility (and why not Start8 too that adds a Start menu to Win8) and use Modern apps as windows on the desktop