How To Disable Material Design in Google Chrome

Material Design is a design language developed in 2014 by Google. It’s a living project that keeps getting updated as Google continues to develop the tenets and specifics. Material Design makes more liberal use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows. It can be used in API Level 21 and newer via the v7 appcompat library, which is used on virtually all Android devices manufactured after 2009.


Google finally brought Material Design to Chrome version 53.  And it looks awesome. However, while some people will love the design and new look of Chrome, myself included, some others may want to disable it because they just don’t like the appearance of it at all.

Here is how you can revert back to the old days.

Open Chrome, type the following address in the address bar and hit Enter.


The Chrome’s Flag page opens up. Click the drop-down menu and pick one of three options available there, Non-material, Material, or Material Hybrid.


Once you changed the settings, click the Relaunch Now button that pops up at the bottom of the window.

I would suggest trying out the Hybrid mode first before switching totally back to the old days. You may like the new design after all.

/update on Dec. 15, 2016/

As of version 55, the #top-chrome-md flag has been changed to the following three options instead:

  • Default
  • Normal
  • Touch

That means, since version 55 you will no longer be able to disable Material Design anymore. The only choice remaining will be using a Chrome Theme that mimics the old Chrome style to get around it. For example, Flying Paint seems to be a pretty good choice.

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