This article is written for G Suite for Education Administrators.

New Tab Page vs Home Page vs Startup Page

First of all, can you tell the difference among these 3 concepts in Chrome? I want to make sure you are not confused for the rest of article.

Startup Page. Your startup page is the one that shows when you first launch Chrome on your computer.

chrome startup page settings
chrome startup page settings

Home Page. Your homepage is the one you go to when you click Home button Chrome home button. Interestingly Google by default disabled this button out-of-the-box.

Chrome Home Page Settings
Chrome Home Page Settings

New Tab Page. A new tab page is the one you click the + button in the tabs. By default it comes with a Google search bar plus a grid of most visited shortcuts. This page is customizable via chrome extensions for a personalized taste.

Chrome Default New Tab Page
Chrome New Tab Page

Both Startup Page and Home Page are easily configurable in Chrome Settings or Homepage policies from Admin Console, while the New Tab Page is not.

Problem?

Schools may enforce students to visit a specific site (e.g. Google Classroom) instead of the default new tab page above, whenever a new tab is created in Chrome.

Chrome extensions like New Tab Redirect or Custom New Tab URL do the job, but they're built for consumers. In another words, it's up to students to set the behavior.

Google's Chrome Enterprise Policy List, a set of configuration values, has a policy New​Tab​Page​Location that precisely works for this issue. But this policy is limited to Windows instances only, not for Chromebooks.

This policy is available only on Windows instances that are joined to a Microsoft® Active Directory® domain. or Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise instances that enrolled for device management.

Safe Doc, a chrome extension, allows you as the IT administrator to centrally control the New Tab Page URL. If you have yet to install Safe Doc, apply 30-days trial.

Change Chrome New Tab URL

Once you deployed Safe Doc and read Safe Doc Configuration. It's fairly easy to set the new tab page URL. Add or set the following policy for extension to Safe Doc.

{
  "NewTabPageUrl": {
    "Value": "https://classroom.google.com"
  }
}

The URL value can be any sites beginning with http or https protocols. If this value is not set or left empty, this feature is disabled and the default new tab page is used.

This is an example after the change when the policy is set to Google Classroom. New tabs created, including new windows, in Chrome automatically redirects to Google Classroom.

Set Chrome New Tab page URL to Google Classroom

Can students change New Tab Page URL?

No, the purpose of managing remotely with extension policy is to prevent manipulations by students.


If you have questions, please leave comments below or contact us.