Remove Google Background

Update: Thankfully, after just a few hours, this post is now obsolete. Google has changed the homepage so that the “remove background image” link actually takes you back to the old homepage.

Sometime Last Week…

Google: Hey Jason, guess WHAT!?!
Me: Uh, what?
Google: Have you seen that “Change Background Image” link we added?
Me: Yea, sounds a little Bingy to me but I’ll try it some time.
Google: We really think you should try it…like…NOW!
Me: Too busy. I should really get back to work.
Google: Oh. ok. we understand…

7:30AM Today

Me: I. need. (click) CoffWTFage!?!
Me: My eyes. The contrast. Too. Early.
Google: We know you liked Pacman. Everybody loved Pacman! So you have to like this!
Me: Make it go away!
Google: You can change it with that little link down there in the botto…
Me: I KNOW. I said make it go AWAY!
Google: You can’t remove it any more. You can only change it…
Me: Fine. Where’s the option for PLAIN WHITE BACKGROUND?
Google: Uh.

OK, Now what?

Google with no backgroundI don’t know about you, but I keep Google as my home page because it’s mostly blank. All browsers have a search box in the toolbar, but it’s just as easy to hit the new tab or new window shortcut and start typing my query. I don’t want a custom user experience or unnecessary cruft on my homepage and I don’t want the background image to change every time it loads. As a temporary fix until Google adds a “back to plain” option, I’ve set my custom background to an 800×600 transparent gif image. That’s the smallest dimension Google will let you choose and it only weighs in at ~1kb. I made my own 1920×1200 1-color png image background. Using ImageOptim I was able to compress that down to just 376b. If you want Google to be blank like the image here (gray shown), right click on the link below, save it, and upload it on the “From my computer” tab of the “Change background image” dialog.

White: googlebg-ffffff.png
Gray: googlebg-dadada.png
(#ddd seemed too light and #ccc too dark…)

Other Solutions?

My friend Bermon suggested changing the http to https to use SSL Google instead. Aside from the little SSL lock icon and obligatory “beta” tagline, it’s mostle good ol’ Google. Any other ideas? Share them below.

7 comments on “Remove Google Background

I’ve done essentially the same thing. I hear that supposedly this is a 24 hour thing only, but a simple “Disable” button would’ve been awfully nice.

Jaemi K says:

That is truly, truly vile. I looked at bing…once. What were they thinking?

Derek says:

Go to the secure version of google: – no background there…..


Nathan Loeser says:

Trend Kills.

Erik says:

Skipping all those steps, you could just use:, like I do. Simple and useful.

Awesome. I figured this was going to be the heavy, cluttered iGoogle interface. Good tip. Think I’ll switch to /custom

Jenn says:

I don’t think the initial feedback would have been so horrible if the first graphic that popped up wasn’t so eye bleedingly offensive.

Then again I’m still annoyed that I have to wait half a second for the links to show up when I need to go to Google > Maps. 🙂

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