Our first look at the new Google Chrome downloads UI on Windows

As we reported recently, Google has been working on a new download experience for Google Chrome which should be similar to Microsoft Edge. Chrome’s new downloads UI will replace the existing shelf-based downloads UI that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Google Chrome code validation recently confirmed the company’s plan to integrate a new download experience into the browser. “This CL just tracks the status of downloads and produces an icon that disappears in the toolbar,” Google said. Prior to the beta launch in early 2022, Chrome’s unfinished downloads UI has now been spotted online.

As expected, Chrome’s downloads hub will appear in the upper right corner of the browser toolbar. It will show up automatically when you actively download something, so the new download UI could reduce clutter and provide a cleaner overall experience, similar to how Edge works.

Chrome download button

It looks like the new downloads hub will be easily revocable so you can ignore downloaded items and continue browsing without interruption.

Along with a cleaner experience, Chrome’s new download UI will also help you manage the overall download progress. The progress will appear in the toolbar menu, and you can pause, restart, or cancel a download. Like the existing shelf UI, it would be possible to manage settings such as “Always open” or “Open file location” directly from the new toolbar.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s not yet clear whether Google plans to keep the download button always visible in the toolbar. For now, it looks like the flyout can only be launched with a click when you’re downloading something. If you want to manage downloads, you will need to visit the browser’s main downloads page.

It’s something Microsoft Edge and other browsers have had before, but for Google Chrome, which has been waiting for design improvements for a long time, it’s clearly a welcome move.

Google will activate Chrome’s new Windows 11 UI for everyone

Chrome 96 has added a new experimental flag that gives rounded corners to the context menu on Windows 11 or Windows 10. It also adds a Fluent Design-like drop shadow effect to better match the look of Windows 11.

Chrome rounded corner

For now, if you want to try out the new Chrome update, you need to enable the Experimental Flag. However, that could change soon. According to a new Chrome post, Google will allow rounded corners for everyone in a future browser version that will be pushed through a server-side update.

If you can’t wait for Chrome’s rounded corners update, you can open the flags menu and search for “Windows 11-style menus,” then select “On – All versions of Windows.”

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