Since updating to Android 5.1.1 I started using the new tab switcher merged with recent apps, however, every time I click on chrome I have to wait for it to open the last tab only to open a new one anyways, and if I wanted the old tab I could have opened it from the recent apps.

I tried creating a bookmark to use about:blank, which works except I don't have access to any bookmarks or history as from the new tab page, but when trying to link directly to the new tab page I am unable to find a method which works.

Using "about:newtab" I am given a transparent overlay on my launcher which shows as Chrome in recent apps.
Using chrome://newtab or chrome-native://newtab I receive a toast from the launcher stating "App isn't installed.".

I thought about creating a simple app with no UI which simply opens chrome to a new tab, or using Xposed to change it to open in a new tab on click, but am unsure how to go about this.


Is there some file in system I could change to add Chrome as a handler for "chrome://" links?

What other method I could try in order to create a shortcut on my launcher to open a new tab for chrome?

More Info

  • Launchers Tested: Nova Launcher, Google Now Launcher
  • Chrome Versions: Chrome 45.0.2454.94, Chrome Beta 46.0.2490.34
  • Android Version: 5.1.1 LMY48M
  • Device: Nexus 5
  • Did you try am start -n com.android.chrome/com.google.android.apps.chrome.ChromeTabbedActivity -d "about:newtab" --activity-clear-task (there are no line breaks) with root permissions? Although I'm confused what exactly you want. You can create an app shortcut which would execute that command. There are many automation tools that can do the job here. Related: Can I open Chrome on Android from command line ?
    – Firelord
    Sep 21, 2015 at 3:13
  • @Firelord I tried using Tasker to create a shortcut to run that command, but it just gave this as a result: Starting: Intent { dat=about:newtab flg=0x8000 cmp=com.android.chrome/com.google.android.apps.chrome.ChromeTabbedActivity } Error type 3 Error: Activity class {com.android.chrome/com.google.android.apps.chrome.ChromeTabbedActivity} does not exist. Sep 21, 2015 at 13:35
  • They have changed the activity name, as it seems. The revised command is: am start -n com.android.chrome/org.chromium.chrome.browser.ChromeTabbedActivity -d "about:newtab" --activity-clear-task
    – Firelord
    Sep 21, 2015 at 14:07
  • @Firelord Using the revised command I am no longer getting any errors, however, after the command executes the screen ducks slightly as if an activity is being launched, but nothing appears and there is nothing in the recent apps menu. Tested both using Tasker and Terminal Emulator. Sep 21, 2015 at 14:34
  • It's working in my Android 5.0.2 but in Android 5.1.1 the behavior is erratic. Consecutively, it launches a window with single tab, and the next time I try the command, it shows the window with all the previous tabs in background. I don't know what's causing it. I'm running Chrome v45.0.2454.94.
    – Firelord
    Sep 21, 2015 at 14:57

2 Answers 2


Solution for Android 7.1 (API level 25) and higher

If you're using a launcher which supports App Shortcuts you can:

  1. Long-press the Chrome icon to bring up shortcuts.
  2. Long-press the New tab shortcut and drag to desired location.
  3. Use the new shortcut to launch Chrome with a new tab.
  • 1
    +1. This works. I use Sesame app to launch the new tab from anywhere in Android and I'm on Android 7.1 too.
    – Firelord
    Jul 13, 2018 at 2:20

Try switching off the 'Merge tabs and Apps' in settings. Then you will be able to open a new tab using the + icon at the top of the window. Swipe down the top pane to reveal all of your tabs.


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