Our first look at Google Chrome’s new Downloads UI on Windows

As we reported recently, Google has been working on a new
downloads experience for Google Chrome which is expected to be
similar to Microsoft Edge. The new downloads UI of Chrome will
replace the existing shelve based downloads UI that appears at
the bottom of the screen.

Google’s Chromium code
commit recently confirmed the company’s plan to incorporate
a new downloads experience into the browser. “This CL only
tracks the state of downloads and produces a disappearing icon
in the toolbar,” Google said. Ahead of 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 top
right corner of the browser’s toolbar. It will automatically
show up when you’re actively downloading something, so the new
downloads UI could reduce clutter and offer a cleaner
experience overall, similar to how Edge works.

Chrome downloads button

It seems that the new downloads hub will be easily dismissible
so you can ignore the downloaded items and continue browsing
uninterrupted.

In addition to a cleaner experience, Chrome’s new downloads UI
will also help you manage overall download progress. The
progress will appear within the menu of the toolbar and you can
pause, restart, or cancel a download. Like the existing shelve
UI, it would be possible to manage settings like “Always open”
or “Open file location” directly from the new toolbar.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s not yet clear if Google plans
to keep the downloads 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.

This is something that Microsoft Edge and other browsers have
had before, but for Google Chrome, which is long overdue for
design improvements, it’s clearly a welcome move.

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

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

Chrome rounded corner

Right now, if you want to try Chrome’s new update, you need to
turn on the experimental flag. However, this could change soon.
As per a new Chromium
post, Google will enable rounded corners for everyone in a
future release of the browser which will be pushed via 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”,
and then select ‘Enabled – All Windows Versions’.

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