Here Come The White Google Navigation Bar Complaints...

Oct 2, 2013 • 8:43 am | comments (91) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google Bar White LauncherIn September we predicted Google would launch a new white navigation bar and they indeed announced they would a week or so later. Very few have seen it since, that is until yesterday.

Google has been pushing out the new white bar and app launcher to users sometime starting yesterday. An influx of complaints started being published in the Google Web Search Help forums, I linked to one, but there are dozens.

I personally still only see the black bar and I am personally looking forward to switching to the white bar. But many people do not like change and Google knows this and are prepared to handle the early criticism.

In fact, when Google first launched the black navigation bar many many Google users complained, but Google stuck with it.

I guess Google likes to keep the complaints up.

Google has changed their top bar many many times, here are some stories covering the history of those top bars:

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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Mary Desilva

10/02/2013 12:51 pm

Its look pretty nice, I can access any product of Google easily from this white bar


10/02/2013 01:00 pm

The other day I realized that I was using the new Youtube player settings controls without thinking much about it at all. Got used to that pretty quick and I imagine I will get used to this new bar as well. I am only seeing the white bar when I open a new tab in Chrome; if I simply type I get the old nav. Interestingly, the new tab in Chrome also displays the flat Google logo that Barry was talking about a little while ago.


10/02/2013 01:43 pm

The huge flat logo of Google in every new Chrome tab forced me to move to Firefox. The only reason why I'm still on Chrome is because bookmarks didn't want to move smoothly and I have no time to dig it now. Imagine, I open hundreds of tabs daily and with every new tab I get flash in my eyes - GOOGLE ..... GOOGLE ..... GOOGLE ..... Is this the Neuro-linguistic programming or just another not smart move by Google ? I really miss the smart Google (


10/02/2013 01:47 pm

Is there a browser plugin that will block this obnoxious navigation box?

Durant Imboden

10/02/2013 06:08 pm

The white bar looks cleaner than the ugly black bar, the navigation box doesn't launch unless you click on it, and the box goes away if you click outside its boundaries. What's to complain about, unless you like a screen with a mourning band?


10/02/2013 06:44 pm

Isn't it stupid to have another search link in drop down menu? What's the point of main search box? For example - in local croatian google we have that addition search link but we have not youtube link in drop down menu?!

Fede Einhorn

10/02/2013 08:29 pm

I personally don't care about this change, however, I do hate the one they did on YouTube... what required 3 clicks (remove annotations, change def and player size) now takes 5, open the toolbox make the changes and CLOSING IT!


10/02/2013 10:07 pm

Sorry, no! I can't agree. The black bar was functional, had items clearly and immediately available, required no clicking around (one example, it now takes several clicks to get to two items I used regularly, whereas one click from the black bar was the way before) and put used and useful items front and centre. If people don't like it -- fine. Give them a way to turn it off. Better, give us a way to customise it (I'd happily remove the despicable YouTube and replace it with something I actually use). It is now faster for me to type in the address bar for what I want than to go through several clicks to find things that have been made invisible and a pain to access.


10/02/2013 10:57 pm

Hey Durant, I have to agree with RedMtl, it's not about looks, but functionality. What used to take one click now takes two, two clicks now takes three. For a company all about the user experience this seems like a giant step backwards.


10/02/2013 11:36 pm

Count me as one that hates the new change. I knew it was on the way and hoped it would be delayed or dropped. I loved how easy everything was set up with the black bar. Now it's taking extra steps to do things I used to be able to do with one click. We need a way to select a "classic" look for going back to what it was with the black bar just like we should still be able to do with the GMail changes we didn't want and I still hate.


10/02/2013 11:39 pm

I'd take the mourning band over the new look any day. At least it was functional. We should have a way to select to go back to a classic version with the black bar if we choose.

Durant Imboden

10/03/2013 12:31 am

Or maybe even the classic version without the black bar. I'm all for letting users roll back to earlier versions. (I'd love to be able to roll back to the 1998 search page that Google featured on its birthday, for example--good-bye and good riddance, Universal Search!) On the other hand, change always drives people crazy for a while. In the heyday of print, magazines and newspapers always lost subscribers--at least temporarily--after page redesigns. Maybe Google will take a cue from Microsoft and do a "dot one" version that gives users more choices, after the fuss dies down and users have had a chance to live with the new navigation box for a while. Or maybe the navbox will quietly go away if it turns out that, in the real world, people aren't using it. (With Google, isn't almost everything a public beta?)


10/03/2013 03:30 am

It's bad interface design fueled by an HTML5 coder-ection. By removing the little unobtrusive black bar, the visual cue for getting what you want is gone. And they've added a mouse-click to the process. But regardless of whether it's necessary or useful, change is always good...right?


10/03/2013 04:34 am

I wouldn't mind so much if they added keyboard shortcuts to compensate for the extra click they have just forced on us.

Morgan Akchehirlian

10/03/2013 08:29 am

I just see it on my PC one day back.It looks cool and fine.Rather than see these simple buttons always on top why do not they make it compact and in good look.


10/03/2013 09:09 am

I don't mind it at all, I think it looks nice and clean.... can't we just all get over it and move on...

Vijesh Yechury

10/03/2013 09:43 am

This is extremely annoying. Before I just used to type in my chrome omnibox, hit enter and then click on youtube on google navigation bar. But now I have some extra clickings to do. Similarly, accessing gmail has also become difficult. The main reason is not absence of navigation bar but the non-customisability of app drawer. The gmail in app drawer is at the lowermost corner which means you have to drag your pointer for a pretty long distance after clicking the app drawer icon, aiming for the gmail. I find aiming with mouse pretty difficult for a successive clicks at different places on the screen. It would be appreciated if google gives a "choice" instead of imposing things

Vijesh Yechury

10/03/2013 09:47 am

Internet, phones, computers, fridges and pretty much all items except showpieces are used for their functionality, not looks. One click to access youtube or gmail is much better than multiple clicks with dragging of pointer between clicks. I wouldn't mind the change if keyboard shortcuts were introduced. But dragging and aiming pointer is a very difficult thing to do and requires more attention and concentration and hence is annoying

Vijesh Yechury

10/03/2013 09:54 am

Invalid justification. You could access any Google product even with the navigation bar. It is not as if new features are introduced. In fact some features were removed. About looks, you should focus on your purpose. How many times have you gone to any website only because you loved the way it looks? I believe most people go to google to search, not to look at google theme. The background themes etc are just "distractions"


10/03/2013 12:04 pm

OMFG, whose stupid idea was this? Now instead of just clicking once on translator or youtube, I have to click 3 times. And I had a direct link to google home page with black bar and now you replaced even that. The feature is terrible on pc's and you did nothing to give users at least the option to change it back. Why on earth do you change something that's so good, easy and functional??? GIVE US BACK THE BLACK BAR !


10/03/2013 12:05 pm

no we can't because we're doing everything like sheep.

Catherine Kolkoski

10/03/2013 02:14 pm

Seems like every time I go to my email, it feels like a search and rescue. Where did it go? Where did it go? APB on my calendar.... Oh, there is it. New white nav. bar.


10/03/2013 02:46 pm

I miss the black navigation bar, so I re-created it here for public use: ..............


10/03/2013 03:38 pm

I think Google's site would be cleaner if it forcibly turned off your monitor or display every time you visited a page. There's less clutter in complete blackness, that way. And, hey, it shouldn't inconvenience you to turn the monitor on every single time. Right? Can't we just all get over it and move on?


10/03/2013 03:50 pm

What a pretentious comment. I love how dissent with new design can all be justified by delusional idiots as "change always drives people crazy." This is quite unarguably and quite obviously a step backwards for desktop users. Yes, I agree that this change is good for mobile and tablet purposes, and streamlining it between various products furthers that. But this is a case, even as you mentioned, that they are sacrificing the efficiency of Google's homepage as a portal to their other products for aesthetics (specifically in the case of Google's desktop website--there are mobile versions available that can and have been differentiated, if you didn't know.) If you had such an issue with the dark gray bar being dark gray, make it light gray or white. The fact of the matter is that this is one thing that should not have been made more complicated in the name of prettier visuals for the simpleminded users. Get your head out of your ass. Google has been slowly rolling out this update in a pretty erratic manner, so even finding articles or opinionated posts on the change is more difficult than if users are hit simultaneously. There are many, objective serious design flaws with this new design for mouse-and-keyboard, the least of which include the increased number of clicks (and searching) just for redirection and inconsistent quick-links left of the button.


10/03/2013 05:17 pm

I thought this was spam, but IT'S NOT. That site really does re-create the Black Google Bar, now you just need to put the code in a Firefox Addon or you can display it on the real Google pages (without using a iframe as the site suggests).


10/03/2013 05:22 pm

"APB on my calendar"...yup, my Mom couldn't find her Calendar either! Google needs to stop fucking with things.

Durant Imboden

10/03/2013 05:22 pm

OK, you're mad and you want to throw a tantrum. We get that. But attacking me from behind a pompous pseudonym won't help you get your old interface back. Whether the new design is good or bad, it's a fait accompli--at least for the moment. If you're religious, pray for personalization.


10/03/2013 08:50 pm

What code do you add into the Firefox Addon? I don't see any code anywhere on the site, just a list of links.

Fun Bags

10/03/2013 09:42 pm

She's clearly a spy for google. Or an alien.

bell f

10/04/2013 04:08 am

Agreed - lame new setup. The old navigation bar worked better, was easier, less in your face... I love change - but make it better, not worse and more difficult....and less intuitive.....and more clicking....seems like an obvious mistake - how'd google not see this.


10/04/2013 04:42 am

Novelty does not always imply easier, In the mind of the designer of the new Google navigation bar, the new design is more functional than the previous one

Marah Marie

10/04/2013 07:01 am

"That site really does re-create the Black Google Bar" It really does not. All it does is copy every link Google's ever had to this person's site. The CSS could theoretically be used in a userstyle, userscript or Fx add-on but not as-is, since G went out of their way to delete both the old HTML and the required whitespace for the navbar so it has to be re-inserted from scratch. Probably not the world's hardest project (any experienced JS coder could probably pull it off in a few minutes to an hour or so) but probably not the world's easiest for the rest of us.

Eric West

10/04/2013 03:08 pm

Evidently, the coders are google are not very bright. You don't take features away. Period. You either add to them or provide options to change them to something else. Software design principles 101. This is a common problem with Google, Inc because after they purchased Youtube, the same idiocy! They removed features, added stupid features. To make matters worse, the morons mandated that you take their tutorial on how to use the new feature. Apparently, you have to be completely full of yourself to work for Google.

Eric West

10/04/2013 03:09 pm

the new design is awful, unusable.

Eric West

10/04/2013 05:47 pm

Made my homepage. Thanks.

Andrea Glass

10/04/2013 09:03 pm

I've had the new navigation "box" for several days, and the only reason I don't like it is it now takes more clicks to get to what I want. I actually liked and preffered the black navigation bar that was along the top.

Craig Campbell

10/05/2013 02:55 pm

Much slower, more clicking. It stinks.


10/05/2013 06:33 pm

"I am personally looking forward to switching to the white bar. But many people do not like change..." I really take exception to the notion that people who complain simply "do not like change." There are legitimate reasons for the complaints, many of which have already been covered in these comments. Change for the worse is what people do not like, particularly when there was nothing wrong with the former version.

Dmkc Casey

10/05/2013 07:00 pm

too little too late probably but what the hey

David Gurney

10/06/2013 05:27 am

I don't see ANY navigation bar. Where are the links to the Images, News, and other pages? WTF?


10/06/2013 10:57 am

For me the new design comes up once I log into my google-account. Even after I sign out it stays. The only thing I've managed so far is clearing the history (I guess it's only the cache that is needed to clear) and stay signed out. And it's like this in both chrome and Firefox. I guess they will change this also so it doesn't work ever, luckily though some beautiful soul will make a plug-in soon.

James Griffing

10/06/2013 02:25 pm

I made a Userstyle to bring back the black google bar. here's the link.


10/06/2013 06:54 pm

I hate the white one, I want the black Navigation Bar back too, its very handy, fast and useful.

Ian Yue

10/06/2013 07:59 pm

Thanks, James -- this is wonderful. I'm sure I'm asking too much, but is there a way to have this Style compatible with the "+You Gbar" or "Big G Black Bar Sorter" extensions on Chrome? It would be great to be able to customize my black bar again, specifically with Google Scholar and Google Voice on there. :-/

James Griffing

10/06/2013 08:04 pm

I won't be able to make them work with those extensions, but I may be able to make a custom script for you with the order of links you'd like.

Ian Yue

10/06/2013 08:17 pm

Oh man, that would be AWESOME if it wouldn't take too much of your time. It would be great to have (in this order): +You, Search, Images, Maps, Mail, Drive, Calendar, Scholar, Translate, Contacts, Voice, YouTube, Video, Books, Shopping, Offers. I know Voice was never a link that was traditionally on there, so if there's no way to add it, that's totally ok. Let me know if this might be possible.


10/06/2013 08:20 pm

Can you send me an email? I'll work with you via email, if that's okay with you.


10/07/2013 06:28 am

Exactly. The number of clicks - which is indicative of the efficiency afforded by any web site/service - has gone up with this change. Absolutely stupid.


10/07/2013 07:26 am

Hi Eric. I was sitting here thinking how I could politely mention to Google that they have cost me time with the stupid new menu thing. But YOU ARE 100% RIGHT. Now everything takes 2 clicks, or possibly a click, a scroll and another click. How annoying that something that worked brilliantly and quickly has been "fixed" and now takes 3 times as long. GOOGLE - HIRE SOME NEW PROGRAMMERS.

Clicquot Oh

10/07/2013 03:28 pm

I love YOU .. THAT IS ALL ;-)

James Griffing

10/07/2013 03:36 pm

I love you, too! lol.


10/07/2013 03:47 pm

I just want my black navigation bar back D: It's not because I'm resistant to change (though I sort of am...) but because the black bar was both more convenient and easier.


10/08/2013 02:10 am

Wow did you just say google should hire new programmers - when this is purely about UI? Really - can you write an algorithm that does what google's bots and search do? Learn your terms - we are talking about marketing / brand departments which goes downline to UI developers. Programmers make code as they are told in a place like google. Real programmers are making the whole thing tick. Sorry I know and I hope slip of tongue but really.. its kind of horrible to say google get new programmers - guarantee they have alot that make us look like idiots!


10/08/2013 07:47 pm

Follow these instructions bro.


10/09/2013 11:11 am

Or you can use this browser extension

Jo Carm

10/09/2013 05:44 pm

to get to news I now I have to use two clicks as opposed to one. Fuck you Google for wasting my time.


10/10/2013 03:36 am

Exactly my thoughts.


10/10/2013 08:19 am

This comes close but needs some work. It needs to take the search value into account, otherwise might as well just have these links in the bookmark toolbar.

greyson borden

10/10/2013 09:58 pm

I'm not resistant to change, but I hate change just for the sake of change, unnecessary change, or downgrade changes. Getting rid of the black bar just seems unnecessary and slightly downgraded. What if car companies made it so new cars will only drive if you turn the car on, then turn it off, then it back on again. It would be a stupid and pointless change. Now I understand that they are getting rid of the black bar because of mobile users. I just don't like that the internet is starting to implement changes in favor of mobile users over PC users.

Black Bar Fan

10/11/2013 01:16 am

AGREED ! I want the black bar back. If Google wants to change something - make the black bar more functional. This new navigation system is stepping backwards......WAY TOO MUCH CLICKING and the buttons are big and lame. It's like for a grandma....who has all day to click, click, click, click, (yawn)...

Bring it Back

10/11/2013 01:18 am

Hey - here's an idea. Come up with an idea that people actually like. When an idea's good - people send their praise - NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT IT LIKE WHATS HAPPENING HERE !!!


10/12/2013 01:21 pm

The new Google bar sucks. It is the same as a bookmark folder. Not convenient at all. Want old black Google bars back.


10/12/2013 01:24 pm

I will try other search engines to see if they are any better.


10/13/2013 05:33 pm

Google don't care. Big companies have lost their sense of "Listen to the customer" or "What functions well over change". WHY mess with what works?? Who was saying it didn't work and why? How does this make any sense. I believe they just sit and laugh at people like a bully when they change things and we have a comment/complaint about it


10/14/2013 02:43 pm

I want the damn thing back. I HATE that new app switcher. Also Chrome by the way.. it is really fucked up after the last update. Stupid auto-update. Bah.


10/17/2013 12:11 pm

I am not a fan of the new Apps drop down to display commonly used icons. I would prefer to have what I want across the top of the page for a single click. Please add a setting to turn on the 'toolbar'


10/17/2013 07:35 pm

I totally agree. Great comment.


10/18/2013 02:37 pm

The new Google box you have to click first S-T-I-N-K-S. It simply adds another click and a need to hunt for the app, how can that be better? The other terrible move was the default setting of "instant results if your computer is fast enough". For most users this causes Google to generate a blank page whenever you use Go Back A Page, you have to reload the page to get your results back. I can only conclude they did this to harass people into getting a Google account to keep the default setting the way they'd like. Bring back the navigation bar and make "Always show instant results" the default setting Google!

Akho Linda

10/19/2013 10:25 am

You right man. confusing now.

give it back

10/20/2013 01:51 am

give back the black bar Google - don't keep sucking...


10/20/2013 03:10 am

I hate this. It's so much more complicated to find Google Drive and Calculator. I used to be able to just click and launch the app from my Gmail account and that was one of the things I liked about it. This is very extremely frustrating. At least add an option to turn on the old version?!

Daniel Le Bron

10/20/2013 08:21 pm

Just open it incognito mode. Doesn't work on other browsers privacy. Weird.


10/21/2013 11:44 am

The worst design google compare to other nowadays.. they have original but not functioning well


10/23/2013 10:34 am

Here is a very simple way to get the old black navigation bar back!


10/24/2013 07:22 pm

I wish there was a setting to get the utility nav bar back (the black bar). Please. I feel like usability has gone back to 1999 with the multiple clicks to get to what I want. My calendar, Drive, etc was one click away and now it's 2, and I have to actually think about what icon does what. It's incredibly frustrating. More so than not being able to truly pop-out my reply window. Didn't anyone designing email used to keep one email open while referencing an older one? I can't be the only one who did this all the time.

Eric West

10/26/2013 07:50 pm

Google competitors are reading these complaints. I predict google will be another has-been like AOL. Google just doesn't care what users have to say.


11/01/2013 11:10 pm

Wow this change just happened for me, and this is the worst product move I've ever seen Google make. Now it takes 2 clicks to navigate between apps, who the heck thought up this one?


11/02/2013 01:58 am

Thanks a million, works a treat.


11/03/2013 12:06 am

I hate those white boxes on the homepage that fill up with the latest website you've visited!! For those of us who don't want to know what website we last visited, this sucks!!!


11/03/2013 06:06 am

How can the author of this be for the new layout, it's terrible, or should I say old instead? The black bar was new awesome, and straightforward, I didn't even know where half the buttons had gone after the change. I am continuously frustrated by the new design. I hate extra clicks, and try as hard as possible to make my PC do everything easily and fluidly, and usually google helps with that, but not now. Now I'm just annoyed by them, and what's worse is you can get the old layout back with chrome. It's like some slimy plot to get people to switch to chrome.


11/03/2013 06:07 am

That shit adds up too.

David Gaian

11/03/2013 07:29 pm

THIS ( ) used to work great, but no longer seems to. *sigh*


11/03/2013 11:49 pm

the solution is here

Walter white

11/04/2013 12:17 am

I agree completely. It's not just the time but the distraction. When I'm working, I'm zoned in. I want clean links to get to quickly and seamlessly without playing the logo game with the launcher or trying to find it behind various windows I have open. Mobile is important which is why it should be an opt in only. Desktop is still where people work.


11/06/2013 03:36 pm

There is a Chrome Add on - Black Menu Bar


11/08/2013 11:23 am

Try this, it works for me. Note: This is for (Australia) Change to suit your region. Click on the link below and a new page will open with the black bar at the top. Copy the text in the address bar then: For Firefox go to: Tools/Options/HomePage and paste the text. Save the options. Next type about:config in the address bar and enter. Ignore the dragons and scroll down to: Browser.newtab.url, (the command should read "äbout.blank") right click, select modify and paste text again. Click home and all will be revealed. For Explorer go to: Tools/Internet Options and paste the text in the Home Page box. Go to Tabs/Settings/When a new tab is opened, open and set to: Your first home page Apply and save your changes and restart IE. You can also use this one for the same results:,or.r_qf.&bvm=pv.xjs.s.en_US.Je7qmbW6c9s.O&ech=1&psi=uFp8UqXVG8GfkAWK1oG4Bw.1383881017913.3&emsg=NCSR&noj=1&ei=uFp8UqXVG8GfkAWK1oG4Bw


11/15/2013 09:57 pm

If you want the black bar back, Google "Google Firefox" and click on the first link

Partido Me

11/21/2013 03:13 pm

Here's a solution that returns the old Google navigation bar:


11/21/2013 03:26 pm


rebecca bachorski

01/11/2014 01:30 pm

I will always like the way internet explorer/MSN page, bookmark etc works and is designed. Google is just a name and have to use Google Chrome for speed on my windows XP older computer. One day google will be history to me when I get a new computer!

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