Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Remove tab bar in iGoogle

Just today, Google changed the tab bar position of iGoogle Singapore version from top to the left. I love Google for their simplicity and neatness. But to have tabs on the left side is such a bad choice. What's worse is that this is forced upon the users, with no option to return them to the top.

I only use iGoogle on my personal computer, in Firefox, therefore I found a solution that works for me. It's the Firefox Add-on called "iGoogle Tab Remover" and it works like a charm! To make use of its full functionality, you have to learn its various options and set them according to your preferences. However, you have to note that this add-on does not have a formal "Options" dialog, and its options should be accessed from iGoogle.

  1. Install the add-on from here: iGoogle Tab Remover :: Add-ons for Firefox
  2. Once Firefox is restarted, browse to the iGoogle page.
    • Update: Ensure that iGoogle Tab Remover is enabled in the Tools menu of Firefox. You will find a menu item in the Tools menu which is either Enable or Disable iGoogle Tab Remover. If it is Enable iGoogle Tab Remover, click it to enable.
  3. Below the usual white bar with "Web  Images  News..." you will find a new bar with 'iGoogle Tabs' and a custom search box.
  4. Point to 'iGoogle Tabs' and you will get a drop-down menu. Point to 'Timedyn' and the menu will expand further.
  5. You can remove the custom search box by unchecking "Search Bar." I find it pointless to have a custom search box, as iGoogle already has one.
    • Update: David Rubin (the author of the add-on) told me that he included the custom search box as some users may want to resize the header (see step 6) to be so small, iGoogle's usual search bar will no longer be visible. This is particularly useful for "netbooks" where the screen size is extremely small.
  6. Next, you can click on Resize Header to reduce the size of the top header (area that is greyed when you click this option).
    1. This cool feature lets you remove unwanted features in iGoogle such as "Search (o) the web (o) pages from Singapore" and stuff below it.
    2. Click anywhere in the grey area to reduce the size of the header from bottom to that point.
    3. If you reduced too much, simply click Reset and start again.
    4. Once done, click Finished.
    5. Note that elements may still be partially visible even after hiding them. This is a bug, but it's OK with me.
  7. Finally, you can click 'Minimize Tabs' to remove the new bar completely. You will find a new arrow next to the 'more' link, which you can click to bring back the bar.
Tip: Disable Chat in iGoogle if you don't use it there. You can do so by going to My Account > iGoogle Settings > Hide Chat.


  1. "iGoogle tabs" ? i dont see it anywhere :(

  2. @Anonymous: Ensure you have enabled the iGoogle Tab Remover in the Tools menu of Firefox. Load your iGoogle home page, and you should find 'iGoogle Tabs' just below the top line that says "Web Images News Groups... (etc)". If you need help, contact me on the Messenger gadget on the left.

    @the kid: Thanks :)

  3. o sweet, i found it! i didnt understand that i had to enable the add on. should be enabled by default. thanks so much!!!!

  4. Hi, I am the author of the addon. I am glad that you guys find it useful.
    BTW I added the extra search bar so that if you make the header smaller than the google search box, that you could still search.

    Thanks for spreading the word.

  5. Just an update!

    I have just uploaded a beta version of the addon for Chrome here:



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