Saturday, February 11, 2017

Large Google Chrome Icon Fix

Since the recent November Windows 10 update, for some reason the start menu displayed a large Google Chrome icon. It drove me mad. I use Firefox as my main web browser, I have Google Chrome installed just in those rare occasions I need to view something with Flash, since I don’t have that installed and I rely on Google Chrome as my “Flash browser”.

At first I was sure Google would release a quick update to fix this issue, but it’s been a while now so I decided to look deeper into it.

Note:


I published this solution in December 2015 and the date of this note is May 2016, yet Google Chrome still has this issue. The fix below will have to be implemented every time there is an update to Google Chrome.

Many discussions are going around as to why Google hasn’t released a fix for this, one of which blames Windows 10 and how it handles x86 (Win32) software, they’re all kind of odd and arguable, until then, this is how to fix it.

Explanation:



Google Chrome uses Windows 10 feature to style the icon, or to be more exact, the tile. It will allow developers to do many things, including showing specific style titles for websites that you might have pinned using Google Chrome, in Windows 10 Taskbar or Start menu.

Neat idea, with awesome potential, however, in this case at least, it is what’s causing the problem. The styling method is simple for the main Google Chrome tile, it uses the VisualElements XML file to specify some attributes, such as background color, size and so on. Until they release a proper update for this, here is how to fix it.

Step One:



Open your Start Menu and right click on your pinned Google Chrome icon, then click on “More” to show the sub-menu and from there click on “Open File Location”. This will open the location of the shortcut that shows in the menu.

Step Two:



In the window that opened, right click on the shortcut icon and click on “Open File Location”, that will open the location of the original chrome.exe within the Program Files folder.

Step Three:


Now we reached the source, in that last window you just opened there should be a file named “chrome.VisualElementsManifest”. It is an XML file.

Rename that file and add “.old” at the end without the quotes. Making it either “chrome.VisualElementsManifest.old.xml” or “chrome.VisualElementsManifest.xml.old”. Either one is fine, the idea is that we rename the file so it doesn’t get recognized.


Better than removing it completely, that way we’ll always have the file on hand and whenever we want it back, we just remove the “.old” suffix that was added to the name.

Step Four:


Close all the windows you have opened now and repeat Step One, the step that opens up the window with the Google Chrome shortcut icon.
 
What we want to do here is trigger the start menu to apply the change, for that to happen we need to update the “Modified Date”. Simplest way to do it is right click on the icon, Cut, paste it on the Desktop, then Cut/Paste it back to exactly where it was in the window that was opened.


Result and Fix Explanation:


The process of this fix is very simple, we basically tricked Windows 10 into thinking there are no Visual Elements for the Google Chrome tile and it should use the default settings instead.

No system files need to be edited, just letting Windows 10 know that we don’t approve of that fashion statement, so to speak.


I am honestly not sure why Google decided to choose that as their style for the tile, I really hope it was a mistake and not an effort to dominate their browser on the start menu by making it look bigger. I really hope so.

What disturbs me though is that it’s been weeks and there were even a couple of updates, but no fix for this issue. I wonder why.

I have faith in Google though, I always do. Keep on doing what you do, almighty digital creature. We love you.

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