Since the update on May 28, 2020, Google Chrome has decided to do this annoying new thing where, on many sites:

  • When I click on a box that I can type in, it surrounds the text box in a black outline with a bit of white around the edge.
  • It's doing the same thing for drop-down menus as well, placing a box around any option I move my mouse over with the inside highlighted blue.
  • Checkboxes are also much bluer than they used the be.

How do I stop Chrome from doing this? Is there a setting in the flags that I need to disable or in the settings somewhere?

  • 1
    Do you have examples of these sites? And screenshots would help too. Browsers do add some formatting to focused UI elements but they've been doing that for ages...
    – Glorfindel
    May 28, 2020 at 9:46
  • 1
    As an aside, I think this is off-topic on here since this is not related to web apps at all, but can be migrated to Superuser for browser's feature.
    – Andrew T.
    May 29, 2020 at 18:08

3 Answers 3


This was added since Chrome 81 named "Updates to Form Controls and Focus" as an experiment and was applied by default since Chrome 83.

The relevant flag is chrome://flags/#form-controls-refresh (Web Platform Controls updated UI), setting to "Disabled" should at least revert some (if not all) design to the form control and focus.


  • I think they recently removed this flag: I cannot find it anymore. Can you please confirm?
    – Saturnix
    Sep 8, 2021 at 16:40

Under Settings/Accessibility there is an option turned on called Quick Highlight on Focused Object - turn this off and the focus highlighting should stop

  • This answer works perfectly fine!! May 21, 2021 at 9:03
  • This doesn't work anymore, I think. I had it disabled, but now it came back, even though the option is turned off.
    – Saturnix
    Sep 8, 2021 at 16:40

I created a minimalistic Google Chrome browser extension to disable the text highlights from search results (some people reported that the browser configuration flag doesn't work in some cases).

You can find it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/disable-google-search-tex/ompocnnmgiaoieoanemepjflbokldhom

The extension is open source software, if you're interested, you can see the code at https://github.com/everyonesdesign/disable-google-search-text-highlights

I hope you'll find it helpful.

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