How to restore Google Chrome's missing buttons in Windows 8

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Now that I'm running Windows 8 for at least part of my workday (much to my chagrin), I'm doing my best to make it hospitable. And for me, the first step is installing Google Chrome, my preferred Web browser.

So I dropped into Desktop, fired up Internet Explorer, downloaded and installed Chrome, and set it as my default browser.

Then I ran it, signed into my Google account, and smiled as my synced bookmarks appeared like magic. This is how the world should work.

But, wait, what's this? Something's missing. Three somethings, in fact. When I went to minimize Chrome, I discovered that the Minimize button was gone. And so were the Maximize and Close buttons. That whole area in the upper-right corner of the browser? Empty!

What. In. The. World.

I'm going to forgo my usual heavy sighing, eye rolling, and Windows 8 griping and just tell you how to fix this:

Click the Menu button (the one at the far right of the address bar, represented by three horizontal lines for some reason), and then click Relaunch Chrome on the desktop.

Yep, that's all there is to it. By default, when Chrome detects that it's being installed in Windows 8, it becomes an "app" by eliminating the usual ways to minimize or close itself.

I'm trying to think what value this might offer anyone, but for the moment I'm coming up empty. No doubt some Windows 8 fan will explain it to me in the comments. Something about a unified UI experience, perhaps?

In the meantime, now you can get back to using Chrome the way it was meant to be used: as a program, not an app.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community ForumsSign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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