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  • 3 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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Hi, Almost daily now, my Google Search Home Page suddenly changes appearance and a black bar appears at the top (screenshot attached). When it is like this, the search results also appear differently (2nd screenshot attached), with search results appearing in separate boxes. It stays like this for some hours and then, reverts back to normal. I never know why it changes, as I've never found out how to change it back myself. Can someone tell me why this is happening and how I can stop it. Any help much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Attached screenshots

All Replies (3)

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Google has a reputation for performing user interface experiments on its users. Typically this is more of an issue for logged-in users, but it can affect logged-out users from time to time as well.

If you see it again, try clearing cache and deleting Google cookies to see whether that removes you from the test group. Usually it does, but not always.

(1) Clear Firefox's Cache

See: How to clear the Firefox cache

If you have a large hard drive, this might take a few minutes.

(2) Remove the site's cookies (save any pending work first). While viewing a page on the site, click the lock icon at the left end of the address bar. After a moment, a "Clear Cookies and Site Data" button should appear at the bottom. Go ahead and click that.

In the dialog that opens, you will see one or more matches to the current address so you can remove the site's cookies individually without affecting other sites.

Then try searching again. Does that help?

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Thanks for the reply. It has magically reverted back to normal now, before I had a chance to try your suggestions, but if it happens again, I will try what you say. Thanks for the help.

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I think I remember having seen this issues reported a few years ago.

I see a button in the first screenshot that might indicate you visited a local Google site that still has this black background for the toolbar.