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Issue metadata

Status: WontFix
Owner: ----
Closed: Mar 2014
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Windows
Pri: 2
Type: Bug-Regression

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Issue 347016: Support user stylesheets

Reported by, Feb 26 2014

Issue description

UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/33.0.1750.117 Safari/537.36

Steps to reproduce the problem:
1. Browse local filesystem to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\User StyleSheets\Custom.css
2. Add/edit styles
3. Save
4. Launch Chrome
5. View content

What is the expected behavior?
Chrome applies user-defined styles to content

What went wrong?
Chrome ignores user-defined styles

Did this work before? Yes < 33.0.1750.117

Chrome version: 33.0.1750.117  Channel: beta
OS Version: 6.1 (Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2)
Flash Version: Shockwave Flash 12.0 r0

Google Chrome Ignores Open Web Standards and Does Not Address the Needs of People with Disabilities--An Informal Proof

1. Supporting user stylesheets is a level A success criterion of UAAG 2.0. [#1]

2. If Chrome is level A compliant with UAAG 2.0, Chrome complies with all applicable level A success criteria. [#2]

3. Chrome does not support user stylesheets. [#3]

4. Chrome is not level A compliant with UAAG 2.0. [1. + 2. + 3.]

5. Level A success criteria address needs where groups of people with disabilities are blocked from information or accomplishing a task. [#2]

6. Chrome does not address needs where groups of people with disabilities are blocked from information or accomplishing a task. [4. + 5.]

7. UAAG 2.0 is an open web standard. [#4]

8. Google Chrome ignores open web standards and does not address the needs of people with disabilities. [6. + 7.]


[#1] Guideline 1.7 - Enable configuration of user stylesheets,

[#2] Implementing UAAG 2.0,
A guide to understanding and implementing User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 2.0,


[#4] Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI),


Marked as a regression because: #2393

There's no excuse for not supporting user stylesheets. This bug tracker is brimming with complaints from a variety of users and use cases--all of which can easily be satisfied or resolved with a simple feature.

Not only does Chrome *not* achieve basic compliance with the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines, but it's taking deliberate steps in the opposite direction. And for what? To shave a few microseconds off of some function no one cares about?

I sincerely hope the Chromium devs reconsider their priorities.

Comment 1 by, Feb 26 2014

I have observed same behavior on Win 8.1 + Chrome Version 33.0.1750.117 m.
Totally agree with Darren. 
If user stylesheets dir will not work as previous and there is a new way - wouldn't be better to make a tutorial and show it?

Comment 2 by, Mar 3 2014


Comment 3 by, Mar 5 2014

Status: WontFix
We've removed support for user stylesheets from Chrome. The feature had many problems. It was used by a very small percentage of our users, was not very user-friendly (e.g. you need a high level of technical ability to use it) and was slowing down our ability to make improvements in other parts of the product.

Chrome extensions allow you to inject CSS stylesheets into pages, so it would be possible for someone to create a Chrome extension that replicates this functionality in a more user-friendly way.

Comment 4 by, Mar 5 2014

 Issue 346327  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 5 by, Mar 5 2014

WHY would you suddenly discontinue stylesheets?!?!
You want to force users to create an extension for basic enhancements to the look and feel of their browser??
I just wanted a one line stylesheet to highlight links so my browser is a lot easier to use!

A:visited { color: orange ! important } 

Without this my gmail folders are all white and the ones I use are slightly brighter white, my google results are blue and the visited ones are purple and these colors are very similar.  Bring back my orange!

Comment 6 by, Mar 5 2014

RE: Only a small percentage of users were using it

That is because only a small percentage of the general population has disabilities that require user stylesheets to make the Web usable. By your logic, we should also eliminate wheelchair access points from public facilities.

RE: The feature had many problems and was not very user-friendly

So because Chrome's developers did a poor job of implementing the feature to begin with, then that's justification for killing it? Seems to me the answer there would be to fix the problems and improve the usability.

RE: You need a high level of technical ability to use it

This is subjective and I don't see why this would matter anyway. Also, I fail to understand how creating/installing and configuring a Chrome extension is a less-technical solution. Both would require a familiarity with CSS.

Bottom line:

You can spin it however you'd like, but the truth remains that Chrome has deliberately eliminated a basic accessibility feature, disregarded open Web standards, and ignored the needs of users with disabilities.

Comment 7 by, Mar 5 2014

I second everything that Darren S stated.  There is some other motivation here that Chrome leads are not divulging.

Comment 8 by Deleted ...@, Mar 5 2014

Bummer..... I'll miss this ability.

Comment 9 by, Mar 5 2014

A quote from the Web Accessibility Initiative home page:

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect."

-- Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

Comment 10 by Deleted ...@, Mar 6 2014

"People were using this feature to block ads and sponsored search results, so we removed it"

Comment 11 by, Mar 6 2014

For those using user stylesheets to change the appearance of pages outside of extensions and dev tools, you can use Stylish:

Unfortunately, as far as I know this ( is no longer possible. Please correct me if I'm wrong and there is another way to alter these colors. The bright white background of source views hurts my eyes.

Comment 12 by, Mar 6 2014

Stylish?  When I read here the Chrome team is not putting their stylesheet function back, I just searched and installed the first free extension, Stylebot.

Comment 13 by, Mar 6 2014

Either should be fine; I hadn't heard of Stylebot before today. I've been using Stylish and thought I'd link it in case it helped anyone out. :)

The problem for me is that, as far as I know, extensions are unable to access/modify Chrome's internal pages such as view-source:some_url_here. If there is an alternative, I'd love to know about it!

Comment 14 by Deleted ...@, Mar 6 2014

Perhaps the feature is in fact far too niche, or too highly technical, to continue supporting it as the dev in comment #3 stated; or perhaps there's ulterior motives going on as comment #7 and #10 allude to. Either way, the thing that doesn't make sense to me is, if it had 'many problems', but only a small percentage of people used it... what harm would have come from retaining the feature? So, you'd get a random bug submit here and there regarding the user css feature... seems pretty easy to just keep marking them "WontFix" or letting them sit unfixed at a low priority.

Anyway, I've now switched to Maxthon, and with the addition of the Stylish extension mentioned in comment #11 as well as custom-defined rules in Maxthon's AdHunter, I can edit and apply my own CSS on a whim, and completely hassle-free, to any page I wish; no messing about with a feature at risk of removal simply because too few people use it.

Comment 15 by, Mar 6 2014

It is pretty annoying that they just put in a change with no notice I'm aware of that just made it stop working.
It's not a big deal if it means copying your custom css file into an extension as it appears there are already free extensions that appear to work the same.
It would not have made sense if adding custom css meant writing your own extension.  Offhand I'm not even sure how to do that and it sounds more technical than writing the css files.
It does make sense that they moved it into extensions if it was holding up other updates or just that the extensions add limitations as someone mentioned about an ability to block ads.  I know there are things extensions are not allowed to do.
Installing the extension did say it's going to give the extension access to certain things I assume are not going to be a problem.

Comment 16 by, Mar 6 2014

The extensions do not work exactly the same. You can't use them to apply your css to dev tools or the extensions themselves. If you press ctrl+u to view source, or ctrl+j and switch to the Sources tab (not sure what the shortcut is to go directly to that tab), you still get the default black text on a white background. :(

Comment 17 by, Mar 7 2014

Styling dev tools can be done directly now. See

I was not suggesting that people should need to write an extension for this, but rather should be able to use an existing extension from the Chrome Web Store, as some other commenters have mentioned.

The reason for removing this was simply that it added complexity to the code and was slowing us down from making the product better for all our users. If the feature had high enough usage, we would not have been able to remove it. There's no ulterior motive.

With alternatives like extensions that provide very similar functionality, I don't think this feature is needed for accessibility.

Comment 18 by, Mar 7 2014

Thank you! :) Nothing relating to that came up under any of my search terms.

Comment 19 by, Mar 24 2014

By removing support for user level of style sheets in the cascade you are violating CSS 2.1 specifications as well. [1]

And no, extensions injecting `style` elements into page's DOM are *not* a valid replacement, because rules in these injected styles shares the same level of specificity with author styles.


Comment 20 by, Mar 24 2014

Rebuttals to Comment #17:

Styling dev tools is possible, however, styling "view-source:" URLs is still not possible, and there's no extension for this.

There's no reliable system for measuring the usage of this feature, so the claim that sufficient usage would have made it un-removable is false. Additionally, since the implementation wasn't user-friendly, low adoption rates would be a reflection of this--not a reflection of the demand for user style sheets.

In summary, Chrome extensions cannot replace the functionality of user style sheets, and the assertion that user style sheets had insufficient usage cannot be supported.

Comment 21 by, Mar 27 2014

Time to abandon Chrome once and for all. It’s no longer possible to ignore its head-long slide into (what’s worse than mediocrity?)

I’m sick and tired of trying to help fix and improve it but getting ignored. I’m done. There are plenty of other browsers and Chrome is no longer better than them.

Bad bye.

Comment 22 by Deleted ...@, Apr 3 2014

I'm Colorblind and hense I need to change the visited color to something other than purple. Therefore I'm moving to another web browser because I don't want to have to download a 3rd party extension to change colors. Bad design Google. Goodbye Chrome.

Comment 23 by, Apr 3 2014

I hate the purple, it looks too similar to the original blue.
Other links/visited show up grey and white, also hard to tell apart.
I added the style to change all visited links to orange.
It is annoying that it requires an extension but it does work fine with the first extension I found, Stylebot.

Comment 24 by, Apr 5 2014

FYI, I've filed  issue 360284  for exposing a proper setting for changing the visited link color.

Comment 25 by, Apr 5 2014

Google clearly has no employees educated in accessibility/usability/UI/UX design.

As for opening further issues; it is pointless. You cannot open a separate issue for each and every thing that user-stylesheets were used to fix (incidentally, every other browser has supported changing *at least* the link colors forever).

It's just not worth the effort to keep fighting to make Chrome better. They have repeatedly made themselves clear that they have no interest in listening to user feedback and will rather, fascistically *tell* us what to want, like, and how to work.

Chrome started out great, but it is now a lost cause. Don't bother using it or trying to make it better.

Comment 26 by, Apr 12 2014

If custom stylesheets are removed, an *equivalent* alternative should have been implemented. 

People did not use chrome extensions because they didn't address the problem.

Black on white is an accessibility issue for many users and pages such as the source code are not covered by current solutions.

I think we are all open to new features and improvements as long as they continue to address the problems the previous features solved. 

This is nothing less than a regression. 

Please reconsider and if that's not possible, please let us know how we can fix this (plugins? modifying install files directly?)

Will wait for a reply but until then consider reverting to Chrome 32 until this is sorted out. 

Thank you

Comment 27 by, May 13 2014

"The reason for removing this was simply that it added complexity to the code and was slowing us down from making the product better for all our users."

What, specifically, was the continued existence of this code preventing/slowing? Please give an example.

Comment 28 by Deleted ...@, Jun 2 2014

Bottom Line:
    userContent.css - Can block Advertisements
    Google Chrome Team - Knows this
    Google Chrome Management - Are Sell-outs

Make no mistake about it, this is about Google making more money.

Don't be fooled by the vacuous fluff submitted as "noble" excuses of
being too complex and arduous to maintain. Any fresheman developer can
see that this is a load of BS (bad softwaring).
It's certainly obvious the lackey they put up to explain this knows little
about the software development cycle.

Imagine the money and time lossed at throwing this feature away.
Another example of managment incompetence.

What they don't realize, due to their arrogance at the money trough, is that the  Sheeple user community is NOT the ones who championed and promoted the use of Google products. WE the developers and power users cared enough to guide the development of these products. 

Now that we've done the dirty work for them, the bean counters and corporate pirates are taking over to claim theirs. GOOG's at 560, AAPL's at 630. Damn!

What's sad is that we were fooled again in to thinking that we could be part
of something independent and free of corporate influence.
We need to learn that the best software is truly free. 
Not free FOR us, but free FROM profit.

Comment 29 by, Nov 13 2014

This makes it impossible to prevent the white flash that occurs in opening a new tab when using a dark theme for accessibility reasons.

Poor show :(

Comment 30 by, Feb 5 2015

Thanks for the thread... I woke up one day and found that chrome had updated itself to a new version which didn't allow me to customize a user stylesheet. This saved me a few hours of fruitless troubleshooting. Dang, I had really felt empowered when I did my first line of custom css just a few months ago:

a:visited{color:silver !important;}

it really helped fade away links which I had visited by coloring it silver.

Had thought Google is all for such experiences in learning, empowerment and discovery...

Comment 31 by, Feb 7 2015

> Had thought Google is all for such experiences in learning, empowerment and discovery...

Sorry rennie, that is not the case. Google is only publicly about that stuff, but secretly about domination and control. They actively ignore user feedback and instead just tell us what to want, need, and like.

This is just one in a long list of things that Google has done to completely destroy Chrome and make it useless. Custom user stylesheets had many, many useful, and sometimes even necessary uses, and getting rid of them has rendered Chrome less useful for many people, and completely useless for lots.

Chalk this up as yet another reason to abandon Chrome (and all Google products).

Comment 32 by, May 22 2015

i'm not happy about this. Custom.css is such an easy, simple way to share styles across websites and browsers.

theme extensions mostly apply styles to specific urls, but custom.css is GLOBAL. Url-specific themers are NOT A REPLACEMENT for global css. 

other browsers still have this feature.

i only add one or two simple styles, the filesize of my custom css is tiny. now i am forced to use clunky extension front ends, with fat install footprints. really sucks. 

hate this!

Comment 33 by, May 23 2015

There are a *lot* of practical and beneficial uses for user stylesheets, but Google doesn’t know/understand/care about any of them.

It is likely that the reason they dropped support for them is to prevent users from using user stylesheets to hide ads in web pages because they make their money from ads.

Unfortunately not only are they also preventing users from using them for all of the other purposes (e.g., accessibility), but they are also not accomplishing anything because there are so many other ways to block ads.

Users should not have to install extensions to get the same (or less) functionality. Why should we have to spawn yet another process with CPU and memory overhead just to get a wonky version of what was working perfectly before?

Congratulations Google, yet another epic fail. ◔_◔

Everybody switch to Firefox, Bing/Maps, and Samsung to teach Google a lesson that what users want matters.

Comment 34 by Deleted ...@, Jun 29 2015

On Google recommending we use third party extensions to do this instead:

1) The third party extensions have easy to use and non-technical UIs, encourage removing ads, and encourage sharing. This makes it easier for the mainstream user to block ads, not harder.

2) The third party company will have complete access to every web page that you visit. This makes the Chrome platform less secure.

Comment 35 by, Jun 29 2015

There is no extension as easy to use as the user stylesheet.

Most style extensions add bloat. And are not global (they are per domain or page. 

If a user knows how to edit CSS, they are not a "mainstream" user. 

Please name one extension which allows to edit global CSS, without bloat. I cannot find even one.

Comment 36 by, Jul 1 2015

If by bloat you mean CPU and memory overhead in addition to disk-space, then yes, extensions add bloat. Every single extension that you have installed adds at least 1 new process, sucks up at least 5-10MB extra memory, and uses at least 0.5-1% extra CPU cycles. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider just how many extensions (easily 10-100) are required to make Chrome functional again, it quickly adds up—and bogs the system down and makes it unusable. No wonder Chrome is such a sluggish pile of garbage now.

I have almost completely forgotten the reason I switched to it in the first place back in 2008. After sticking with IE6 for so long, I switched to Chrome (0.2) because it was so incredibly snappy, yet as much, if not more functional. That reason is now a distant memory, so there is literally NO reason to continue using Chrome. The only reason I avoided Firefox was because it always got sluggish after adding a few extensions. It has come a long way, and certainly cannot be any worse than Chrome now, so that is now the goto browser, or its Palemoon derivative, or even back to IE—all of which still support user stylesheets (in fact, Chrome is the ONLY browser not to).

Comment 37 by Deleted ...@, Jul 12 2015

And I guess as the saying goes they are looking at what percentage of their user base are making this complain.

Comment 38 by, Jul 18 2015

@johnben, it doesn't matter how many people complain, Google does what it wants regardless and expects users to fall in line and shut the hell up. Look at the negative feedback that YouTube and the new Google maps has gotten and yet, Google has completely ignored it all.

Google thinks it is so omnipotent and omniscient that it has the authority and right to tell users what to want, need, and like.

Comment 39 by Deleted ...@, Aug 9 2015

Anyone have a solution for preventing the white flash when using a dark theme?  Removing custom.css is going to drive me to another browser (just installed one)...

Comment 40 by, Aug 10 2015

rcawston: You're talking in the developer tools? If so, please file a new bug (CC me) and I'll make sure the right people pay attention to it. That just sounds like a bug in the dev tools theming.

Comment 41 by, Aug 21 2015

I have to agree with so many above, particularly the statement below, which I have copied again because it's important. Time after time I have seen features in Android be removed for more "button friendly" usage without re-adding important features that were used by techies. Google apparently thinks that the way to go is to follow Apple. Then when something breaks or something doesn't work the way you want it to, power users have no recourse because Google has removed the ability for us to customize our experience. It's maddening, but I'm sure it's all about the money.


"What they don't realize, due to their arrogance at the money trough, is that the Sheeple user community is NOT the ones who championed and promoted the use of Google products. WE the developers and power users cared enough to guide the development of these products. 

Now that we've done the dirty work for them, the bean counters and corporate pirates are taking over to claim theirs. GOOG's at 560, AAPL's at 630. Damn!

What's sad is that we were fooled again in to thinking that we could be part
of something independent and free of corporate influence.
We need to learn that the best software is truly free. 
Not free FOR us, but free FROM profit.

Comment 42 by, Aug 22 2015

This was a pretty big deal-breaker for a lot of people (it would have been for more if more people understood just how useful and/or necessary user stylesheets are).

Now that they have dropped support for NPAPI plugins (read most plugins), hopefully it will be the straw that causes people to finally escape Google’s grasp and teach them a damn lesson.

Comment 43 by Deleted ...@, Sep 6 2015

No, I didn't mean in developer tools.  If you browse some dark/black background themed website, or use an extension such as Deluminate to invert pages, before every page loads you see a blinding flash of white before the background is applied.  It used to be possible to prevent this "white flash" by using a user style-sheet to force a dark background.

Comment 44 Deleted

Comment 45 by, Sep 7 2015

@rcaws, Re: blinding-flash, that is a well-known issue in Chrome and has been reported numerous times. I am disappointed that a dev did not know what you meant and showed how inept the devs really are with this. :-|

I wish other browsers that are based on Chromium would/could only adopt the good parts instead of simply adding on top of the base which is already corrupt and rendered useless. I guess they have to fork and rapidly diverge a lot.

Comment 46 by Deleted ...@, Oct 13 2015

would also love to see this added back to Chrome... going back to Firefox as my main browser since it still supports this easily and without "issues" - userContent.css

Comment 47 by, Sep 16 2016

Refreshing information from current W3C Candidate Recommendation for CSS, relevant passages from

> § 6. Cascading ¶ Origin and Importance
> (…) The origin of a declaration is based on where it comes from and its importance is whether or not it is declared !important (see below). The precedence of the various origins is, in descending order: (…)

(Abbreviated and emphasized:) Declaration origins: Transition d. > Important user agent d. > *Important user d.* > Important override d. >
Important author d. > Animation d. > Normal override d. > Normal author d. > *Normal user d.* > Normal user agent

> § 6.1. Cascading Origins
> (…) The user may be able to specify style information for a particular document. For example, the user may specify a file that contains a style sheet or the user agent may provide an interface that generates a user style sheet (or behaves as if it did). (…)

> § Conformance classes - CSS style sheet

Links current recommendation which states that

> § 3.2 UA Conformance
> (…) UAs must allow users to specify a file that contains the user style sheet. UAs that run on devices without any means of writing or specifying files are exempted from this requirement. Additionally, UAs may offer other means to specify user preferences, for example, through a GUI. (…)

Comment 48 by, Sep 26 2017

For those who are still interested in this one - this is being worked on
at  issue 632009 .

Comment 49 by, May 14 2018

So now that user stylesheets got removed, how do I shut off a huge red blinking bold (and off course, irrelevant) ALERT box that a moron site admin put on a bug tracker that I heavily use daily?

What was so bad with Custom.css again?

You're telling me I need to download (and run!) multiple megabytes of suspicious junk, instead of adding a single line to usercss?..

I don't see from  issue 632009  where's the new file location where I'm to put my CSS.

I don't see why the team (and ojan@ specifically) are so bold at violating CSS UA conformance requirements.

Further, I systematically don't accept "too few users" arguments. Humans aren't sheep; disregarding those tiny percentages only increases the suffering that developers' poor decisions inflict.

Comment 50 by, May 15 2018

We recommend using Chrome Extensions to apply custom style to pages. We have since added a cssOrigin property to extension inserted scripts that gives the same user styles cascade order.

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