No matter if I use Google Chrome or any other Chromium based Browser like Microsoft Edge Preview, I never was a fan of their new tab pages showing a lot of stuff I do not need and can not entirely remove via configuration.
Yes, you can configure some things like background images directly on the new tab page and some advanced features in *://flags/ but for me it never felt like this is enough.
The worst example is Opera as it is also Chromium-based they could also allow you to overwrite the new tab or start page, but they choose to forbid you to do so. In their acceptance criteria for Opera Add-ons, they mention “Extensions cannot replace Opera’s default start page.” (https://dev.opera.com/extensions/acceptance-criteria/).
For the other Browsers, to get your very own new tab page with the content, you want to see, either you have to search for an existing extension which allows you to configure or redirect to your own URL / file like https://github.com/jimschubert/newtab-redirect or you write your own.
Now you might think, I do not have the time or skill set to write a Chromium extension, but let me show you it is quite simple.
The first thing you need to do is create a folder and add a small manifest (manifest.json), in which you define the name of your extension, description, version number, the path to your new tab HTML page and the manifest version.
As you see in the code above the file path to the new tab page is defined as index.html in the same folder. So now create this file and keep it empty for the moment.
At this point you can load the extension in your browser, to do so go to the extensions page (*://extensions/) and enable the developer mode.
You will see a few new buttons, one of them “Load unpacked” is what you need. Click on it and select your folder; this will load your extension and enable it.
If you open a new tab now, the Browser will for the first time tell you that an extension has changed the page and ask you whether you want to revert or keep the changes.
So from now on your empty HTML page gets loaded and you can fill it with any content you want, for example with some links or loading an RSS feed from your favorite site.
As a starting point, you can see my HTML and CSS code here without the content I am showing on my new tab page.
On the extensions page in the Browser, you can disable the developer mode again.
Of course, you could pack and publish your extension if you want to. For me having the extension on my machine was enough.