It's been a few months since Google decided to remove the custom background image option from the search engine. Google said too few people used to justify the resources needed to support it.That may be true, but it probably had less to do with resources and more with being able to showcase its doodles or its promotions.
Luckily, there are ways of getting past this limitation. There are plenty of tools out there to add background images to the Google homepage.
If you know a bit of CSS, you can even create your own userstyle, install Stylish, and customize the page to your heart's content.
If you don't want to go to the trouble, there are ready-made solutions as well. A few months back, we showed you a couple of Chrome extensions that enabled you to customize the homepage.
In the meantime, one of them, Custom Google Background, has gotten some updates and improvements and now has quite a few customization options, a lot more than Google offered or would have ever allowed.
For a start, you can upload your own background image, paste a URL from the web or even search through 500px straight from the extension.
You can select multiple images and then have a random one picked every time you visit the site, if you can't decide which one you like the best.
There are also a few options to remove some of the clutter on the Google homepage, if you can call the Google homepage cluttered.
You can hide the logo, the buttons, even the footer or the promotions Google runs from time to time, like today's for its Find Your Path to Oz Chrome experiment. Granted, the experiment/game is quite spectacular.
One really nice option is the so-called "stealth mode" which replaces the regular search box with a nicer looking, transparent one.
Funnily enough, despite its name, the extension allows you make all of these tweaks even without setting a custom background.