I absolutely hate this behavior. Why does Chrome has to close the browser when I close the last tab? If I want to exit the browser I will click on the red X. If I want to exit a page I will click on the tab close button. It is as simple as that. Because of this annoying habit I have to keep a dummy tab open whenever I’m using Chrome. But then again, I often absent mindedly close the dummy tab.
A new Google Chrome extension cleverly named Last Tab Standing prevents the browser from closing by automatically launching a blank new tab when you close the last tab on the browser. To exit the browser you have to close the newly spawned tab or just click the X button as usual. The developer says he is currently working on an option that will make the browser not exit when closing the New Tab. Exiting Chrome will be limited to only the X button.
A common complaint with Google Chrome is that closing the only remaining tab will exit the browser. Some people prefer it this way; if you don't, you have your reasons. This extension automatically opens a new tab instead of allowing the browser to close normally. To exit the browser, simply close the new tab (or click the X button as usual).
There have been other attempts to do this intuitively, and I have to admit Google didn't make it easy. As far as I can tell there is only one complication with this workaround: if you only have one or two tabs open, you may see a flash of another tab when browsing to new pages or refreshing. At this point, my hands are tied until Google releases their own solution :)
After installation, you have to restart Chrome for the extension to have it’s effect - perhaps the first Chrome extension that requires a browser restart.