Bookmarks help make the web manageable – instead of sitting down to a blank browser window, you have an easy menu of your favorite websites right in front of you. Chrome has a number of features to help you sync, easily access, manage, sort, and tidy your bookmarks.
Some people manage just fine without bookmarks, but not most of us. If you use the Chrome browser — and bookmarks — we’ll help you make maximum use of bookmarks in Chrome. Bookmarks are deceptively simple, but there’s a lot you can do with them.
Sync Your Bookmarks
Chrome allows you to easily sync your bookmarks across all your devices. Just sign in with your Google account from the Settings screen. When sync is enabled, bookmarks you add or delete will be instantly added to or deleted from connected devices almost immediately. If they’re powered off, your bookmarks will be updated when they’re powered on and Chrome is opened.
You can optionally have Chrome encrypt your bookmarks and other synced data. Synced data can be encrypted with your Google account’s passphrase or a custom passphrase for extra security. You’ll need the passphrase to sync the data to your other devices.
Synced Chrome bookmarks can be accessed from the Chrome application on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. If you’re using an older version of Android (earlier than Android 4.0) and Chrome for Android doesn’t run on your device, use Chromemarks Lite to access your bookmarks on the go.
These bookmarks were once accessible in Google Docs on the web, but this feature was removed. You’ll need to sync with a Chrome application to view your bookmarks.
To view the data Chrome is syncing or clear your synced data (including bookmarks), visit the Chrome Sync page on Google’s website.
Create App Icons From Bookmarks
If you use the Chrome Web Store to install web apps, you may be annoyed to find that not every web application you use has a Chrome web app. You can create your own app icons in Chrome’s new tab page with a little work, but there’s an easier way.
Just drag and drop a bookmark from your bookmarks bar to the new tab page and Chrome will make an application-like icon for it. Unfortunately, the icon isn’t very pretty at the moment. If you want a pretty icon, you’ll need to use the more complicated method.
Quickly Access Bookmarks
You can use the Ctrl+Shift+B keyboard shortcut to quickly make your bookmarks bar visible wherever you are in Chrome. To hide it, press Ctrl+Shift+B again.
If you want easier access to a larger number of bookmarks on your bookmarks bar, right-click each bookmark, select Edit, and delete the bookmark’s name. All you’ll see is the website’s icon, known as a favicon. Unlike in Firefox, there’s no easy way to enable icon-only bookmarks – you just have to delete each bookmark’s name.
For a bookmarks menu that appears after you click an icon on your browser toolbar, try Neater Bookmarks, a Chrome extension we’ve covered in the directory. There are other similar extensions available in the Chrome Web Store, too.
Use the Bookmark Manager
Open the Bookmark Manager by selecting Bookmark Manager from Chrome’s menu or pressing Ctrl+Shift+O. This screen allows you to more easily browser, manage, and search your bookmarks. However, you can also drag and drop bookmarks on the bookmarks bar to manage them.
The Organize menu contains a lot of options you can use for managing your bookmarks. In addition to creating bookmarks, deleting them, and dragging and dropping them to rearrange them into folders, there’s an Undo Delete feature if you accidentally delete a bookmark or folder of bookmarks. You can also import bookmarks from an HTML file or export them to an HTML file – great for creating backups or moving bookmarks to and from other browsers.
For easier access to the Bookmark Manager page, you can use the Chrome Bookmarks Manager extension, which adds a button to your browser toolbar. When clicked, the button will open the Bookmark Manager.
You could also just create a bookmark – enter the address chrome://bookmarks into Chrome’s location bar to open the Bookmark Manager. This address can be bookmarked, so you can open your bookmarks with a bookmark.
Sort and Tidy Your Bookmarks
The Bookmark Manager contains a Reorder by title option in its Organize menu. If that isn’t enough help for you, you may want to check out the SuperSorter extension. With one click, it will automatically sort all your bookmarks and folders in alphabetical order. It also automatically deletes empty folders, removes duplicate bookmarks, and merges bookmark folders with the same name. If your bookmarks keep becoming messy, you can have SuperSorter run automatically every few minutes.
For more help tidying your bookmarks, read How To Manage 17 Years Of Bookmarks.
Do you know any other bookmark-related tips for Chrome? Leave a comment and share them!