Upgrade the bookmarks manager in Chrome with this extension

Replace the bookmark manager in Chrome with a much better version that lets you store notes.

The bookmarks manager built into Chrome is very basic and it does not have a lot of features. A more powerful bookmark manager with more features is available from Google as an extension.

There are some basic features in Chrome that enable you to store your favourite websites so you don’t have to remember or type URLs in the the address box. One is the star icon at the right side of the address box, which saves the current URL as a bookmark.

Save a bookmark in Chrome browser

The site and URL can be saved to the bookmarks bar or a folder. Click the folder to choose where to save it if the suggestion is not suitable. Press Shift+Ctrl+B to show or hide the bookmarks bar.

To view or edit all bookmarks, click the menu button (three dots) in the top right corner of Chrome and select Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager. It is OK, but not the best tool.

Get the Bookmark Manager extension

Bookmark Manager is a Chrome extension from Google that has been around for some time, but for some reason it has never been incorporated into Chrome by default. It is only available as an optional extra. Install it and it changes everything.

The star icon is moved out of the address box and now appears among the extension icons on the right. When it is clicked to bookmark a website, it is very different to the old bookmark manager.

Bookmark a website in Chrome with Bookmark Manager extension

What it does is grab the meta information from the page and it displays the featured image, title and description. This makes bookmarks more visually attractive and more descriptive than a simple title.

Click Add to folder and you can choose an existing folder or create a new one.

Choose a folder to store a Chrome bookmark

After years of bookmarking my bookmarks are a mess with folders like Site, 0, 1 and others. I should organise them better.

View your bookmarks

To see all of your bookmarks, click the button, View All Bookmarked Items, or go to the menu and select Bookmarks > Bookmark manager. The menu option has not changed, but the new bookmark manager is displayed instead of the old one.

Google Bookmark Manager extension for Chrome

Bookmarks are shown as tiles. New ones you add with the new Bookmark Manager extension have the featured image from the web page, but old bookmarks, the ones you created before installing the Bookmark Manager extension, are just shown as coloured tiles.

All items is the default view and the idea is that you use the search box at the top to find the bookmarks you need. Click a tile and the website opens in a new tab.

The sidebar lists the folders you create to organise bookmarks. It can handle subfolders of subfolders, but it really works best if there is just one level of folders. The old bookmarks manager was better with multiple levels of folders, but this one works best with a flatter structure.

The bookmark menu

Click the three dots in a bookmark tile and a menu appears. This enables the image to be removed, the text edited, the bookmark deleted and so on.

Bookmarks in Chrome Bookmark Manager

I couldn’t see a way to add images to old bookmarks apart from deleting them and bookmarking them again.

Save notes with bookmarks

When the mouse hovers over a bookmark, a tick icon appears in the top right corner. Click it and a panel opens on the right that enables the bookmark to be edited.

Edit a bookmark in Chrome browser

A larger version of the page’s featured image is displayed, with an option to remove it, and below is the title and note. The option to add notes to bookmarks is interesting, but what would you store in the note?

Where it is useful is when the search facility is used to find bookmarks. The note text is searched, so you could locate bookmarks by the contents of the Note box. If you placed keywords in there, such as tags and categories, it would make finding the bookmark easier.

Change to list view

Click the icon in the blue bar at the top right and the display toggles between tiled view and list view.

List view in Chrome Bookmark manager

You may prefer list view because it shows more bookmarks on the screen and there is more room for the titles, some of which are quite long.

Bookmarks can be dragged from the list and dropped into folders in the sidebar to move them.

Switch back to the old bookmark manager

The new Bookmark Manager is an extension and like other extensions, it can be disabled or even deleted if you don’t want it.

Go to the Menu > More tools > Extensions and clear the checkbox next to Bookmark Manager. This restores the old bookmark manager.


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