Google recently changed up its Chrome browser by turning the bookmark button into a hybrid option for saving pages to a reading list or just adding them to your bookmarks.
Unsurprisingly, some people didn’t like the change, mostly because it turned saving a bookmark into a slightly longer process. However, it looks like Google may be working to separate the reading list and bookmarks into their own respective buttons. Reddit user ‘u/Leopeva64-2‘ (via Android Police) spotted a flag for enabling the change in Chrome Canary, an early build of upcoming Chrome updates available for testing.
As a quick refresher, a Chrome flag is a semi-hidden setting often used to turn on experimental features or otherwise customize the browser. Users can find them by typing “chrome://flags” into the address bar in Chrome. However, unless you know what a flag does, it’s probably best not to change it since flags can break things.
However, this time around, the flag isn’t even in the ‘chrome://flags’ menu yet. Google’s Chrome development tool, Chromium Gerrit, included a recent post detailing plans to add the flag. Circling back to the Reddit user, ‘u/Leopeva64-2’ managed to enable the flag using the command line.
Currently, the flag reverts the bookmark button to its previous form, sans reading list. While that may be sufficient for some users, others may find it lacking. The main issue with the flag in its current form is that it doesn’t add another way for users to add something to their reading list.
So, anyone who wants to use the reading list feature but also wants to separate it from the bookmarks button will need to keep the bookmarks bar open all the time to access and add to the reading list. For those who keep the bookmark open, that shouldn’t be a huge problem. People like me who prefer to hide the bookmark bar everywhere but the new tab page (where I actually use it) probably won’t like the flag. Hopefully, Google tweaks the flag more before it arrives.
Finally, for those using Chrome’s stable channel who don’t want to wait for this flag to make its way to you, there is another option for getting rid of the reading list. Heading to ‘chrome://flags/#read-later’ and selecting ‘disable’ should remove the reading list from Chrome and restore the old bookmark functionality.
That won’t help anyone who wants to use the reading list, but judging by the sentiments I’ve seen online, people don’t want to anyway.