How to Use Google Chrome’s New Bookmark Manager Extension (Formerly Google Stars)

Google recently released Bookmark Manager, known before as Google Stars. It takes the traditional way of managing bookmarks and throws it on its head. Instead of treating bookmarks as items in a file hierarchy for users to manually navigate through, the new Chrome Bookmark Manager treats each page as a thumbnail and arranges them by tags. Here’s how you can make your way around the interface.

Before we get started, you need to download the new Bookmark Manager extension for Google Chrome.

If you haven’t done so already, the first thing you’re going to want to do is add a bookmark. Fortunately, the process for doing so should feel pretty familiar for anyone already adjusted to Chrome. You still head up to the navigation bar and click on the star icon in the far right.

Doing so will bring out a pop-up that shows your thumbnail and gives you the option to rename the site, alter its description, tweak the URL, or place it in a folder. At the bottom there’s a button that lets you open up the Bookmark Manager page with your new item added to the top of the list.

ChromeBookmarkManager-Add

Once on the Bookmark Manager page, you can also create bookmarks by tapping on the button at the top of the sidebar. But more on that later. Let’s dive in to see how things look.

You can still open the Bookmark Manager the same way as before, by going to “Menu -> Bookmarks -> Bookmark Manager”.

Once there, the page looks strikingly different. The websites you’ve saved are arranged into cards, with each having its own large thumbnails. Clicking on any of these cards will shoot you out to the relevant page.

ChromeBookmarkManager-Page

Initially, all of your websites are listed on a single page. There are multiple ways to get to the content that you want. You can scroll, but that’s the slow way to go about things and easy to overlook what you’re looking for.

The quickest approach would be to search for what you want.

Google’s search bar is present at the top of the page, right where you would expect it. When you type in a word, Bookmark Manager will pull up all of the sites you’ve saved with the relevant characters located in the title or description.

ChromeBookmarkManager-Search

If you type in the name of a folder, the results will also list every page it contains. So let’s move on to dealing with folders.

Your folders are listed along the left side of the Bookmark Manager page. You can create a new one at any time by hitting the “New” button at the top of the sidebar, the same one you can use to save bookmarks.

ChromeBookmarkManager-New

When you click on any folder in the sidebar, it will fill the page with its contents. If your data isn’t encrypted, you can click on the “Share this folder” button in the top right to spread your taste in websites to others.

ChromeBookmarkManager-Folder

You can move bookmarks into folders by clicking on the checkmark that appears in the upper-right corner of each card. A banner will drop down from the top asking you where you would like to send the currently selected item(s). You can also delete bookmarks from here.

ChromeBookmarksManager-Select

There you have it. Now you’re prepared to handle Chrome’s new approach to bookmarks. While it may look and feel different, the core fundamentals are still in place. Your webpages are where they always were, as are the folders they were stored in.

So how do you feel about the changes? Let us know in the comments below!

19 comments

  1. It’s just been imposed on me. I didn’t download any extension. I think the thumbnails/cards are horrible. They take up too much space and they are ineffiicient. Google could’ve made a lot of changes to the bookmark manager that would’ve made it better, this isn’t one. They’ve exchanged efficiency for eye candy. This is not a good way to manage bookmarks for those who work with tons of bookmarks. Where previously I could easily work with my folders and bookmarks, now it is a major pain.

    Where do these tech companies get off constantly wasting our time with their inefficient changes. The thumbnails are a headache to look at. If I’d wanted a bookmark manager like that, there are plenty of extensions that did that already.

    While they FINALLY managed to alphabetize folders (something that should’ve been there all along) they have simply dropped the ball and keep dropping the ball on making their services efficient and completely user friendly. I’ve practically left gmail completely as a daily email service because they could manage to allow sorting by everything BUT sender-something that should’ve always been sortable.

    Maybe Google shouldn’t be giving their employees such a cushy place to work. It might let them know what real people out here are facing timewise and facing in trying to keep their lives organized and hassle free.

    • Totally agree with all your comments. The new format is definitely inefficient for those working with numerous bookmarks and folders. Eye candy be gone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I did not install the new bookmark system. So, here I am in the middle of a project, and I have to stop to learn a new system. While this may seem very intuitive to the designers, it’s not to me. I am really upset by this unrequested change interrupting me at a very busy time.

  3. The new bookmark system is AWFUL!!!! what’s wrong with simple, the way it was. Who needs all the pictures, etc. I wasn’t even offered a choice; it just happened. HATE IT!!!!

  4. ??WHO?? came up with this “brilliant” idea???? This is just about the worst thing ever!! I do a lot of cooking and I had all my recipes in folders, such as, CHICKEN, PASTA, SOUP, SALAD, etc….it was so very EASY! In other words, I HATE THE NEW BOOKMARK!!!!!

    Shouldn’t I be able to use MY computer in the way it works best for me? This is the second change that was made, the other was the email format, that is not at all welcome. Yes, I realize that was gmail, but nonetheless, a change that was made for me and not by me.

  5. So far, the major advantage is that it seems to search through all my bookmarks, old and new.

    The major disadvantage is that some of my old bookmarks do not link to the specific article but to the current front page of the site.

    Thank goodness I seem to be able to get to my old bookmarks by clicking on the little >> to the left of “Other bookmarks” — if that disappears, years of saving paper by depending on web links will be a lost bet.

  6. Chrome’s new bookmark system doesn’t make any sense. There appears to be a total disconnect with everyday computer users.

  7. Wow, you went to all this trouble to totally screw up a very good working system and change to icons, plus much more difficult to use.

  8. Hey Google – How can you impose an interface this bad on people without even giving them a quck, easy option to turn the thing off? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know about the Flags workaround, and I’ve used it to get back to the old bookmarks manager. But that’s not my point, Google. Apart from how deeply appalling, hopelessly bloated and clumsy and pointlessly complicated the new Bookarks Interface is to use, it’s also SO INCREDIBLY ARROGANT of you to just thrust it at the user without giving users a quick, easy way WITHIN THE NEW INTERFACE to turn the thing God-awful thing off!! Is this where Google is headed? Making decisions for the user about what they can and can’t use? Disgusting on every level. The old bookmarks manager is crisp, simple and highly efficient. The best browser bookmarks manager, by far. The old one is perfect how it is!! It ain’t broke, Google, and with this new piece of obese, useless crap, you sure didn’t fix it. Please keep the old bookmarks manager available, or I’m changing browsers.

  9. This new bookmark thingy is 100% awful. At least the old system was intuitive – which is more than can be said about something that needs 6 pages of instructions.
    Please would Keith tell me how to use what he calls the “Flags workaround” to get back to the old bookmarks manager. I can’t wait to do it.

  10. I copied this into the url window: chrome://flags/#enable-instant-extended-api

    I turned off the “Enable Enhanced Bookmarks Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android”
    Provides an off switch for enhanced bookmarks experiment
    By clicking the drop-down menu and selecting the ‘Disable’ option.

    I had to scroll 2/3rd of the way down to find it.

    Click the ‘Relaunch Chrome’ button that appears towards the bottom of the window.

    DONE!

    Why didn’t Google give me that option???

    Just now I went back there and found this: Enable the new bookmark app system. Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
    Enables the new system for creating bookmark apps. #disable-new-bookmark-apps

    Maybe clicking that link would work?

    Ben

    • Yes, that works. I finally did it tonight. I tried to use it for a while but the search function is beyond horrible. Can’t believe it’s a Google product. I’m looking right at the bookmark and typing in words that are part of the bookmark and it keeps saying no result. So I disabled the new bookmarks manager. The old bookmarks launched faster AND the search was both faster and better. If the new one had a better search function, I would have continued with it. With such a terrible search it was beyond useless. It was deceiving as you never know if all the pertinent bookmarks/pages were shown or if it just missed a few

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