How to Enable or Disable the Reading List in Google Chrome

How to Enable or Disable the Reading List in Google Chrome

Here is how you can enable the Reading List in Google Chrome. This is Google's answer the to Collections feature available in Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox. With the Reading List, you can collect and organize links to various websites, and check them later. It works like an advanced bookmark manager.

The Reading List has been quickly created by Google.  It took only half a year for the company to bring it to the stable version of the browser. The Reading List feature was first spotted in July 2020, and went through a rapid development cycle.

Google was initially using "Read later" for the feature name, and had a number of UI versions. Initially, it was looking like a folder in the bookmarks bar. Eventually, Google renamed it "Reading List," and closely integrated it with bookmarks. Now it is rolling out to the public with Chrome 89, so ensure that you are running the latest version of the browser.

The bookmark button in Chrome 89 (the star icon in the address bar) has gotten a new drop-down menu. When you click on that button, it shows a menu with two entries.  One is Bookmark this tab, which is used as the default button action. The other says Add to Reading List, a new option that adds the open page to the Reading list menu.

The Reading List has been gradually rolling out to the public, so it may take some time before it lands in your Chrome browser.

This post will show you how to enable the Reading List in Google Chrome, and also how to disable it if you don't like this new feature.

Enable the Reading List in Google Chrome

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Type chrome://flags/#read-later into the address bar and hit the Enter key.
  3. Select Enabled from the Reading List drop-down menu.Enable Reading List In Google Chrome
  4. Restart Google Chrome to apply the change.

You have successfully enabled the Reading List feature. You will see a new Reading list button in the bookmarks bar.

Google Chrome Reading List Button

How to use the Reading List

  1. Open a web page you want to read later.
  2. Click on the "Bookmark this tab" star button in the address bar.
  3. Select 'Add to reading list' from the menu.How To Use Reading List
  4. Repeat the same for other pages you want to add to the Reading list.
  5. Click on the Reading List to open what you saved earlier.Open Reading List
  6. Click on the item to open it.
  7. Hover over an entry in the list to mark it as read or remove it from the list without reading. There are tiny buttons for that.Google Chrome Reading List Mark As Read Or Remove Item

If you find no use for this new feature, you can easily disable it by modifying the mentioned flag. However, keep in mind that Google may eventually remove this option, but at the moment of this writing it works like a charm.

To Disable Reading List in Chrome

  1. Enter chrome://flags/#read-later into the address bar and hit the Enter key.
  2. Select Disabled from the drop down list next to the Reading List option.Google Chrome Disable Reading List Button
  3. Restart the browser.
  4. The Reading List feature is now disabled.

Finally, recent Chrome versions allow disabling or enabling the Reading List toolbar button right from the context menu of the bookmarks bar. This is currently available in the Canary version of Chrome, but soon it will come to the stable branch of Chrome.

Add or Remove the Reading List button from Bookmarks Bar

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Right-click on the bookmarks bar.
  3. From the menu, select the checkmark option Show reading list. Check it to add (used by default, or uncheck it to remove the button what you want.Chrome Disable Reading List From Bookmarks Bar
  4. The Reading List will change its presence instantly.



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