Google is rolling out a new Side Panel UI in desktop Chrome that provides fast access to your bookmarks and Reading List. 

Update 3/25: Besides Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux, the Side Panel is also available on Chrome OS with the latest M99 stable release. It has a bright background regardless of your set color/theme.

Original 3/22: Once live, a new button appears between the Extensions panel and your profile avatar in the top-right corner. Tapping slides open a right-hand panel with two tabs as your current page resizes accordingly. There’s a straightforward list of “Bookmarks” with folders and subfolders, and then your account’s “Reading List.”

Google rolled out Chrome’s basic read-it-later competitor this time last year. It’s not focused on archiving and storage, just getting back to articles in your queue. It’s split into “Unread” and “Pages you’ve read.” Hovering over a list item lets you mark as read or delete, while there’s an “Add current tab” shortcut at the top as an alternative to right-clicking when saving.

The Side Panel looks to be widely rolling out in the stable channel (Chrome 99) over the past day or so. Close and restart your browser if you don’t have it, while users that don’t like the extra button can currently disable it with the following flag:


This straightforward element is more or less in line with other browsers and is ideal for those with a lot of bookmarks, and some might use it to replace the bookmark bar entirely. It comes as Google is also readying a Side Search Panel that will show a column of Google results that might be useful for heavy research.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: