Chrome Launches Side Panel UI For Easy Access To Reading Lists And Bookmarks

Google Chrome has launched an update that adds a new Side Panel UI to make it easier for Mac and Windows users to access their Reading List and bookmarks. You will still see your bookmark bar at the top of the window when you open a new tab or start up your browser for the day but, according to 9to5Google, there's now a new button sitting between the Extensions bar and your Google profile picture on the upper right-hand corner of the browser.

Last year, Chrome released the Reading List as button on the bookmark bar, along with a slew of other upgrades as part of Chrome 89, but not everyone has enabled that function. The new Side Panel UI, part of the latest Chrome 99 update, saves users the hassle of opening a new tab just to access their bookmarked websites. What's more, the Side Panel joins the Bookmarks and Reading List tabs together, giving you an easier way to browse the pages in your queue while you're still on your current window.

How to use the Side Panel UI

To enable the Side Panel feature, update Chrome by closing and restarting it if you haven't done so already. After the browser is updated, you'll see square button with the shaded rectangle on the right side — that's the Side Panel. Once you open it, you'll see the same bookmarks that were present on the top panel of the new tab on the right tab. You can switch over to the bookmarks tabs in order to see the pages you saved months or even years ago for reference. On the left tab is the Reading List, which carries the same functions it had in the previous update, including the ability to add the page you're currently browsing, mark tabs as read, and deleting them once you're done with them.

If decided that the Side Panel feature isn't to your satisfaction, you can disable it using this flag: chrome://flags/#side-panel. Disabling the Side Panel divorces the Reading List and Bookmarks tabs, and renders the former as a button on the latter panel once again.