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Google ‘Stars’ Bookmarks Extension Now Live on Chrome Web Store

intro

Google has finally released its next-generation bookmarking extension on the Chrome Web Store.

The extension superpowers Chrome’s bookmarking prowess with a slew of new features, a swish new design and ‘the smarts of Google Search’.

google-stars

When installed the add-on, which was previously known as ‘Google Stars’ but has been rebranded to the less colourful ‘Bookmark Manager‘ for its public arrival, replaces Chrome’s built-in bookmarking features.

the-bookmark-popover-for-google-stars

The interactive bookmark popover

Features

Reviewing leaks of earlier builds for ‘dog fooding’ purposes, we praised it for bringing browser bookmarking bang up to date’.

Key features include:

  • One click save with image thumbnail and notes
  • Folder suggestions when bookmarking pages 
  • Improved search scans page content for matches
  • Bookmarks automatically organised by topic
  • Public sharing features
  • Archives ‘dead links’
old vs new card select

old vs new card select

Changes since last ‘leaked’ build

If you have a leaked build of ‘Stars’ installed you should find yourself automatically updated to the new ‘public’ version over the coming days.

You’ll notice a few minor differences in the public release, including a sidebar entry for ‘Bookmarks Toolbar’ and narrower item cards with right-hand select marks and a new field highlight during editing.

Sadly, the “list view” mode has not made the jump from the last nightly build to this first public release.

Install Bookmark Manager for Chrome

The revamped bookmarking add-on is available for Google Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Bookmark Manager on Chrome Web Store

When switching to the new Bookmarks Manager all your existing saved pages, folders and hierarchies will transfer over, and image thumbnails and descriptions applied where available.

  • Mathspy

    Yay!

  • Andrew Emerson

    What extension is the red yellow and green thing where it looks like safari?

    • Martijn Atema

      It’s just running under OS X Yosemite, I think

    • frewquinnn

      Thats running in OSX Yosemite

  • moe

    i don’t get it whats the point of having both ways to bookmark that do the same thing

    • They both handle bookmarks, sure, but they do it in different ways. One is a visually immersive overview, with sharing features, better search and more intuitive organisation. The other – the default – isn’t: it’s practically a spreadsheet.

      Google is making this ‘new approach’ optional right now though, so people who don’t want/need the whizz-bang can continue using what they have.

      And when “Stars” is installed it replaces the default bookmarks manager; you don’t end up two running side-by-side.

      • moe

        mine is runing it side by side, thats why i’m saying there is no point, at least for now..

  • Paulo

    Does a simple bookmark really need to take up so much visual space just to look pretty. It just isn’t as functional if I have to scroll a long distance just to see my bookmarks. Folder hierarchy is also almost impossible to use with this sort of visual layout.

  • Brennen Raimer

    Does it retroactively add screenshots to existing bookmarks?

  • jason

    I can’t seem to add to or view mobile bookmarks with this extension.

  • Toby Adams

    Wonder if this will ever make it into the builds of Chrome?

    • usaff22

      It will, it came preinstalled in the latest developer build.

      • Frederic MANSON

        Great!! A better cool, clean and useful UI. That’s a very good decision!!!

  • Mark Rich

    How does this compare against Opera’s new bookmarks functionality? Objectively please, no fan boy dismissive comments.

    • GameCube

      I would love to know this as well.

  • Shriram Bhat

    its about time they added it.
    already had it since 3 months or so.
    LOVE IT.

  • Kawshik Tonoo

    Things i wish it for (in order of importance):

    1. came as a built-in function in Chrome
    2. better UX (needs some polish)
    3. that it loads at the last last opened folder when the extension is launched. (if i last checked Bookmarks Bar > Blogs, it should open there)
    4. retrieved thumbnail previews for existing bookmarks (when the said bookmark is loaded that is; it seriously annoys me when i see new bookmarks with previews right besides old ones with a default picture)

    • syntheticMedia

      4. Greyed out for me as well. Was the only reason I wanted to try it. When it does work, I wonder if it will require others that want to view the shared folder to also be using stars or if it will create a sharable link, such as found in drive

  • Booyabobby

    It needs the list view option. Bring it back Google.

  • Favorites !== Newsfeed!

  • Frederic MANSON

    It crashes on my Chromebook (beta channel)… and how to change the images?? I saw no options for this…

  • Heimen Stoffels

    This. Looks awful. And it even deleted some of my bookmarks. Good thing I backed them up before trying this crap extension out. Not gonna try this again until it has more matured.

    • BKarno

      How do I revert back to the old bookmarks?

      • Heimen Stoffels

        I backed up my bookmarks before I tried this extension via Bookmarks Manager –> Export to HTML. After I removed the extension and noticing some of my bookmarks were gone, I did go to Bookmarks Manager again, deleted all bookmarks and chose Import from HTML to import the backup. Now everything is just as if I never tried the extension.

  • Ben Bristow

    It’s horrible. A pain to move folders. It’s fixing things for the sake of fixing things, but breaking things all at the same time. It looks nice, but the functionality is lacking.

  • FrY10cK

    I find it much less useful than the old way but I don’t see it listed in my tools > extensions so I can uninstall it. I also know improvements will likely roll out. But jeez, taking away the list of recently accessed folders is dumb.

  • Seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding this one….I think I’ll hold off for now.

  • Ryan Johnson

    I have no idea whether this looks like Opera’s new bookmarks or if Opera’s look like this Google’s version …

  • Does anyone know a Firefox addon offering at least resembling functionality? To me bookmarks without thumbnails are close to useless.

    • I have same query hope some one knows :)

    • Perpf

      There is the “viewmarks” addon, which appears to be very similar to this one.

  • Phaddon

    How do I remove bookmark manager? I might be missing it but I dont see it listed within within my extensions???

  • Luca Ironman Del Signore

    Good evening, im using chrome os 38 on my c710 and i noticed ctrl-d doesnt work anymore for saving bookmarks. What happened? i noticed there’s the new bookmark manager but it’s not present on the extension. What can i do? i cannot powerwash too many things for work

  • This extension is cancer, can’t see new bookmark manager and can’t uninstall it.
    A lot of people have issues with it, avoid at all cost or regret it!

  • toumbo

    That’s the solution to delete this extention.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/chrome/comments/1xkxyo/how_do_i_remove_a_chrome_extension_which_is/
    Then logout and log back in with your google account on chrome to reload the extention.

  • view2share

    If this becomes the standard, it will be goodbye Chrome — so long Chrome OS. The current bookmark system for desktops works just fine and you can have a load of hundreds to thousands organized well and quick to find with one to two clicks.

  • Ulysses 31

    come back to me when i can put in whatever URL image i like (a la SpeedDial2)

  • wirelesscord

    It has now landed in beta. Tried the extension – utterly useless mess unless you want to share every little thing to social media and have maximum 15 bookmarks.

  • rob minnaert

    reviews in the store are still all negative. waiting for it to mature

  • Xena Smalls

    Terrible. I hate it. I’ve used it for a couple weeks now and the functionality is messy and lacking. Slows me down. How do I go back?? It does not show in my extensions wtf.

  • Chris Hardly

    How in the name of all that is holy do I get rid of it?

    • wirelesscord

      chrome://flags/
      Enable Enhanced Bookmarks = Disable

      • Chris Hardly

        Thanks wirelesscord. I tried that and it didn’t work. Then I tried closing all other tabs leaving only the chrome://flags page. Closed Google Chrome then reopened and bingo. Back to normal. Thanks to you and everyone who has posted solutions.

        • BackAsswardzz

          Thank you. Worked for me too. It was driving me nuts.

      • kaosmgr

        Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
        No idea how Enhanced Bookmarks got enabled on my PC but if I couldn’t get rid of it I would have gone back to Firefox or–God forbid–Internet Explorer.

      • Eurocentric

        Disabling merely removed the bookmarks bar, not the system itself. If FIrefox wasn’t also a pain in the next, and IE no longer an option, I’d give up the Chrome. Enter a competitor?????

  • Ben

    In my opinion, after using this for a few weeks, is that it is nothing extremely innovative or difference from the past bookmarking experience.

    http://www.panafold.com is working on a truly revolutionary cloud bookmarking service which will be released very soon.

    Sign up at http://www.panafold.com to get the beta release.

    • wirelesscord

      Nice spam.

      • Ben

        is google stars good.

  • Debzon Pahanguin

    hey! can you please help me how to set this bookmark as start up page when opening chrome? thanks a lot :)

    • wirelesscord

      Set chrome://bookmarks as the start up page in the settings?

  • bpollen8

    It got installed somehow. How do I remove this? I bookmark hundreds of things in tiered folders. I do NOT want images of all this stuff on some page. Also, the relevant folders I need to add bookmarks to don’t even always show up, so I CAN’T bookmark some things. How do I get rid of this thing?

    • wirelesscord

      1. disable chrome://flags/#enhanced-bookmarks-experiment and close Chrome
      2. create Chrome shortcut to your desktop, right click > properties, add –show-component-extension-options to the target field, so that it looks like: “C:chrome.exe” –show-component-extension-options
      3. use that shortcut to launch Chrome, go to the extensions page and remove the removable “Bookmark Manager” (there are two)
      4. will take effect immediately and it is a permanent change

      • Joe Pinyun

        Only step 1 needed for Chrome ver: 40.0.2214.115 dev-m, on Win8.1.
        BookMark Manager extensions not found in this version.
        Disabling enhanced-bookmarks-experiment reverts to list view

        • wirelesscord

          I don’t know what’s going on, but at some point all of that was needed as the flag alone did nothing.

          You’ve got pretty old version btw, even stable has higher ver number now…

  • goodlab

    Glad to see chrome trying to address bookmarks. But all I really want is a sidebar bookmark panel like the one in firefox. I got tired of waiting for chrome to add a sidebar bookmarks panel so I developed one. You can see it here. Hope it helps. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/sidecar-bookmarks-sidebar/lbnegejhdjianfmbancpeflnkbfollfi

  • Jeff K

    Chrome ver 41 stable started rolling out today. “Enhanced” bookmarks are going LIVE

    • n00biito

      I’m on the beta channel and I lost mine. I backed up the folder but when I tried to load it, I got a message saying the manifest is missing. Is there a way to retrieve the unpacked version and install it again on my version of chrome?

  • JUDGE

    I am on the dev channel but this extension is no more available. How may I activate it again?? Thanks Chromebookers!! ^^

  • john98661

    Looks like it’s pulled from the Chrome store.

    • wirelesscord

      Most likely because it became part of the browser, titled “Enhanced Bookmarks” (the irony)… or at least was intended to become part as now it seems to have vanished from the beta and dev/Canary versions too. Perhaps they finally listened to the overwhelmingly negative response at the Google Groups feedback forums.

      • toumbo

        2015-03-25 21:43 GMT+02:00 Disqus :

  • Eurocentric

    Hate it passionately. Why do we have to keep re-educating ourselves because some bored geek at Google has to complicate something that was simple and easy to use. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. At any rate why not give people a CHOICE instead of thrusting the damn thing on us?

  • Zack A

    What an effen disaster!!!! Couldn’t disable the “enhanced bookmark manager” quick enough.

  • Renee D Frey

    I love it