I have a ton of old bookmarks in Google Chrome and would like to learn how to delete the ones I don’t want and update those that are obsolete. Can you show me the basics of Chrome bookmark editing, Dave?
Join us now as we take a trip down memory lane, remembering the glory days of browser bookmarks… Just kidding! In fact, it’s a rare Internet user who doesn’t have at least some bookmarks to make bouncing from site to site a breeze. Nowadays these bookmarks might be represented as site icons on your Desktop, they could be keyboard shortcuts – you type in ‘s’ and it immediately suggests sports.yahoo.com – and they could be cryptic abbreviations on your bookmarks bar in the browser. Regardless, there’s much value to learning how to rename, update the target URL and delete obsolete bookmarks to keep everything clean and updated.
I am a big fan of the bookmarks toolbar in Google Chrome and really appreciate that when I log in and set up a new computer that Chrome automatically imports and syncs the bookmarks with my preferences. It makes bouncing around lots of devices and computers considerably more pleasant, to put it mildly!
The key to realize is that whether it’s on the toolbar or in a more traditional pull-down or pop-up menu, you can right-click (or, on a Mac, Control-click) and pull up a menu of options for that particular item. I’ll show you what I mean momentarily…
To start, though, let’s just look at how you bookmark something. Here’s Twitter’s home page, for example:
To bookmark this particular page, you already know the drill: Press Command-D (Mac keystroke) or just pull up the Bookmarks menu:
But let’s have a closer look at the mini-window that pops up with the potential bookmark:
First off, if you’re into search engine optimization (SEO) remember that the “Name” suggested for the bookmark is the TITLE of the page and that it’s a mighty important element for helping your content be maximally findable. Bookmark your own pages to learn how your site’s set up, if you’re so inclined.
Also keep in mind that you can easily edit the name of the bookmark here, so instead of “Twitter” maybe you want to call it “@Twitter” to have a bit of fun, or give it a longer name like “Twitter Home Page”. You can also pick where the bookmark goes if you’ve set up a logical hierarchy with submenus, etc.
If you’re going to organize things – and you really should! – then click on the “More…” button to get a bigger view of your current bookmark organization:
Now you can see how I have my bookmarks set up. Most everything’s happening on the Bookmarks Bar because that makes it super easy for me to always have them (at least the first dozen or so) visible and ready to click without any additional work. Want to make your organization even more hierarchical? Notice the “New Folder” button on the lower left.
This is also the main bookmark edit window, so note also that you can see the target URL and that it’s editable. We’ll come back to that. For now, I’ll just bookmark Twitter’s home page, but rename it “Twitter Notifications”.
Now here’s where it gets a bit weird from a user interface perspective: Find the bookmark you want to edit, even if it’s on a menu, and right click / Command-click on it to reveal the menu of options:
Plenty of options from which to choose. This answers one of your questions too: You delete a bookmark in Chrome by choosing “Delete” from this menu for the specific bookmark in question. Easy, really.
For our task, just click on “Edit…” as highlighted. And you’re back to that Edit window!
This time I’ve changed the URL too, so that my “Twitter Notifications” bookmark takes me directly to the Notifications tab on the Twitter web interface. That’s how you update a bookmark target URL: get to the page you want, copy that URL out of the address bar, open the Edit bookmark window (as shown above) and paste the new URL into the URL box. Again, easy once you know how.
Finally, you can also use the bookmarks bar with shortened versions of your bookmarks because – here’s a trick! – any time you put the cursor over a bookmark in the bookmarks bar, it’ll pop up a tiny tip with the target URL even before you click on it:
And that’s it. You should be able to clean up all your bookmarks with what I’ve shown you here in this article!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Chrome for quite a while, not to mention co-authoring a book on Twitter! Please check out my computer basics help and twitter help pages both while you’re here. And heck, why not follow @DaveTaylor on Twitter too, while you’re at it? Thanks.