[Updated] Looking to disable Google Chrome Reading list? Heres how to – PiunikaWeb

Here’s the crux of the article in video form:

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on March 16, 2021) follows:

The latest iteration of the Google Chrome browser carries a version number of 89 and was merged into the stable branch early this month. The update brings about several new features.

For the uninitiated, the profiles module has received a big revamp with the update where each user can now customize their profile with a custom background and play around with various themes and color schemes.

The update also implements support for WebHID, which in short is an API that allows web applications to interact with human interface devices (HID) like VR controls, gamepads, and joysticks.


And last but not least is the new Google Chrome Reading List feature that allows users to save stuff they find worth reading for later or maybe just for archiving purposes.

Prior to this, people were dependent on third-party plugins like Pocket for the same purpose, but it’s now great to see Chrome have its very own built-in function.

Nonetheless, to add stuff to Chrome’s Reading List, simply hit the star icon inside the address bar and then select “Add to Reading List”.


Such saved sites can then be conveniently accessed from the far left of Chrome’s bookmark bar, as shown in the above image.

This implementation, however, hasn’t gone down well with everyone. Many are now complaining that the Reading List option eats up too much of the bookmark bar’s space – space that could otherwise be used to keep additional bookmarks in view.

Therefore, some users have been seeking a way to hide it altogether.

So this “Reading list” just appeared near my bookmarks and it’s taking too much space that I need for my bookmarks. I wonder how can I get rid of it.

How to hide – Reading list from bookmark. It was bugging the heck out of me, just appeared out of nowhere today.

Fortunately for you, we managed to lay our hands on a simple solution.

You may be aware that Google Chrome gives users a great degree of control over its features through the Flags. And while most of the stuff under it may be experimental, it does end up serving quite well for those looking for a way to customize Chrome beyond what it permits on its front-end.

This very feature is now going to help us remove the Reading List from the bookmarks bar on Google Chrome by disabling it entirely. Simply follow the steps given below for immediate results:

NOTE: If you want to learn about Google Chrome Reading List on Android, head here.


Click to enlarge

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.
3. Restart Chrome.

Of course, the above series of steps are completely valid across any desktop operating system – be it macOS, Windows, or Linux.

Rather simple isn’t it? Hopefully, the workaround did the job for you. If it indeed did, be sure to inform us in the comments below.

Update 1 (March 17)

It’s worth noting that like it’s usually the case in phased rollouts, the Reading List feature may not be available for everyone (as it has just started rolling out). The only way to get rid of it at the moment is the one which we have described above.

However, if you don’t want to walk that path, but want Google to roll back the feature instead, then it’s worth knowing that a rollback will only happen when a lot of users send negative feedback about the feature to the company. So the best you can do is to send your views as feedback to the company.

Take a look at what a product expert at the community recently said regarding this (translated):

It’s not in my environment
I think it’s probably applied sequentially or in the form of “distributed as a test to a small number of people”

As is often the case with Google, if you want to apply it to everyone at once
We may pre-apply to 5% or 10% of users to see the reaction in advance.
Eventually it will be applied to all
I think that it will be withdrawn at a small number of times if it is a fatal defect or a big unpopularity.
(Isn’t there a lot of visible withdrawals?)

I think it’s good to send “Jamada” as an opinion
I think it’s good to send feedback and say, “I’m getting more and more obstructive to the reading list. I want to get rid of it.”

Update 2 (March 18)

For those of you naive, the flags show up under the Experiments until a feature becomes part of the stable update and is forced to all devices. That’s the reason why sharing your feedback while the feature is still being tested becomes all the way more important.

So if you don’t like the Reading list feature and don’t wish to get stuck with it forever, make sure you share your opinion with the developers. Take a look at how a product expert at the community has explained this:

I would also like to recommend that if you don’t like the function, send your opinion to the Chrome team about what aspect you don’t like, or why you don’t like it:

  • Report a bug or feedback on Chrome – Google Chrome Help
  • It is very important that you do this, since these comments will be received directly by the Chrome team (they do not usually go through the forums in Spanish). Also, it is important because if this function is set to the stable version for everyone, the flag will eventually be removed, and there will be no way to disable the option.

    Here’s a feedback example given by the expert:

    For example, what I do not like is the fact that when I click on the bookmarks star it asks me if I want to save it as a bookmark or I want to save it in the reading list: I would prefer that the dialog that always appears, with an option to save it to the reading list.

    Update 3 (March 19)

    We’re conducting a poll to understand whether or not users like the Reading list feature. So share with us your opinion by casting a vote below:

    Note: Following are some of our other articles in this series:

    PiunikaWeb started purely as an investigative tech journalism website with a main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Fox News, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.