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How to manage bookmarks in Chrome

Bookmark list becoming a mess? Read on to learn the safest and easiest way to manage the clutter in your list.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Over time, you may add a lot of different websites to your bookmarks list in Chrome. Despite making efforts to organize them into folders and sub-sections, sometimes they can still become a huge, messy list of sites you want to remember or look at later. The solution most people think of is to download a bookmark management utility, but that may not be the best idea.

Posts on blogs and discussion sites like Reddit have pointed out extensions that received updates and started injecting ads into the user experience. Some of these extensions let you disable ads, but the settings are relatively hidden. When looking for a third-party bookmark manager, I saw permissions such as: "Access to your data on all websites" and "Access your tabs and browsing activity." Chrome already has access to this information if you're logging in with your Google account. Adding another application into the mix -- with permissions being set by a third-party -- means more opportunity for your data to be at risk.

We've covered SuperSorter in the past as a way to tidy up your bookmark list, but after a bit of research, I think there is a better option: Chrome's default bookmark manager. While not all extensions are "the bad guy," sometimes the features in the standard Chrome client are enough to get the job done. Here's how:

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Click the hamburger (three lines) menu in the top right-hand corner and choose Bookmarks > Bookmark manager.

Tip: You can bookmark the bookmark manager to your bookmarks bar (in Chrome). Say that three times fast. This makes getting to the manager faster, and you can keep it open in a tab while you open links in new tabs.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Select a folder on the left-hand side, and then click the organize menu at the top. Select Reorder by title.

This will allow you to scan for multiple copies of the same bookmark. While many of the third-party tools will automate this process for you, sometimes the link names may be the same, but the actual URL isn't. Some of the extensions tell you how they differentiate between entries, but once a bookmark is deleted, there's no undo button (on more popular ones, anyway). I find that it's a better idea to do this manually.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: Right-click entries on the right to Edit or Delete. You can change the name of the bookmark to help differentiate it from another or fix typos.

Organizing the bookmarks manually will definitely work better on a smaller scale. If you are dealing with massive amounts of bookmarks, turning to a third-party tool is still an option. However, manually managing your bookmarks gives you an opportunity to find dead links, replace them with an updated link, and know exactly which bookmarks are being removed.