How to take advantage of Chrome’s side panel

Maximize productivity with Chrome's side panel! This guide walks you through customizing bookmarks, leveraging Reading List, and navigating history.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
How to take advantage of Chrome’s side panel

How to take advantage of Chrome’s side panel

Chrome's side panel is an invaluable but often underutilized feature. Located on the right side, this customizable hub gives quick access to tools like bookmarks, history, Reading List, and more. This article provides a guide to unlocking the full potential of the side panel. You'll learn customization tips to optimize the panel for your needs and boost productivity.

What You Can Do with the Side Panel


The Bookmarks section of the side panel gives you one-click access to all your saved web pages. You can quickly open frequently visited sites without having to first open a new tab and type in the URL. The bookmarks are also organized into folders, allowing you to group similar sites together for faster navigation. You can create new folders to hold bookmarks for your work research, news sites, recipes, or any other categories you need.

Searching through your bookmarks is also made easy in the panel. Just enter a keyword in the search box and matching bookmark names will autopopulate.

Reading List

Chrome's Reading List feature lets you flag articles and web pages you want to view later when you have more time. The list syncs across all your signed-in devices, so you can save something on your work computer and then pull it up on your phone on your commute home. Anything saved to your Reading List will appear in the panel for simple access.


The History section displays your entire recent browsing chronology. You can scroll through and quickly revisit pages you've accessed over the past days, weeks, or months. The search function also makes it easy to pull up a specific site from your past history. For example, if you forgot the URL of a page you visited last week but want to return to, just describe it in the History search bar.

Reading Mode

Reading Mode provides a simplified, clutter-free version of articles and web pages by stripping away ads, sidebars, and other distractions. This allows you to focus on the main content for an optimal reading experience. Reading Mode is accessible through the side panel - just click on any article link and select the Reading Mode icon in the panel.

You can then customize things like text size, font style, line spacing, and color scheme for your reading comfort.


The side panel search bar lets you quickly search through your open tabs, history, and bookmarks. For broader web searches, simply use Chrome's address bar which will pull results from your default search engine. The side panel search is useful for digging into your browsing history and resources.

Other Apps

In addition to the standard sections, you can also open certain apps in the side panel. For example, TickTick can run side-by-side so you can make to do list in bettewn browsing.

How to Open the Side Panel in Chrome

Opening the Side Panel in Chrome is easy. Just launch Google Chrome and look in the upper right corner for a rectangular icon with a shaded column. Hover over this icon and you'll see "Side Panel" appear below it. Click on the Side Panel icon and the sidebar will open, giving you access to its various functions.

Customizing the Side Panel

In your Chrome browser, If you go to Settings > Appearance, then here under side panel you'll get 2 options. "Show on right" & "Show on left". You can set it the way which suits you best. 

Other then that you can resize the panel by dragging the left border wider or narrower. The more space you provide, the more content you'll see without scrolling.


In summary, Chrome's side panel offers much more than meets the eye. Take time to add bookmarks, review history, access Reading List, and pin tabs. Customize the layout, width, and shortcuts to match your browsing style. Hide the panel when you need more screen space. With a little effort optimizing the side panel, your web work will become quicker and more organized. Give these tips a try to boost productivity.

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