Chrome for Android: Restore Bookmarks and Recent Tabs links

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 22, 2016
Updated • Oct 29, 2018
Google Chrome

I have talked about this back in August when the feature landed in development versions of Chrome for Android.

Basically, what it does is add article recommendations to the New Tab Page. Chrome for Android users who open the New Tab page can swipe down on it to see the "articles for you" list.

It features articles from the usual mainstream sources such as Lifehacker, Polygon, The Next Web or Fox News.

There is virtually no indication on the page that you can swipe down, but that is not the only issue that you may have with the new feature.

Apart from being unable to modify news sources in any meaningful way, or block some through filter lists so that their articles don't appear anymore, you may notice that the links to Bookmarks and Recent Tabs has been removed from the New Tab page.

Update: The articles for you  widget is displayed by default now in Chrome. While you get an option to hide it, it won't display the bookmarks or recent tabs links anymore. The only option available is to tap on the menu icon to access Recent Tabs or Bookmarks from it.

Chrome for Android: Restore Bookmarks and Recent Tabs links

chrome 54 no bookmarks recent tabs

Compare the left side of the screenshot with the right side. The left shows bookmarks and recent tabs underneath the Google search box and the top site thumbnails, the new version that Google launched in Chrome 54 does not.

That's puzzling as the space is there. As you can see, Google dropped all elements on the New Tab page just a little bit, but there is still enough place for these two links.

You can get the bookmarks and recent tabs links back on Chrome for Android. The new "articles for you" feature is currently hidden behind a flag. Flags point to experimental features that may already be enabled. It may happen at any time that a flag gets removed, and along with it the feature. Or, and that is another possibility, the flag gets removed because Google integrates the feature deeper into Chrome for Android.

If the latter happens, the following workaround won't work anymore. For now though, you can use it to restore the bookmarks and recent tabs link on Chrome for Android:

  1. Open a new tab page in Google Chrome for Android.
  2. Type chrome://flags in the address bar and hit enter.
  3. Tap on the menu icon in the top right corner (the three dots) and select "Find on page".
  4. Enter "content snippets". Chrome should jump to the "Show content snippets on the new tab page" flag.
  5. Tap on the selection menu underneath it, and set the feature to disabled.
  6. Restart Chrome with a tap on the restart button that appears afterwards.

When you open a new tab page after you have made the change, you will notice that bookmarks and recent tabs are visible again on the new tab page. Also, the articles for you listing is no longer provided.

All major browser developers are working on personalized news features currently. Mozilla launched the Activity Stream experiment, Microsoft a standalone app News Pro, and Opera browsers support Personal News for a while now already.

Now You: What's your take on the change?

Chrome for Android: Restore Bookmarks and Recent Tabs links
Article Name
Chrome for Android: Restore Bookmarks and Recent Tabs links
Find out how to restore the Bookmarks and Recent Tabs links on the new tab page of Chrome 54 or later on Android devices.
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  1. Paul Vandenbempt said on November 19, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Could not find “content snippets” on my mobile.

  2. Karyn said on October 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    There are no “menu” options to restore bookmarks bar on my android tablet samsung tab A. Please Help. Thanks.

  3. Joe said on May 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

    As of May 2017
    Chrome for Android
    You cannot Disable Articles for You on New Tabs to restore Bookmarks links and Recent Tabs links on the bottom of the new Tab page.
    Chrome Application version:
    Chrome 58.03029.83
    The “Show content snippets on the New Tab Page Android” flag is no longer listed. . . cannot tap on the selection menu underneath it, and set the feature to disabled.

  4. tiorobin said on April 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm


  5. Unclemikie said on February 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    If google removes the bookmarks link with no chance of restoring it, I will have to seek another browser.
    Whomever thought it was a good idea not to have the bookmarks on the home page is sadly mistaken.
    Please listen the your users and keep the links on the bottom of the page.

  6. Yossi said on January 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Excellent, worked for me. Thx much!

    Something strange happened to me when I tried to set the flag:
    – chrome://flags didn’t work (showed me google search results for ‘chrome://flags’…)
    – about:flags did work
    – after setting the flag, chrome://flags does work and about:flags shows search results…
    (I know it doesn’t make sense, but this is what I saw…)

    I am using chrome version 55 on Android 6.0.1 (Samsung Galaxy TAB S2)

  7. Anonymous said on December 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Is there a way to have the home button back again to?

  8. GodDamnItGoogleFixGmailNotifications said on November 19, 2016 at 5:05 am


    Since Gmail notifications have been unacceptably sporadic ever since Marshmellow (continuing with Nougat) I just thought that no longer seeing “Bookmarks” and “Recent Tabs” in Chrome was yet another software glitch!

    Seriously, the genius at Google who thought it was smart to replace this in lieu of some hidden scrollable content clearly shouldn’t be making decisions.

  9. Cliff said on November 13, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks a million. I did that, still did not clear the notification that there were new snippets, so in the same area as those disabled content snippets there are other options. I got back the small bookmarks button, and cleared everything else, in effect back to before the 54 new update. Thanks again

  10. Abhishek Anshu said on November 10, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I was searching for this all over the internet. Finally found a reliable and working article. This is better. I am more of a sync person as I always keep changing devices in my hands, it’s really helpful to me. Thanks a lot again.

  11. Anonymous said on October 31, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    thanks for this had looked all over

  12. Robin Chaddock said on October 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This regression would have had me switching browser.
    Google continually pushing unilateral ui changes like this is getting ready old, really fast.

    You can’t predict what I’m going to want to look at, so stop trying!

  13. Anonymous said on October 28, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks so much. I was so close to switching to Firefox when I thought the bookmarks tab was gone.
    Why would they take something that was so useful and replace it with random news articles? It’s so much more convenient and faster having bookmarks available at the homepage.

  14. RichH said on October 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    works fine for me on 7.0
    truthfully I thought it was there all along (rarely start chrome at that level) and that I hadn’t noticed
    thanks for the pointer that I’m really not all that dim after all

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