disable the reading list

Chrome’s “Reading List” is a convenient way to save pages and articles for later. However, if you’re not interested in the feature, the permanent button in the Bookmarks Bar can be annoying. We’ll show you how to remove it.

The Reading List is simply a place to save pages to read later. It’s a similar concept to services like Pocket but built right into the Chrome web browser. On iPhone and iPad, the Reading List is easy to ignore if you don’t use it, but on the desktop, it takes up space in the Bookmarks Bar.

RELATED: What Is the Chrome "Reading List," and How Do You Use It?

Remove the Reading List in Chrome 90 and Newer

Starting in Chrome 90, you can hide the Reading List button without using a flag. This is a much more easy method for removing the Reading List without the need to restart the browser.

To do this, simply right-click anywhere on the Bookmarks Bar or the “Reading List” button itself.

Next, uncheck “Show Reading List” from the drop-down menu.

hide the reading list

That’s it! You can bring the Reading List back any time by opening this menu and checking it again.

RELATED: How to Add a Web Page to Google Chrome's Reading List

Remove the Reading List in Chrome 89 and Older

If you’re running an older build of Google Chrome, there isn’t an official way to hide the Reading List feature. Instead, we’ll be using a Chrome “flag” to turn it off. While not ideal, it does work, and it’s easy to do.

Warning: Features put behind Chrome flags are there for a reason. They may be unstable, might negatively impact your browser’s performance, and can vanish without notice. Enable flags at your own risk.

First, open Google Chrome on your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. Then, type chrome://flags in the address bar and hit Enter.

go to the chrome flags page

Next, enter “Reading List” in the search box. This will bring up a flag that’s simply titled “Reading List.”

search for reading list

From the corresponding drop-down menu for the flag, select “Disabled.”

disable the flag

Chrome will now ask to restart the browser to apply the changes. Click the “Relaunch” button at the bottom of the screen.

relaunch chrome

The browser will close, and when it reopens, the “Reading List” button will no longer be in the Bookmarks Bar.

no more reading list

To bring the button back, simply go to the Chrome flag and change it to “Default” or “Enabled.” It would be nice to have a more “official” method of doing this, but until (or if) that comes, this works.

RELATED: How to Enable Google Chrome Flags to Test Beta Features

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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