“Reading List” is a new feature on Google Chrome, that allows users to save links into a separate list (different from bookmarks) to visit/read them later. Google started rolling out this feature publicly on the Desktop version, since March 2021. I personally prefer using the existing bookmarking system, and would like to disable Reading List.
Update (November 2021): Google has added back the “Reading List” flag to the latest version of Chrome (96.0.4664.45). Just follow the same procedures stated in this how-to article to disable it.
Update (October 2021): If you have updated your Chrome to version 95.0.4638.54 or later, Google has removed the option in the Chrome Flags to disable the reading list. There is a temporary way to re-enable the specific “Reading List” option by unexpiring the M94 flags, but it is expected to be removed in the next major Chrome update. (Thanks Luks/Lucas for the comments.)
“Reading List” is enabled by default, starting from Chrome version 90. You should see a new button appeared on the right side of the bookmarks bar, which all of your saved links are stored inside.
You can simply remove “Reading List” from the Bookmarks bar by right-clicking on the button. Then, uncheck the “Show reading list” option from the drop-down menu.
Although the “Reading List” is already hidden, Chrome will still ask whether you want to add the website to bookmarks or reading list when clicking the star button on the address bar. If you do not want this extra step every time, you will have to disable “Reading List” completely via Chrome Flags. Please be reminded that Chrome Flags are experimental features, that are meant for developers and may be unstable.
Enter “chrome://flags” on the address bar. You will be greeted with a huge list of flags/features.
Search for a specific flag, named “Reading List”. Turn off “Reading List” by changing the settings from “Default” to “Disabled”.
You will be prompted to relaunch the Chrome browser to apply the updated settings. Click the blue “Relaunch” button to make Chrome restart. If you want to re-enable “Reading List” in the future for some reasons, just change the flag from “Disabled” to “Default” or “Enabled”.
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