How to Enable the Google Chrome Side Panel Button

If you are a Google Chrome user, then you might get frustrated every so often when Google decides to make changes to their popular web browser. Most of us like to see the same tools and icons in the same place and don’t like it when things get changed, moved and especially removed.

One nice feature of Google Chrome is the Side Panel which will let you view things such as your reading list, bookmarks, history and reading mode. This gives you quick access to these features since Chrome no longer has any menus like they did in the past. You can add menus to Chrome by installing a simple browser extension as shown here.

How to Enable the Google Chrome Side Panel Button

To access the Chrome Side Panel, you would normally click on the Side Panel icon at the upper right corner of the Chrome browser.

How to Enable the Google Chrome Side Panel Button

Recently, Google decided to remove this button from the top of the browser making it hard to open the Side Panel.  And if this feature is something you used on a regular basis, then its most likely going to be a disappointing change for you.

Fortunately, there is a way to restore the Side Panel button\icon in Chrome so you can once again access the Side Panel features themselves. This will involve going into the Chrome flags settings to make the change.

Google Chrome flags are experimental features and settings that are not yet part of the browser configuration. They can be used to enable, disable, or modify certain functionalities of Chrome. These flags are often used by developers and advanced users to test new features, enhance performance, or customize the browser experience.

To access these flags, you can type chrome://flags/ into the address bar of Chrome and press enter on your keyboard. Then in the search box, type in Side panel navigation and pinning updates and press enter.

You should then be shown the Side panel navigation and pinning updates flag and you will need to change its value from Default to Disabled. You will then see a popup from Chrome telling you that you need to relaunch Chrome for the changes to take effect.

How to Enable the Google Chrome Side Panel Button

One Chrome restarts, you should then see the Side Panel button back at the top of the browser. Now you can start using the tools in the Side Panel like you could before it went missing.

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