Nowadays it is common to have multiple devices to work. For example, while traveling you may bookmark a webpage on your phone and can continue reading the page when you are at home on your laptop. It will be annoying tasks to redo each activity on each of your device separately. Gone are the days that you need to take a physical backup of your settings and upload on another devices. That will also not help in continuity tasks like reading mobile bookmarked pages on your laptop.
You have cloud storage like iCloud and OneDrive for synchronizing documents. On the browser front, popular browser Google Chrome offers variety of customization features that adds more convenience to the browsing experience. Most importantly, you don’t have to customize Chrome settings separately on each of your devices. Using Google Chrome Sync feature, you use the same settings and user data across your devices. This article teaches you how to backup and restore Chrome settings using Sync.
How to Backup Chrome Settings?
Step 1: Activate Sync Feature
Launch the Google Chrome browser click the three dots button located at the top right corner of the browser window. On the drop-down menu options, select “Settings” to open the Chrome settings panel.
If the Chrome Sync feature is not enabled, you can see “Turn on sync…” button. Click on it and enable the sync feature.
Remember, Chrome will show the sync button when you are not signed in and enabled the feature before. If someone is using the browser and have user data then you need to create additional profile for you. Click on the “Manage other people” option under “Settings”. Click “Add Person” button and create a new user for you. Chrome will start storing all your browsing history under new profile when you logged with your Google account.
You can create multiple user profiles when you have different Google accounts or sharing computer with your family members. Don’t create user profile on public computers to avoid security problems.
Step 2: Sign in to Chrome
If you are not signed to Chrome, a login screen will appear. Use your Google Account credentials to sign in. Note, you can also click on the profile icon shown next to the address bar and login to your account.
Enter you Gmail address and click “Next”.
Enter your Google account password and click “Next”.
Step 3: Adjust Advanced Sync Settings
Once the turn on sync screen pops up, click on “Setting” link and to go to advanced sync settings. Slide the switch to enable “Sync Everything”. This will backup everything including Chrome settings, bookmarks, passwords and history among others. The switch will turn blue and you will see a notification that “Sync will start when you leave this page”.
Step 4: Leave the Sync Settings Screen
Click the back arrow and to exit “Advanced sync settings” screen. All Chrome settings and user data will be saved into your Google account.
You can check back after sometime, if the “Sync Everything” switch is blue then Chrome settings are already backed up to your Google Account. Remember this is the complete backup of your Google Chrome browser including extensions. You can use this backup and restore the Chrome settings on any computer you want.
Restore Chrome Settings on Your PC or Mobile Devices
You can restore Chrome settings in your new desktop computer or mobile devices to have the same settings across the devices.
- Launch the Google Chrome browser on your PC or mobile phone. Click on the three dots button on the top right corner to access the drop down menu. Click on “Settings”.
- Sign in to Chrome by entering your email address and password.
- Repeat step 1 and 2 in any of your device where you want to restore the Chrome settings.
- You can choose to restore all or some of the settings and data by sliding the switches to the right side. For instance you can just restore “Bookmarks”, “Apps”, “Settings” and “Passwords” as shown below.
However, to restore the entire Chrome data and settings, just switch on the “Sync Everything” switch and exit “Advanced sync settings” by clicking the back arrow. Your entire Chrome settings backup will be loaded automatically, so you can have a similar customization when browsing across your devices. The sync feature is helpful and easy to use. No need of a separate Chrome backup account. You only need to have a Google account where your data will be saved and restored from.
Chrome Sync and Privacy
Google stores all synched data in their cloud servers. Though this will help you restore the settings across devices, your data is always with Google. If you have privacy concern then don’t enable sync feature.
Google is popular for intruding in your privacy. On Chrome version 69, you have an option to automatically login to Google Chrome when you are logged into sites like Gmail or YouTube. This helps Google to collect more user data even though they are not aware that they are logged in the browser. It also essentially means you can view the history on another device since it will get auto synched.
Later due to privacy complaints, Google introduced an option to disable automatically sync content in Chrome when you logged into other services like Gmail. Go to “chrome://setting” URL in Chrome and scroll down to click on “Advanced” option. Under “Privacy and security” section, turn off “Allow Chrome sign-in” option.
This will help you to use Google services without logging into Chrome.
How do you do this if the computer browser doesn’t have internet access? Is there a way to backup and restore offline?