How to add websites and apps to your Chrome OS shelf

Here’s a handy tip I picked up the other day. Adding bookmarks to Chrome is pretty damn easy, obviously, but for some reason Google haven’t added the ability to put them on your Chrome OS shelf yet (the shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen).

However, this feature is being built by Google and with a little under-the-hood tinkering you can make it happen!

Step 1

Visit chrome://flags/ on your Chromebook (copy + paste into your address bar – WordPress doesn’t like these links) – this is the page where all work-in-progress features of Chrome browser and OS are kept. Have a look around – there’s some fun stuff in there.

Step 2

Find the entry called ‘Enable experimental streamlined hosted apps’ (or paste this into your Chrome address bar – chrome://flags/#enable-streamlined-hosted-apps) and turn it on. This gives you the ability to turn normal websites into “apps” (they need to be apps because that’s what are kept on your shelf).

Step 3

Visit the page you want to add to your shelf – lets say The Guardian. Open the Chrome menu, go to More tools -> Add shortcut to this website…


Step 4

There isn’t really a step 4; that’s about it. The website is now in my shelf. You can drag it around or put it in a folder, just like a normal Chrome app.

App Shelf



  1. JonNorris

    chromebook2014 Sorry – WordPress fucks the links up. Copy + paste into your browser bar and it should work.

  2. mattsears18

    The “app” opens in a new browser window with no bookmarks bar shown. Is there a flag or anything that I can add to make it open as a new tab in my current browser window?

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