Various apps sync your data across all devices and platforms when you connect to it. The Chrome browser offers a similar capacity with the synchronization function. Nowadays, most users have at least 2 devices: a computer or a mobile, or two mobile phones or two computers. You can sync Chrome data across multiple devices to make your browsing experience consistent. But what exactly does Chrome synchronization do? Do you need to sync your data with Chrome Sync?
Whether you’re on Android, iOS, Windows, or Mac, Chrome’s sync functionality is available across all platforms. Just sign in with the same Google account in Chrome on all devices.
It’s time to start our long journey to learn all about Chrome synchronization. At the end of the article, you will know what Chrome synchronization is, what data can be synchronized in Chrome, how to activate or deactivate Chrome synchronization, etc.
What is synchronizing your Chrome data
When you enable synchronization in Chrome using your Google Account, you can synchronize your Chrome information such as passwords, history, settings, etc. with the cloud. Now, if you sign in to Chrome using the same Google Account from any other device such as another computer or mobile phone (Android or iOS), your data will also be synced with that device.
Updating data on one device will also change it on other devices. You will see the data synchronized across all your devices. If you lose your phone or move to a new device, you don’t need to transfer your Chrome data manually. Just sign in to the same Google account on Chrome on other devices, and you will immediately get your data synced.
For example, add the Grammarly extension or Microsoft Editor on one computer, and the same will appear on another PC. Likewise, saving a password on one device will synchronize and automatically fill it in on other devices.
With Chrome sync, the account you used will be treated as your default Google account in Chrome. This will automatically connect you to Google sites such as YouTube, Gmail, Keep and other services. If you want to separate Chrome and Google accounts, you can change this feature by turning off Allow login to Chrome.
What Chrome Sync information
The following information will be synchronized across all your devices:
Bookmarks on all devices
With Chrome sync, you get a cross-platform bookmark manager. You can bookmark a site on your mobile, and the same will be available on your computer and vice versa. Bookmarks created from a mobile are usually found in the Bookmarks> Mobile Bookmarks folder.
On mobile, go to Favorites from the three dots icon in Chrome, and you’ll find all of your favorites synced from other devices.
In addition, you can password protect your bookmarks using Chrome extensions, add notes to your bookmarks for easier identification, and recover deleted bookmarks.
Point: Google has a separate product known as Google Bookmarks. Find out how it differs from Chrome bookmarks.
Search browsing and search history
Like bookmarks, your browsing and search history on Chrome is synchronized and accessible on all connected devices. So if you’re looking for pictures of cute cats on your computer, you can see the same search query as a recent search in the Google app on mobile and elsewhere.
The browsing history of all connected devices will be available under the History option in Chrome on all devices.
Note: Clearing the browsing history on one device will delete it on all devices.
Access open tabs
Besides browsing history, Chrome syncs your currently open tabs across all devices. For example, you can check the open tabs on your Windows 10 PC from your Android phone or iPhone. This allows you to quickly open the same tab on other devices.
To view tabs for other devices on a computer, click the Chrome three-dot icon. Hover your mouse over history and you’ll see tabs for other devices.
By clicking on the History option in the history or by accessing chrome: // history /, the ‘Tabs from other devices’ option will be displayed on the left side.
On Chrome mobile apps, tap the three-dot icon and select the recent tabs. You will find the recent tabs of different devices.
Point: Discover 5 Chrome extensions to save open tabs for later use.
Share pages and phone numbers
In the above method, you need to follow several steps to open the same page on another device. To avoid this, Chrome has introduced the Send to device feature for devices that have enabled sync.
With this, you can share any web page with your other devices by right clicking on the link or using the Send to Device button in the address bar of the currently opened page.
The same functionality can be used to select a number on PC and call it from your Android phone. To do this, select the number (very important step) and right click on it. Choose Call from. If you are unable to use this feature, find out 5 ways to resolve the problem of sending to the device.
Point: Don’t like the Send to Devices feature? Disable it.
Sync apps, extensions, and themes
Enabling synchronization on Chrome on PC will automatically install your existing Chrome extensions and apps on another PC. Likewise, your current theme will be shared across all devices.
Chrome’s sync feature will not work for extension data. For example, if you save tabs using Chrome session managers, the native extension sync capability must be available to view this data on another device.
Like a native bookmark manager, you get a password manager in Chrome. When you save a password in Chrome on one device, you don’t need to save or enter it on other devices. It will fill automatically if necessary. If the password manager doesn’t work, troubleshoot it with some tested fixes.
Point: Sometimes you can accidentally delete a password from Chrome. Learn how to recover deleted passwords.
In addition to the above data, Chrome syncs your addresses, phone numbers, payment methods and preferences in the settings.
How to turn on sync in Chrome on mobile and desktop
There are two methods to enable synchronization in Chrome. Let’s see them.
Method 1: with other Google sites or apps
If this is the first time you’re using a Chrome profile, a new computer, or a mobile phone and you’ve connected to a Google site from Chrome or a Google mobile app, this email will be picked up by default and will be used for synchronization. However, Google will not automatically activate the synchronization function. You need to access Chrome settings and you’ll see the Turn on sync button at the top for desktop and mobile.
Method 2: activate in settings
In this method, open Chrome settings and click Sync and Google services. Click on Activate synchronization. Add your Google Account and you’re good to go.
How to turn off Chrome sync and what happens if you stop syncing
To turn off syncing in Chrome, repeat the steps in Method 2 of turning on sync. That is, go to Settings> Sync and Google services. Click the Deactivate button.
A confirmation box will appear. Click on Disable.
If you notice it closely, you’ll see the “Clear bookmarks, history, passwords and more” box at the bottom. By checking this box, your Chrome data will be deleted from local storage on your device, which otherwise would not have been deleted if you just turned off syncing.
If you turn off synchronization without checking this button, you will still be able to access your bookmarks, history, etc. on the same device as they are stored locally. However, any changes made to this data or data added from other devices will not be synchronized with your computer. In addition, disabling synchronization will disconnect you from Google websites.
How to choose which data to synchronize with other devices
Fortunately, Google allows you to choose the data you want to synchronize. For example, if you do not want to synchronize your passwords, you can deactivate its synchronization.
To do this on mobile and on computer, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open Chrome settings and go to Sync and Google services.
2nd step: Go to the Manage synchronization option.
Step 3: Disable the toggle next to Synchronize all to activate the individual options. Then turn off the flip-flop next to the data you don’t want to sync.
Check the amount of data synced from Chrome
Go to https://chrome.google.com/sync from the same Google account registered in Chrome to check the data being synchronized.
If you sync data in Chrome
Chrome data synchronization provides a seamless experience by making switching between multiple devices or a new device natural. You don’t have to delve into your data on other devices just for a simple tab or bookmark. With Chrome synchronization, it is immediately accessible on all devices. If you’re worried that Google will read your data, you should use a Chrome sync passphrase. But don’t forget not to use the synchronization function for public computers. Use it only on your devices.
In case you want to sync data with multiple accounts or want to share your device with other users, you need to check out the profiles feature of Chrome. For temporary users, you can create a guest profile.
Resetting Chrome will disable extensions on your computer. Find out if it will delete the Chrome data from the link below.
Last updated on June 18, 2020
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