The excitement of unwrapping a new PC can be quickly nulled by the daunting prospect of setup. Copying files and folders can be simple enough, but what about all the data and settings stored within Google Chrome? How do you sync Chrome passwords and bookmarks to a new PC without losing anything or creating duplicates? Here’s how.
Sync Chrome passwords and other data
In an increasingly browser-based world, the data which we ask Google Chrome to store goes well beyond bookmarks and passwords. Modern browsers can be personalised with extensions and apps, customised with theme tweaks, and loaded with payment details. Dragging this amount of information from an aged PC to its shiny replacement is daunting, but synchronisation removes all the stress and complication from the process.
Google Chrome’s synchronisation uses the cloud to transfer passwords and bookmarks to a new PC. Synchronisation can also shift many other browser properties.
For the magic to happen, you’ll need to use a Google account, which many people already have. If you don’t, then the sign-up process at https://accounts.google.com is straight-forward.
Open Google Chrome, and click the circular icon (highlighted in red in our image) in the top right hand corner. This launches Chrome’s profile tool. Click Turn on sync…
Chrome will pop-up a login box. Sign in with your Google account details.
Finally, Chrome will give you the option to customise which data syncs to and from your device. To go all in, click Yes, I’m in and Chrome will get on with it. If you want more granular controls, for example, syncing extensions but not history, then select Settings and customise.
Just a note that for your settings to sync from your old PC to the new one, ensure both instances of Google Chrome are signed in with the same Google account.
How to change synchronisation settings in Google Chrome
You can alter the settings at any point and remember that not every facet of Chrome has to be synchronised across your devices. Type chrome://settings/syncSetup/advanced (or click the link to the left) in Chrome’s address bar, then select Customize sync. The slider switches will control which settings will sync. This personalisation is, ironically, not synchronised. This gives tremendous flexibility in your choices of what data synchronises to certain devices.
Synchronisation isn’t just a way to copy Chrome’s passwords and bookmarks to a new PC. It works on tablets, phones, Macs and anything else using Chrome. It’s a fantastically useful feature.