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Access Your Favorite Sites Instantly

Eric Elliot

Home » Technology » Access Your Favorite Sites Instantly

Tired of constantly opening up Chrome and typing in the same website URLs over and over? Save yourself some time by adding shortcuts to your favorite sites directly on your Android home screen.

With Chrome’s easy “Add to Home Screen” feature, you can launch web apps and websites with just one tap, bypassing the need to open the browser first. Whether it’s your go-to social media site, webmail inbox, or favorite online tools, you can customize your home screen with quick-access shortcuts.

Launch Chrome and Navigate to the Desired Website

Getting started is simple – just open up the Chrome app on your Android device like you normally would. Once the browser is launched, head to the website or web app you want a shortcut for.

For example, if you check your Gmail frequently throughout the day, pull up mail.google.com in Chrome. Or if staying on top of your social feeds is a priority, access the Facebook app.

You can create home screen shortcuts for any site you regularly visit. The web page needs to be open in order for the next step to work.

Open Chrome’s Menu and Select “Add to Home Screen”

With the desired page loaded, tap on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of Chrome to open the menu. In this menu, find and select the “Add to home screen” option.

Alternative phrasing for this may be “Add shortcut” or “Install app” depending on the website. The goal is to look for whichever menu option allows you to add a shortcut or icon on your home screen.

Name the Shortcut for Easy Access

After selecting “Add to Home Screen,” Chrome will display a pop-up where you can name the shortcut. For simplicity, it’s best to keep the website name or something short and descriptive.

For example, name a Facebook shortcut simply “Facebook” or “FB.” You want to be able to easily recognize the icons on your home screen, so avoid naming them something generic like “Shortcut 1”.

The pop-up may also allow you to select a relevant icon or theme color for the shortcut as well.

Place the Shortcut Manually or Automatically

Next, you will have the option to either have Chrome automatically add the shortcut to your home screen or manually place it yourself.

If you want precise control over where the shortcut appears, select “Add manually” after naming it. This will allow you to long press on your home screen and drag the shortcut to your preferred spot.

However, allowing Chrome to automatically add the shortcut is the quicker option. It will end up in the first available space on your home screen grid.

Chrome Web Apps vs Simple Site Shortcuts

One thing to note – some websites like Twitter or Pinterest support full Chrome web apps, while others will simply generate a basic shortcut.

Chrome web apps include extra functionality for offline use, notifications, and device integration. They function more like a native Android app.

Meanwhile, basic shortcuts will just launch and render the mobile site within the browser. There’s no added functionality beyond a direct link.

Quick Access Without Opening the Browser

On that note, Progressive Web Apps that utilize Chrome’s web app abilities will launch instantly without needing to specifically open Chrome first.

Think of them as mini web apps – you tap the Pinterest shortcut icon and the app loads straight away. You don’t have to go find and launch Chrome before accessing the site.

This allows you to use web apps in the background more easily. You can switch between them faster.

Save Home Screen Space by Replacing Apps

One benefit of adding website shortcuts is reducing icon clutter on your home screen. Rather than a full native app, you can have a simple shortcut that serves the same purpose without taking up as much space.

For example, delete the Facebook and Instagram apps and replace them with web app shortcuts. This cleans up your home screen by removing unneeded icons.

Free Up Storage by Removing Unneeded Apps

Taking this a step further, you can actually uninstall apps that offer Progressive Web App equivalents to regain storage capacity on your phone.

Switching from native Twitter and Reddit apps over to their web app shortcuts will free up precious internal storage space used by those programs.

Fewer apps means more available storage for photos, videos, downloaded music, and other files you want quick access to on your device.

Customize Your Home Screen Experience

At the end of the day, Chromium-powered shortcuts give you the ability to customize your Android home screen experience by only keeping instant access to sites and tools you actually use daily.

Set up short links for your most visited social sites, webmail, communication apps, task managers, or entertainment services. Hide news sites and games behind folders if you only occasionally access them.

Optimizing your home screen with your personal most-used websites will speed up phone workflows and habits. Take advantage of Chrome’s “Add to Home Screen” shortcut feature to save time and clutter.