Search This Blog

Friday, September 10, 2010

Google Chrome Sync Feature

Yesterday, while I was on the computer, I tried to open an application and the computer decided to freeze. Nothing that a reset can't fix, I thought. So I reset, and waited. And waited. And waited...but Windows would not start, I was stuck at a black screen with nothing I can do. Safe Mode did not work. Last known good configuration did not work. Nothing worked. Luckily, I had another partition with an older copy of Windows that still worked. I booted that copy and reinstalled Windows, and selected the Repair option for the affected partition. That fixed it and, thankfully, everything is back to normal.

The reason I'm telling you all this is due to the fact that the main thing I was interested in saving was the data that Chrome stores: Bookmarks, Settings, Passwords and so on. I managed to find where it saves its information in Documents and Settings, yes, but that was cumbersome and it does not allow merger with another copy of Chrome on another machine. It will only allow overwrite, and that is something I don't want.

After some clicking, it turns out that Chrome has a nice feature called Sync, found in Options under Personal Stuff. Sync is very easy, all you need is a Gmail account and you're all set. Sync stores your settings and bookmarks in the Cloud, on Google servers with access from any computer. Just log in with your Gmail account and it will Sync all the information you've selected. This is very good if you're recovering from a crash.

I have used other bookmark managers before, namely Foxmarks, but after a while, it became too heavy. It is especially noticeable when you first start your browser and it starts to sync. The browser became so slow and annoying that I decided not to drop Foxmarks and risk losing the data. It is also restricted to bookmarks and passwords, settings are not saved. I did not know of Chrome's Sync feature until today, and that is why I've been without a backup all this time. Never again!

Note, I remember using a Firefox extension that allowed you to save your settings and data to a file, and if I remember correctly, there was a 3rd party service that would do host your data on their servers. It works the same as Chrome's Sync, but the main difference here is that Sync is not 3rd party and it's not an extension. It's a built in feature, ready to go.

Way to go Chrome!

No comments:

Post a Comment