If you frequently visit a website or a blog on your Chrome browser, then it’s a good idea to make a shortcut link of the same on the home screen. This will eliminate a few steps and also make life easier. These shortcuts will be visible on the Android phone’s home screen.
A few shortcuts are added to the phone app drawer as a native lightweight app. It works as a standalone app with chrome in the backend. This technology is called Progressive Web App (PWA).
I use the PWA shortcut links for Twitter and Instagram on my phone. I do not like heavy mobile apps that eat up my storage space and consume processing memory. So, I prefer using mobile shortcuts that make browsing more accessible and do not burden my storage space.
The PWA apps are the best way to keep the phone efficient and eliminate background data usage. Hence, it stops your phone from lagging at any cost.
Add to Home Screen
The shortcut links can be added to the home screen using a chrome browser on an android phone. These shortcuts help relaunch a website or a PWA app on the chrome browser.
Here are the steps to create a shortcut link on Chrome Android and then add it to the home screen:
- Launch the Chrome for Android App.
- Open the Website that you need to create the shortcut link.
- Tap on the More menu options.
- Select the Add to Home Screen option from the list.
- Tap on the Add command.
- Here you can touch and hold to place manually OR
- Select Add Automatically command.
- The Shortcut link will be created on the Home screen of your Android phone.
If you kill your Chrome session and tap on the shortcut link, the chrome browser will automatically launch the shortcut website on your browser. This way, you can add a shortcut to the home screen.
Video Demo: Add to the Home screen on Chrome Android
Here is the video demo on how to add a shortcut to the Google Chrome homepage.
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Bottom Line: Chrome Android Add to Home Screen
If a particular website offers PWA for mobile, then a native lightweight app is installed. Else, a shortcut link will be created automatically or manually on the selected location on the Android phone home screen.
After knowing how to add shortcuts in chrome, I could quickly delete most of the apps that took much of my storage space and created a chrome shortcut for them instead. Further, I added them to the home screen, making my browsing experience smooth and easy.
Similarly, you can also create an add-to desktop shortcut link on a chrome computer. The PWA apps on the desktop are installed as chrome web apps.
Do you feel this feature to add the site shortcut is useful? What is one of the most used shortcut links on your Android home screen?
“Add to home screen” feature is not present in Chrome currently. How can it be done now?
Hi Tom, the feature is available in the latest version of the chrome browser. But, you won’t be able to see the option on the chrome homepage. Perhaps, you need to first open any website for the option to be visible under menu.
Some pages have an app pointing to their web-page, and then the ‘add to home screen’ option is replaced with an ‘install app’ option.
I want to add a shortcut link to a recurring Google Meet meeting. The instant I enter the link address it opens the Google Meet app. I then do not have the option of creating a shortcut to the link. I tried uninstalling the Meet app, but then it just takes me directly to the Play Store. Thoughts? Thanks!
Hi Matthew, Android phones as a feature that automatically opens the link in Supported Apps that are installed. In your case, the link is supported in the Google Meet app, hence you’re facing the issue. If you do not wish to happen, then set the option to don’t allow the link to open in the Meet app.
Follow these steps:
1. Launch Android Phone Settings.
2. Tap to open the Apps and Notification tab.
3. Choose the Default apps tab.
4. Within the Default apps, at the bottom, open — Opening links.
5. Choose the Google Meet app.
6. Within the Open supported links, choose – Don’t open in this app.
That’s it. The links will no longer open in the Google Meet app. Let me know how it goes.
I tried this and it didn’t work
How do you remove an item added to your home screen?
Hi Ellen, tap and hold the icon/item, and you will get the option to Remove it.
I just switched from Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge to Samsung Galaxy s20. I have a link that moved over with the transfer that used to open in what I just learned here on this page as a pwa, but on the new phone it opens in Chrome browser. I would like to figure out how to get it to open the pwa version.
I didn’t do anything special to it when I first saved the link to the home page on the old phone, and now I can’t get it that way on my new phone. I prefer the pwa because opening the link is always refreshing a new browser tab, and I want it to stay put on the page that I have linked.
I would appreciate any help and guidance.
Hello Sharon! Here is what I can suggest in your case.
1. Delete the existing shortcut links that you’ve imported while switching from old Galaxy to new Samsung Galaxy S20.
2. Clear the cache and cookies within the Chrome browser. This will clear any old traces of the Samsung smart switch.
3. Now create the shortcut links again follow the steps mentioned in the article.
If you get the pop-up to add the site as PWA, then it’s well and good. However, if the site already supports PWA, you can just add a shortcut link. Hope this helps!
Not all sites have the feature to add to home screen. Eg twitter mobile sites dont allow it.
Perhaps you can add Twitter as a PWA app instead of a shortcut link.
THANK YOU for explaining the Progressive Web App detail! It’s been driving me crazy, trying to figure out the difference between some app shortcuts and others
Of course, Travis! Progressive Web App is a sort of lightweight native app vs. the site shortcut.
Twitter change this “add a home screen shortcut ” menu to force install app
My add to home screen command is no longer on the list. Any suggestions
How do I edit the name of these newly created chrome shortcuts ?? Some of the names are long & cumbersome
Hello David, when you tap on Add to Home Screen command it will allow you to edit the shortcut title. Tap and hold the existing shortcut to see the pencil icon for edit, or you can delete the existing shortcut and try adding once again to see the option.
I create the shortcuts on my Motorola Edge plus, but sometimes after a reboot they disappear from my home screen. It is annoying for sure.
How can I enable my Instagram chrome short cut notifications?
Great, now how do I add the shortcut to Google Chrome’s “New Tab” page under the search bar?
Some websites go there when I open them, but the ones I want don’t.
Hello Richard, those links are dynamic in nature. It appears and disappears based on your usage and visit frequency. The Chrome browser determines the most used site and pin shortcuts to the home screen. We can only remove the shortcut and Chrome Android does not manually allow us to add those shortcut links as Chrome Computer.
How to transfer these links from phone to phone?
Sign in with the same Google account on both phones, you’ll find the Phone name listed while sending to connected devices.
I see all my devices, but how do I send to connected devices? Thx.
Just tap on the device that you want to send.
I apologize, I am drawing a blank on how to “send” anything. Both phones are signed in, and I tap into my account from Chrome user’s icon.
Hello Lou, you can follow this guide here: How to Send Link to Chrome Devices from Android Phone?.
Thankyou. It’s not exactly what I am looking for, but this may have to do.
E.g. I have many links saved to the homescreen (say 30+/-); some even in folders and with chosen icons. I was looking for a way to send these exact shortcut files (and/or folders) to a second phone.
I think the home screen shortcuts are not synced with Chrome account sign-in as it does for Bookmarks. You need to manually add those links to your second device, unfortunately.
Yes, that is what I have found. Thanks for your continued attention.
When I tap the address bar (Chrome on Galaxy A12), in general I get a list of sites I visit frequently (I prefer to use those as shortcuts instead of adding them to my home screen). However, when I’m on the results page in google and tap the address bar, I don’t see them. Is there a way to make them show up? Thanks!
Hi Chris, Chrome Android’s address bar fetch the frequently visited site from its database and history records. However, Google’s Search address bar fetches the last searched queries (not the sites) from Google’s database. These two are totally different sources and cannot be merged to show up together. However, there are a few chances that you might see them similar but not the same. Hope this explains!
Once a chrome shortcut is added to the home screen, is there anyway to edit the URL?
The page I visit automatically adds parameters (search date for instance) which I would like to remove from the shortcut.
P.S.: chrome home screen shortcuts may become disabled and unsuable after a chrome update. Happenned to me 2 or 3 weeks ago. Quite a pain when you have an extensive number of shortcuts.
Thanks for the tutorial.
I’m trying to add a link (URL) to my home screen but it seems you can only do this via a browser. My problem with the browser is that it goes to the site and the site may redirect or change the URL.
i.e. I want mydomain.com but the browser gets mydomain.com/login.php
Is there any way I can add the URL I want to the home screen without the browser?
Hi JJ, do the website you are trying to add need sign-in when you upon the previous exit? I think the site home page is automatically redirecting you to the login page. If that’s the case, then I am afraid that it won’t be possible to add the desired page.
Turning off my connections and putting the device in airplane mode stopped the automatic redirection and allowed me to create the shortcut to the original URL.
How do I get a “link” added to *Chrome’s* home page?
It used to add my commonly searched for pages at the top of Chrome, about 8 of them.
Then I deleted history and they were deleted, and none have returned with use.
Unfortunately, if you create one of these icons using the Add to Home Screen in the latest version of Android and then try to remove it, you will find that tap and hold no longer gives you the option to remove the shortcut.
Every time I restart my phone, my add to home screen shortcuts disappear and I have to re add them! What is the fix for that? It’s a lot of work!