Use Spotlight to Search Google and Show Results in Chrome

The use cases are somewhat limited given the Google Chrome app is probably open all the time if you’re like me, but it is possible to use Spotlight to search Google and show the results in Chrome. All you have to do is adjust your Safari preferences appropriately. (If only it were this easy in iOS.)

  1. Open Safari >> Preferences
  2. Make Google Chrome your default web browser
  3. Make Google your default search engine

Now launch Spotlight (Command + Spacebar), type in a search request and select “Search web for….

Safari Preferences

Bye Bye Bookmarks

While working on my remote work PC via RDP, I decided to link sync my Google account on Chrome so I could have all my useful work bookmarks and apps on my work machine too. After syncing, I quickly realized there are a lot of bookmarks I won’t use at work, so I opened up the bookmark manager on my remote machine and started deleting. After a few seconds everything was looking tip-top and optimized for work. I turned back to my Mac and noticed the bookmark bar looked exactly like the on my work machine. Doh! I had just wiped out all my (hundreds) of useful bookmarks in a few seconds. Such a noob move.

Naturally, (after calming down a bit) I Googled “restore deleted bookmarks Chrome.” I hit the 3 most relevant links and found the solution. Google Chrome periodically saves a backup of all your bookmarks in a ‘Bookmarks.bak’ file. Brilliant! How often does it save? I don’t know, but it should recover most of what you lose should something similar happen to you.

Here are the steps for Mac from the terminal:

  1. Navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default
    cd ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default
  2. Find the ‘Bookmarks.bak’ file and make a copy of it in a safe place
    cp Bookmarks.bak ~/Desktop/Bookmarks.bak
  3. Delete the ‘Bookmarks’ file
    rm Bookmarks
  4. Rename ‘Bookmarks.bak’ to ‘Bookmarks’
    mv Bookmarks.bak Bookmarks
  5. Restart Chrome

Windows users follow similar steps, which can be found at sites like blognotes.in.

Side note: Some sites said this only works if you haven’t quit Chrome after you’ve deleted them. I didn’t try quitting Chrome first so I wouldn’t know. :)