On this page:

What’s it for?

You might not think about it but you likely open a new browser tab many times a day. A Fine Start is for making that page more useful and nice than what browsers show by default. When you open a new tab with A Fine Start, you get a simple list of links, grouped and sorted how you like. Whether it is links to your email and calendar, or your guilty YouTube pleasures is up to you.

How it works

A Fine Start stores your bookmarks directly in your browser. When you have a Premium subscription, your bookmarks are also stored online so that you can access them on multiple devices and browsers.

Important note for the web version (does not apply to extensions): If you clear your browser’s cookies and personal data, you will lose the local copy of your bookmarks. Again, this only applies to the web version. If you have a Premium subscription, you can login and recover your bookmarks. But otherwise they will be gone. If you have a lot of bookmarks and you don’t have a subscription, consider backing up your bookmarks using the export tool.

Setting up your new tab page

In Chrome: Install the A Fine Start extension for Chrome

In Firefox: Install the A Fine Start add-on for Firefox

In Edge: Install the A Fine Start add-on for Edge

In Safari: Make your homepage in Safari → Preferences. Then set new tabs to open with the homepage.

A note about Arc

Arc browser doesn’t have a new tab page. Whenever you open a new tab in Arc, you get a command dialog where you can enter a search or a URL. As such, there isn’t a new tab page for A Fine Start to take over. That said, you can make use of the web hosted version of A Fine Start by going to and dragging it up to Arc’s pinned tab area. That will ensure that all of your A Fine Start bookmarks are a click away.

Quickly adding bookmarks

If you’re using one of the official extensions, you can click on the A Fine Start icon in the browser’s toolbar to quickly add the URL from the currently active tab to your A Fine Start bookmarks. This feature is available to both regular users and Premium subscribers.

Adding bookmarks manually. Both the extension and web version support adding bookmarks manually. Click Add in the action bar. You can add a bookmark to an existing group or a new one. To quickly enter multiple bookmarks back-to-back, check Stay on this page.

Grouping and sorting bookmarks

Once you have added at least one bookmark, you will see an Edit/Reorder button. Clicking it will activate edit mode. When edit mode is active you can drag and drop bookmarks or whole groups. You can click an individual bookmark to edit it. You can also delete bookmarks by clicking the X button.

When you’re done, click Done in the action bar to deactivate edit mode.

Group folding. If you have a lot of groups, you might like to fold ones you don’t use often. Go to Settings and check the box next to Group folding. Once checked, you can click on group headers to fold and unfold them.

Searching your bookmarks

There are two ways to search your bookmarks.

Search from URL bar

If you are using the browser extension, you can type “afs” in the URL bar, followed by a space. From that point, you can type your search directly in the URL bar and use up and down arrows to make a selection. This is available globally so you don’t need to be on a new tab to use it.

On-page search

Focus on the page and then press Command+K (Control+K on Windows). This will activate the search pane. You can begin typing and results will appear below. Use up and down arrows to select a result and press enter to navigate. This works in both the extension and web versions.

If you are using the browser extension, you can optionally use Command+Shift+K (Control+Shift+K on Windows) to activate the search pane without focusing on the page first (i.e., you can use the shortcut from the URL bar). Due to browser limitations, you would still need to tab into the page to focus the search box before typing your search.

Using A Fine Start as your homepage

In Chrome, go to Settings > Appearance. Select Show home button and select New Tab page.

In Firefox:

In Edge, go to Settings > Start, home, and new tabs. Activate the toggle under Home button and select New Tab page.

Restoring bookmarks from previous state

If you have made changes you no longer want, you can restore bookmarks from a previous point in time. Go to Settings > Restore points.

Restore points are saved in your browser and available for both regular users and Premium subscribers. Note that restore points are not saved in your online account. Because they’re local, restore points only represent the historical state of your bookmarks in a particular browser.

Here’s how it works. Every time you make a change to your bookmarks (e.g., adding one, editing one, reordering them) A Fine Start saves a restore point. When you go to Settings > Restore points you will see a bookmarks view along with the date and time. You can use the Older button to page through your restore points. When you are happy with what you see, click Restore these bookmarks. That will cause your current bookmarks to be replaced with those from the restore point (but don’t worry, your existing bookmarks are saved as a restore point so you can get them back if needed).

Once you have 100 restore points saved, A Fine Start will begin deleting the oldest restore points when needed to make room for new ones.

Importing and exporting your bookmarks

A Fine Start offers free import and export tools. These tools are for moving your bookmarks between A Fine Start in different browsers or devices. At this time it isn’t possible to import your browser’s bookmarks into A Fine Start or to export your A Fine Start bookmarks in the format required by your browser.

To export your bookmarks go to Settings and choose Export bookmarks from the Import/Export section. Copy the code shown and save it somewhere (if you want).

To import your bookmarks into A Fine Start on a different browser or device, go to Settings and choose Export bookmarks from the Import/Export section. Paste the export code into the text box and click Import Now. Note that this will completely replace your current bookmarks. If you decide you want to undo the import you can restore your bookmarks to a previous state.

If you have a premium subscription you probably don’t need these tools as your bookmarks are automatically synced between different browsers and devices.

Premium subscription

The core functionality of A Fine Start is free and doesn’t require an account. That said, if you use A Fine Start with multiple browsers or devices, consider subscribing to a Premium account. A Premium subscription is $5 per month (or $40 annually) and quietly works behind the scenes to keep all of your bookmarks (and groups, and ordering) in sync.

Managing your account

If you already have an account, you can update your payment information, switch between monthly and annual subscriptions, or cancel your subscription by visiting the account portal page.

Switching subscription types

A Fine Start offers an annual Premium subscription at 33% off the monthly subscription. You can switch your current subscription type in the account portal.

If you are currently on a monthly Premium sub you can upgrade to the annual Premium sub at a prorated price.

If you switch from the annual sub to the monthly sub, your annual sub remains active until the end of the billing period. Then the monthly sub will start up.

Cancelling your subscription

You are free to cancel your subscription at any time by visiting the account portal page. Your Premium account will remain active until the end of the billing period.


You may contact me, Blake Watson, by emailing me at

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my bookmarks on another computer?

You have two options if you want your bookmark collection on more than one web browser or device:

  1. If you click Settings, you will find a tool for exporting your bookmarks. The export tool will generate some code. Save this code wherever you like. Using A Fine Start on your other browser or device, go to Settings and use the import tool to load your bookmarks.
  2. If you have a Premium subscription, you can simply log in. Your browser will download the latest copy of your bookmarks from your account, and any additions or changes you make will appear on your other logged-in browsers.

My bookmarks are gone! What happened?

If you are using the free version, it means you may have cleared your browser’s website data, or your browser’s localStorage was deleted by some other means. In this case, there’s no way to recover your bookmarks. This only happens when using the web version. It is recommended that you use the official extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

If you have a Premium subscription and something has happened to your bookmarks, email I may be able to recover your bookmarks from a backup.

I saw a browser message asking about persistent storage. What does that mean?

If you see this message, please allow it. This permission affects A Fine Start’s web version. It will let your browser know that A Fine Start is keeping important information for you that should not be cleared out by the browser.

Why doesn’t the free version save my bookmarks online?

Two reasons: cost and privacy.

A Fine Start gives all of its essential functionality away for free. Syncing your bookmarks is a nice and convenient—but not critical—feature. Because the syncing service is what costs the most to maintain, it’s included as part of the premium subscription.

The other reason is privacy. I like the idea that you can use A Fine Start without giving me your email address and that you don’t have to store your bookmarks in an online account if you don’t want to. That said, if you do decide that you want a Premium subscription, you can trust that I won’t abuse my access to your data. For more, see A Fine Start’s privacy policy.

How do I get to the Customize Chrome panel in Google Chrome?

Google Chrome’s built-in new tab page now has a “Customize Chrome” button that opens a side panel with various options for changing the color theme of Chrome. If you have A Fine Start installed as an extension, it replaces the built-in new tab page. But you can still navigate directly to Chrome’s built-in new tab page by visiting chrome://new-tab-page directly.

For security reasons it is impossible for me to link you there from this website, but if you open a new tab using A Fine Start and go to Settings, you will find a link there that can open the built-in new tab page and give you access to the customization panel.


View the changelog here.