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Why I love Arc browser's Shared Folders - and how they work

Oh, why can't every browser collaborate this way? The folder sharing feature - only available on MacOS for now - is yet another reason to switch to Arc.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Arc browser Favorites in the tab panel.

You can see the sites I've added as Favorites above the Workspace name (WORK).

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

The Arc browser has put the fun back in browsing. It's unique and well-designed, and the longer you use the browser, the more features you'll find to help you enjoy the web even more. One feature I've discovered that makes collaboration (or just sharing information) easier is Shared Folders. 

Folders? In a browser?

Also: 5 ways Arc browser makes browsing the web fun again

Seriously. And they're really helpful for keeping your tabs even more organized. You can create folders for any topic or category and drag and drop open tabs into them so they don't clutter the interface.

Those folders also serve another purpose -- sharing. You can create a folder, fill it with tabs, and then share it with others -- regardless of which browser they use.

One thing to note: The folks with whom you've shared folders will not receive updates about the folders, and you cannot delete the permalink for a folder. Therefore, the only way to revoke access to a folder is to delete the folder. With that in mind, I like to think of Shared Folders as temporary repositories for links that I will eventually delete when I'm finished with them.

In any case, Shared Folders is a feature I've grown fond of, and I want to show you how it works.

Creating a folder

What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is the Arc browser installed on MacOS. As of this writing, the share feature doesn't work on Arc for Windows. (Hopefully, the feature will come to the Windows version soon.) That's it. Let's share.

1. Create your first folder

Open the Arc browser and navigate to the space you want to house the new folder. Once there, right-click (or two-finger tap) the space and select New Folder. When prompted, give the new folder a name and hit Enter on your keyboard.

The Arc Browser right-click context menu.

There are several things you can do from this right-click menu.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

2. Fill the folder with tabs

Now that you have your folder created, you can drag and drop as many tabs into it as you need. Keep in mind that this is the only way to add tabs to the folder, as there is no right-click context menu entry for Move Tab to Folder. 

Share the folder

With your folder created, it's now time to share it. Here's how.

1. Access the Share Folder option

Right-click (or two-finger tap) the newly created folder. From the pop-up menu, select Share Folder.

The Arc Browser folder context menu.

You can also add a nested folder, copy all links, and more.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

2. Create the permalink

From the resulting pop-up, click Copy Link to Folder. This will create a permalink for the folder.

The initial Arc Browser Folder Share popup.

If you check "Never show me this again," after clicking Share from the right-click menu, it will automatically copy the link to your clipboard.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Also: Arc browser is now available for Windows and it's so much better than Chrome

3. Share the link

With the permalink copied, you can share it any way you like, such as email and messaging. Just remember that whomever you share the link with will have access to every tab within the folder, so share with discretion.

Once the recipient receives the link, they can click on it to open a page that allows them to open any link within the folder.

One other cool folder trick

Other than sharing your folders, there's one other cool trick that can come in handy. Let's say you've collected a number of links within a folder that are all related to a specific category. If you right-click (or two-finger tap) the folder, you can select Turn X Into Space (Where X is the name of the folder). This will create a new space, named after the folder, that includes all the links within the folder.

Also: The best secure browsers to protect your privacy online

That's all there is to creating and sharing your folders in the Arc browser. This is yet another feature that makes me glad I've made the switch to Arc for MacOS. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind the Browser Company that it should port Arc to Linux.

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