After being available for testing in the recent beta (for developers) versions of the browser, an important new feature has finally arrived in the final and stable version of Google Chrome that most of us use: tab groups. This could change the way you surf the internet forever.
There is a hidden option in Chrome so that the most annoying websites stop sending you notifications.
Tab Groups arrives in the Google Chrome 81 version for Windows and macOS, so, first of all, you should make sure that you are using the latest browser update. Open the Chrome menu and select Help and then About Google Chrome. If you are not already using version 81 or later, a message should appear to update the software.
As the name suggests, Tab Groups allows … grouping tabs. Most of us are likely to constantly have more tabs open than is actually feasible, and the new feature gives you more control over how these tabs are managed. Several third-party extensions have addressed this issue in the past (we’ll talk about this later), but Chrome now has its own built-in feature.
The easiest way to start using Tab Groups is to right-click (or Ctrl + click on a Mac) a tab’s header in Chrome; You should then see an option to Add to a new group. The tab will now have a colored outline and a colored dot on one of its sides.
You can click on the dot to give your new tab group a name (which will appear in the tab bar) and to change the color if you don’t like the default. The other options in this menu allow you to close all the tabs of a group, ungroup all the tabs of the group (and delete the group), in addition to adding a new empty tab to the group.
So, for example, you can have a tab group for work stuff and a tab group for social media. If you are researching two or more topics at the same time, you are trying to work on multiple projects, or you just want to keep your work and leisure web browsing separate, here are some of the scenarios where tab grouping can be very useful.
Once you’ve created your first group, right-clicking (or Ctrl + clicking ) on any tab header gives you the option to add that tab to an existing group, as well as create a new one (that’s why it’s a good idea to put names to your tab groups). If you open a link from a tab that is already in a group, the new tab goes to the same group.
You can also add a tab to a group simply by clicking and dragging it to the group. Tabs can be moved between different groups in the same way. On the other hand, pinned tabs are exempt and cannot be grouped (if you try to group a pinned tab, it will unpin itself; and if you pin a clustered tab it will no longer be part of the group).
One of the best tricks that tab groups allow is to move tabs en masse: to do this, just click and drag a tab group tag, and in this way, you can move all its tabs at once (or drag them to a window brand new). By the way, it is also possible to move several tabs at the same time without using the groups, selecting them by pressing Ctrl + click (or Cmd + click on a Mac) and then dragging them.
The Chrome development team will certainly add more functionality to Tab Groups as time goes on. At the moment, it is not the most efficient solution, since for example simply dragging a tab can remove it from a group, and there is no way to save groups of tabs or bring them back as a group after they have been closed.
Still, it’s a promising start, and it shows that Google engineers are thinking of better ways to manage the avalanche of tabs that we all open every day. Try the new feature and you may find it more useful than you expect.
If you need more than what Tab Groups can offer, many Chrome extensions cover the same type of feature. The cluster allows you to organize tabs by the window, so you can group tabs with similar content, and then open and close them in batches. It also makes searching through tabs much easier.
Tab Manager Plus uses a similar approach to help manage tabs based on the browser window they are in; if you want to close groups of tabs but get them back easily, it works fine. As an added benefit, it will help you detect duplicate tabs you have opened, and can (optionally) limit how many tabs you can open in total.
Toby deserves a mention too, and he’s actually the most complete of all. Basically, it transforms the way tabs and bookmarks are managed in Chrome, providing a new and optimized way to stay on top of and manage the web pages you need. It may take some time to get used to using it, but it could make a big difference to your productivity online if it convinces you.