If you always seem to have dozens of tabs open in Google Chrome, then this tip is for you.
Keeping loads of web pages open doesn’t just slow down your computer, but it makes it hard to find the right tab. Google has come to the rescue with a tool that’s already built into Chrome – Tab Groups. This great feature, which you probably don’t even know exists, lets you gather together related tabs into groups, give them a name, then shrink them down so they only take up a single tab space.
Let’s say you’re shopping for a new guitar. You might have 10-20 tabs open with guitar reviews and retailers that sell the models you’re researching.
With tab groups you can put them into a kind of ‘folder’ tab so you can access them from Chrome easily, while appearing to close them down when you’re concentrating on something else. It’s really easy to set up and will bring order to a chaotic browser.
How to set up tab groups in Chrome
Grouping tabs is simple. For the purposes of this guide we’ll assume that you have at least five or six tabs open in Chrome, although the steps below will work with just one.
Go to the tab you want to include, then right-click on it to open a menu, then select Add tab to new group
You’ll be prompted to give the group a name, so be sure to pick something short as you’ll only have the width of a tab to see what it says. It should appear next to your open tab as you type.
If you want to make things even easier to spot, you can also give the tab a colour by selecting from any of the circles under the text field.
How to add or remove tabs from a tab group in Chrome
With the Tab Group set up, you can now add others to it. There are two ways you can do this.
The first is to drag and drop other tabs into the area that has the colour of the group tab shown underneath. The other is to right-click on any open tab and use the Add tab to group option, selecting the relevant tab group from the list that appears.
If you later want to remove tabs that are no longer relevant, there are three options.
The first is obvious, in that you simply click X to close the tab completely. This automatically removes it from the group.
Should you want to keep the tab open but remove it from the group, simply drag it out to a different section of the tab bar (as opposed to dragging it into the group) or right-click the tab and select Remove from group.
Chrome Tab Groups tips & tricks
You can have multiple Tab Groups, and this is the real beauty of the feature: you can keep related tabs together. And since the purpose of using groups is to keep things tidy, you’ll want to manage them so that things don’t get out of hand. Here are a few tips to do just that.
1. Open and close tab groups
You don’t need to have your tab group open all the time, especially if you’re not using them at that particular moment. So, to collapse the tabs down to a solitary one, just click on the tab group label (the tab with the name of the group on it). It will look at first as if you’ve closed all the tabs, but if you click the tab group label a second time it will expand out once more and reveal all the open tabs still safely inside.
2. Move a tab group to another window
Chrome allows you to have different windows open at the same time. This means you can arrange your browser to have, for example, a work page, a research page, an organisational page, and a fun page without all of them crammed into one window. You can instantly move an entire tab group to a new window by a simple command. Right-click on the tab group label, then select Move group to new window.
3. Close a group but leave all tabs open
If you no longer need the group, but would like to return the tabs to their normal, open state, this is easy to do. Right-click on the tab group label and select the Ungroup option.
4. Close group and all tabs
When you’ve finished using the group and want to close everything down, tabs and all, this can all be achieved in a couple of clicks. Just right-click on the tab group label and select the Close group option.