Many desktop web browsers and some mobile browsers support the grouping of tabs. Implementations may differ depending on the browser and platform, but all have in common that they provide users with an option to group tabs in the browser.
Many Chromium-based browsers support tab groups by now. You can use Microsoft Edge, Brave or Google Chrome, and use the functionality right away. All that it takes is to right-click on a tab and select the “add tab to new group” option from the context menu.
Add a custom string to describe the group, pick a color and you are all set to start using it. New tabs are added via drag & drop, and once the tab bar reaches a certain threshold, you may click on the name of the tab group to minimize it.
Some Chromium-based browsers have created different solutions. The Vivaldi browser supports a range of tab group related options. Unlike other Chromium-based browsers, Vivaldi users may create tab groups by dragging tabs on top of each other. It is simpler, and the browser comes with options to display tabs of groups in a second tab bar in the interface for improved usability.
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser supported tab groups for some time several years ago. Mozilla made the decision to remove tab grouping functionality from Firefox. Firefox users may install add-ons, such as Tiled Tab Groups, Panorama Tab Groups, or Simple Tab Groups, that restore the functionality.
Why I like Tab Groups
When I use a web browser, I tend to have a good amount of tabs open at all times. It happens that I find sites and pages of interest during browsing and research sessions, and I tend to open these in new tabs in the browser and keep these tabs open between sessions.
While I could save the tabs to the browser’s bookmarks or use other archiving options, I found that I forget about these then quickly as they are not visible anymore on the screen.
The number of tabs reaches dangerous threshold levels sometimes, so that open tabs are displayed with just a site icon or no icon at all anymore.
The introduction of tab group support in the browser allows me to sort open tabs into multiple groups and to collapse groups that are needed. One group has all the Ghacks research articles that I came across; these consist of new programs that I want to test, articles from other websites, research papers, tips, and anything else that could make an article on the site or be used in one.
Then I have groups for other activities, including entertainment and hobbies, or informational articles on topics of interest that are unrelated to my day job. Tab groups help me focus, as they hide open tabs that I don’t need access to at the time.
What is still missing
Tab groups improve how I work significantly. The implementation in Chrome, Edge and most Chromium-based browsers lacks one option, which I would like to see introduced in the future. If a tab group is collapsed, it is not possible to use drag and drop to add a new open tab to it. I have to expand the group to drop another tab into it.
Vivaldi does this better, and it is having the superior tab grouping system in my opinion.
Tab groups are not for all users. If you have one or two tabs open at a time, then you don’t need to use tab groups. If you have several dozen or even hundreds of tabs open, you may want to check out the feature to better organize tabs and improve workflows in the process.
Now You: do you use tab groups?