Many desktop web browsers and some mobile browsers support tab grouping. Implementations may differ by browser and platform, but all have in common that they provide users with the ability to group tabs in the browser.
Many Chromium-based browsers now support tab groups. You can use Microsoft Edge, Brave or Google Chrome and use the feature immediately. All 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’re ready to start using it. New tabs are added by drag and drop, and once the tab bar reaches a certain threshold, you can click on the tab group name to collapse it.
Some Chromium-based browsers have created different solutions. The Vivaldi browser supports a range of options related to tab groups. Unlike other Chromium-based browsers, Vivaldi users can create tab groups by dragging tabs on top of each other. It’s simpler and the browser comes with options to display group tabs in a second interface tab bar for better usability.
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser supported tab groups for a while several years ago. Mozilla has made the decision to remove the tab grouping feature from Firefox. Firefox users can install add-ons, such as Tiled Tab Groups, Panorama Tab Groups, or Simple Tab Groups, which restore functionality.
Why I love tab groups
When using a web browser, I tend to have a fair amount of tabs open at all times. Sometimes I find sites and pages of interest during browsing and research sessions, and I tend to open them in new browser tabs and keep those tabs open between sessions.
Although I can save tabs to browser bookmarks or use other archiving options, I have found that I quickly forget about them because they are no longer visible on the screen.
The number of tabs sometimes reaches dangerous thresholds, so that open tabs are displayed with just a site icon or no icon at all.
The introduction of support for tab groups in the browser allows me to sort open tabs into multiple groups and reduce the groups needed. A group contains all the Ghacks research papers I have come across; it’s about new programs I want to test, articles from other websites, research papers, tips, and anything that might make an article on the site or be used in one.
Then I have groups for other activities, including entertainment and hobbies, or news articles on topics of interest not related to my day job. Tab groups help me focus because they hide open tabs that I don’t need access to at the time.
What is still missing
Tab groups greatly improve the way I work. The implementation in Chrome, Edge, and most Chromium-based browsers lacks an option, which I’d 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 need to expand the group to drop another tab into it.
Vivaldi does it better, and in my opinion, it has the superior tab grouping system.
Tab groups are not intended for all users. If you have one or two tabs open at a time, you don’t need to use tab groups. If you have dozens or even hundreds of tabs open, you can check out the feature to better organize tabs and improve workflows in the process.
Now you: Do you use tab groups?