Got tons of browser tabs? Don’t ignore this tiny, life-changing Chrome feature
I admit it. I have a browser tab problem. As I write this, my current tally is 56 open tabs…and that’s not counting those in the other browsers I use to separate out work and social media monitoring.
Hopping between tabs used to be inconvenient. But I recently woke up to a tiny but very handy feature—a dropdown list of all of your open tabs. The page names are shown, too. You can scroll through quickly with your mouse and find what you’re looking for.
To get to this list, head to the far upper-right corner of a Chrome window. Look for a small open arrow pointing downward, just to the left of the minimize button. Click on it to see the list of your tabs (both those currently active as well as recently closed ones). There’s also a search function to speed up your hunt.
Other browsers have a similar feature—Firefox and Opera are probably the closest in feel. Firefox too has a small open, downward-pointing arrow in the far upper right of the window. However, it only appears when all your active tabs exceed the number that can be shown at one time. (Bonus tip: When you have too many tabs to see them all at once, you can hover your mouse over them, then use your scroll wheel to zip back and forth through them.)
Opera fans should look for a magnifying glass icon (rather than an open arrow) next to the minimize button. A large, easily readable screen will pop up that allows you to search and skim through your active tabs, as well as open recently closed tabs.
Edge is more esoteric. For an experience akin to Chrome’s, you have two options. The first is to change your layout to vertical tabs, which will run down the left side of your window. When you hover your mouse over the tabs, a list with all of their names will slide into view. Should you have many tabs open, you can then scroll through them with your mouse. The alternative is to go into Edge’s Settings menu, then turn on Show tab actions menu. (Type this setting name into the search bar to pull it up quickly.) A new rectangular icon will appear at the far upper left of your window. Click on it to search your active tabs or reopen recently closed ones. You’ll have to combine both of these options to get a similar effect as with Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.
Microsoft is likely betting on the fact that most people leave Edge’s multitasking feature on. It allows you to switch between open tabs by pressing ALT+TAB on your keyboard. But if you’re anything like me, you turned it off immediately in Windows 10 or 11’s settings, because having only a few recent tabs in the mix of your open windows is not helpful, and seeing all tabs is… well… a hot mess.
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Author: Alaina Yee, Senior Editor
Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.