Boost Chrome Tab Groups With This Beta Feature

Boost Chrome Tab Groups With This Beta Feature
Screenshot: David Murphy

Google recently unveiled tab groups in Chrome. As I wrote in our guide to setting them up ahead of their full rollout, they’re an incredibly useful way to keep your sprawling browser tabs slightly more organised. If nothing else, adding a little colour to Chrome doesn’t hurt; I love how tab groups look. Now, let’s make them better.

The one drawback of group tabs—in its current implementation—is that you’ll still see a lot of tabs crowding your browser window. In fact, you’ll have more of them, since your groups of tabs will now have an extra tab with that group’s colour on it—possibly even the name of your tab group, if you’re super-organised.

Thankfully, you can enable a feature in Chrome’s flags that will allow you to collapse and expand your tabs with a single click. If your browser is as busy as mine is, you’ll love it.

To get started, you’ll first need to grab Chrome Canary—a less-stable version of the browser that gets you access to all the fun, buried features Google is testing out. Once you’re up and running with that, type chrome://flags/#tab-groups into your address bar. Make sure you’ve enabled Tab Groups, as well as Tab Groups Collapse:

Now, create a group of tabs like you normally would and assign it a name. When you left-click on that name, you’ll be able to open and close the entire chunk of tabs at once, as you’ll see in this animation from Techdows:

Techdows" loading="lazy" > Gif: Techdows

That’s it! It’s annoying that you have to run Canary for this feature. While the flag is present in the Beta version of Chrome, the feature doesn’t work when you turn it on. (At least, I couldn’t get it to do anything on my Beta Chrome browser, whereas collapsing and expanding tab groups worked perfectly in Canary.) On the plus side, this all bodes well for the feature arriving in Chrome stable at some point in the future—and boy, is it convenient.

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