Create and save Chrome tab groups

I usually have at least six or more projects going on at once: I might be writing or updating some short pieces, editing one or two others, getting ready for Apple or Google or some other company to announce their latest and greatest technology, or working on a other project. Each of these projects usually involves several tabs in my Chrome browser: one for the article itself; several for online resources I need to read or link to; and perhaps also a document or spreadsheet that I share with my team. And that’s not even counting the tabs for my email accounts (work and private), calendars (ditto), and social networks.

Once upon a time I had to bookmark all those tabs if I wanted to keep them in any order. But these days, grouping tabs keeps me sane. This allows me to keep the tabs that belong together, hide them if I don’t need them right now, and save them so I can definitely find them again when I need them. Doing need them.

If you also tend to collect tabs in your Chrome browser, here’s how to use tab groups to keep everything under control.

  • Choose one of the tabs you want to include in a group (any will do) and right-click on it.
  • Select Add tab to group > New group.
  • Type the name of the new group, choose a color (or go with the default color) and press Yield. (Note: If you press Return without typing a group name, you will get a tab label with just the color and no text.)

  • Click and drag the desired tabs in the group to the new label; they are now underlined with the new color, indicating that they are part of the group. You can also click one tab and then use Ctrl + click or Shift + click to choose multiple tabs and move them to the group. (Thanks to Farrellj in our comments section for the tip.)
  • You can also click and drag tabs out of the group.

If you don’t use those specific tabs, just click on the label and all your tabs will fall into the label – out of sight and out of mind. Once you need to use them again, just click on the label.

  • Click on the Search tabs icon. (It’s the little down arrow in the top right corner of the browser.) You’ll see a long list of your recently closed tabs.
  • Scroll down to Recently closed.
  • Search for the name of the tab group; below it is a small colored dot with the number of the tabs that were in the group. Click on that and the group will be restored, along with all the tabs.

By the way, every open tab in the Search tabs list belonging to a group also has an identifying colored dot next to it.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Save your tab group

If you have a tab group that you’ll use over the course of days (or longer), you’ll logically want to save that group the same way you might save a bookmark. That’s what the Save Group switch is for.

Once you have switched Save group On, a label for that group will appear on the left side of your bookmarks bar. Right-click on the label and you’ll get a drop-down menu with all the tabs that are part of that group. From there you can open one tab; you can also move the group to a new window or delete it.

(By the way, all labels appear on each bookmark bar, even if you have more than one Chrome window, even if one or more groups are open in another window.)

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white”>Hide your group

As mentioned above, you will only see one Delete group entry in the drop-down menu of the group tab as the Save group switch is off. When it’s on, you’ll see it Hide group instead of. This is a very useful feature, especially if you want to tidy up your tabs a bit. Select Hide groupand the tabs in that group (and the tab label) will disappear from the top of your browser. However, the group label on the left side of the bookmarks bar is retained, although unlike the other labels, it is not outlined.

If you want your hidden tabs back, just click on the label and they will all reappear. If you don’t remember what was in a specific group, right-click on any of the labels and you’ll get a list. If you want just one of the tabs back instead of the entire group, select the tab you want from that list and it will appear with your other live tabs.

So now you can find a saved group after closing it in an active Chrome browser. But can you find your saved group after you actually close your browser?

Yes, you can – very easily.

If you close and then reopen your Chrome browser, the labels of all your saved groups will be right where you left them: on the left side of your bookmarks bar. None will be open, but all you have to do is click on the group you want to use, and the group (with its label and all its tabs) will reappear at the top of your browser, ready for you to access to get.

Update March 5, 2024, 4:11 PM ET: This article was originally published on October 4, 2022, and has been updated with information about the bookmarks bar labels, the ability to save and hide tab groups, and other changes.

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