OneTab for Chrome unloads all open tabs to a shareable list

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 12, 2013
Updated • Jan 18, 2017
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

OneTab for Google Chrome saves all open tabs in the web browser on a single page on activation to reduce the browser's memory usage.

The first thing that I noticed when I opened the OneTab website on the Internet was the claim that it helps reduce Chrome's memory usage by 95% when used.

While that is certainly an impressive feat, it is not really something that one should brag about considering that all it does is unload all tabs open in a particular window of the browser into a single list of shareable links.

While you will save lots of memory doing so, it at the same time prevents you from working with the browser window until you start opening new tabs, or some of the tabs that you have just unloaded. Tell you what, I can provide you with a trick that reduces Chrome's memory usage by 100%. Just close the browser.


It is certainly unfair to criticize OneTab's functionality, as OneTab may have its uses for some users. It is a bit buggy right now, with pinned tabs not being included in the unloading but removed from the browser when you use the restore all feature of it (update the pinned tab is displayed again if you unload all tabs, but not displayed when all tabs are displayed in Chrome).

There are two situations where OneTab can come in handy.

  1. You really need the RAM that Chrome uses elsewhere but do not want to close the browser.
  2. You want a sharable list of your open tabs that you can access on the Internet. This can be done with the click of the button. The list will be published with a random string attached to the url on the One Tab website.

So what can you do alternatively to achieve this? You can close the browser window, and if you have configured Chrome to restore the session, you can continue work just where you closed it when you restart it. This does not help you though if you want to continue using Chrome but reduce the memory usage of it.

That's where an extension like Tabs Outliner comes in handy. It adds better tab management capabilities to Chrome, including the option to close and preserve any tab or open window that you have open in the browser while reducing the browser's memory usage.

A third possibility would be to right-click the tab bar and select to bookmark all open tabs. Once done, you can close the tabs that you do not want to work with. This one the other hand requires you to have a proper bookmarking system in place in Chrome.

In closing I have to say that I won't be using OneTab for Chrome as I use Chrome in a way that it does not help me in any way. I have enough RAM installed that memory is not really that much of an issue anyway.

I can see it as an interesting extension for some users, namely those who have 2 Gigabyte or less of RAM installed, and those who open hundreds of open tabs at the same time in the browser. Then again, Tabs Outliner seems to be the better solution for those users as it offers more granular control over which tabs to unload and which to keep open.

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  1. omnray said on March 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you for unbiased review by the way.
    If I remember right the was one of the first big media who found this program (if not first)
    Excellent work!
    I become the ghack reader after that…

  2. omnray said on March 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    “till now” – the mistake, just check, no any mentions at all.

  3. omnray said on March 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    The really interesting thing about OneTab is that they manage appears on lifehacker ,and all the other internet media, in ONE day after release.

    The Tabs Outliner was first mentioned by some big player after it reach the first 10k users (after 5 months), and lifehacker does not even mentioned it at all till now. Despite it is really innovative (not as radioactivity discovery of course, yet anyway) solution, for a really serious problem for some people.

    Nice lessons to learn….

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      That’s why you should stick with us, we reviewed it back in 2012 ;)

      1. omnray said on March 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

        Ha, just writing the same : )))
        You really rock!

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