Tab Auto Close is a new browser extension for Google Chrome that will close open tabs automatically on inactivity.
The developer of the extension created it as a browser equivalent to websites logging users out automatically after a set period of time or on inactivity.
The product has a couple of use cases that may be interesting to some users. It can be used to keep open tabs tidy, automatically close tabs after you have signed out of services, or make sure browser tabs get closed when you walk away from a computer.
Update: Tab Auto Close is no longer available on the Chrome Web Store. You may check out Tabs Timer instead. End
The extension works automatically after installation. The default period of time after tabs get closed automatically is set to 60 minutes by default. You can left-click on the extension's icon in the Chrome address bar to display a menu with options; one of those options lets you change the inactivity period in minutes.
Other options include blacklisting sites. Blacklisting is usually something negative, but in this case it is used to keep the sites open in Chrome regardless of inactivity.
This can be useful to keep certain sites open at all times without having to worry that the extension might close them when you don't switch to them at least once in the set inactivity interval.
The whitelist option that is displayed in the menu as well removes the blacklist status from sites.
Note that there is no list of sites you added to the blacklist, and no indicator either when you are on sites.
The author could improve this part of the extension by adding a list to the extension. This would also improve the manageability of blacklisted sites significantly.
The last option displayed in the menu is a pause and resume toggle. Instead of blacklisting sites, you could pause execution for some time to prevent the automatic closing of tabs in Chrome.
A 2-minute notification is displayed when tabs are about to be closed in the browser by the extension. This gives you sufficient time to stop the process.
The source code of Tab Auto Close is listed on GitHub. The extension requires permissions to read your browsing history.
Tab Auto Close is a specialized extension. Most Internet users will probably have little use for it. I can see it being useful in some situations though. Maybe when you do some research in Chrome but don't need the sites you found later on (you could bookmark those of importance).
Ultimately, it is just an automated way of closing tabs in Chrome, something that you can do manually as well. The manual way gives you greater control, but it may also leave tabs open longer than you may want them to be.
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