Google planning to add tab groups to Chrome?

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 22, 2018
Google Chrome

Google might introduce support for tab groups in a future version of the Chrome web browser.

Chromestory found a reference in a bug listing on the official Chrome development website. The bug listing describes the feature in the following way:

Users can organize tabs into visually distinct groups, e.g. to separate tabs associated with different tasks.

Google Chrome never supported tab groups before. While users of the browser could install extensions such as TabSense, Tab Sugar, or Simple Window Saver to add basic grouping functionality to Chrome, it never was as powerful of a solution as the grouping functionality of Firefox Panorama or classic Opera.

Google did test tab stacking in 2012 but the feature never made it and was pulled eventually. Chrome users who enabled the Tab Stacking flag could stack tabs on top of each other to save space in the tab bar and group these.

chrome blank tabs

Mozilla introduced support for tab groups in 2010 in Firefox. The feature gave Firefox users an option to group tabs and work with these groups individually in the browser. The organization revealed in 2013 that it would remove the feature and pulled it in 2015 in Firefox 45.

Firefox users can install a selection of extensions, Panorama View or Simple Tab Groups, that bring the functionality back.

Opera users can install an extension like Group Your Tabs that helps with tab management but the new Opera -- that is not really that new anymore -- does not support native tab grouping functionality.

Google plans to add the feature as an experiment to Chrome. The company will add a new Tab Groups flag to Chrome that determines whether the feature is enabled or not. The practice is not uncommon as it gives Google an option to gather real-world data from users who enabled the feature in the browser.

Experimental features may be integrated natively in Chrome at one point in time, remain experimental for years, or may be removed again from the browser.

Closing Words

It will be interesting to see how Google's implementation of Tab Groups will look like and how much it will resemble the Firefox implementation of 2010.

It appears as if Google will focus development on the tab strip and options to group tabs together there.

Now You: would you like to see tab group functionality implemented in Google Chrome?

Google planning to add tab groups to Chrome?
Article Name
Google planning to add tab groups to Chrome?
Google might introduce support for tab groups in the browser's tab strip in a future version of the Chrome web browser.
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  1. Pierre said on November 25, 2018 at 4:47 am

    There are extensions which do it

  2. WebRender ROCKS said on November 24, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Hope they don’t copy WebRender too

  3. Gabriel said on November 22, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    I’d love to see the face of mozilla dev now… kkkkkkkkkkk

    I recommend the Cent Browser version of chromium with scrollable tab bar

  4. Ben said on November 22, 2018 at 11:58 am

    How about a working task-bar after more than 10 years?
    No? Well then chrome is still unuseable.

    1. Daniel said on November 22, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      A correction. Well then chrome is still… for you. 70% of browser users disagree with you. It’s useable for them and don’t care about your definition of what a working task bar is. Right?

  5. John said on November 22, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I hope is something similar to the behavior of the extension TabsFolders2 (green icon), also abandoned…

  6. Fibo said on November 22, 2018 at 10:37 am

    stolen from best browser in the world – Vivaldi

    1. KLM said on November 24, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      I don’t disagree to some of your points, that’s why I use Opera. But honestly, we like it or not, without Chrome browsers like Vivaldi, Opera etc wouldn’t even exist. Most of their code comes from Chromium and I am not delutional thinking that Chromium isn’t a google product. So who “steals” more? Vivaldi and Opera. But it’s really funny watching people fighting about browsers lmao.

    2. KLM said on November 23, 2018 at 11:20 am

      @rickmv, to be fair, this is an article about Chrome. Chrome has a different target group than Vivaldi. So I don’t see a reason Vivaldi users posting about Vivaldi all the time in chrome articles. Chrome users have no interest on Vivaldi. They should move on too and stop spamming every chrome article with vivaldi promos lmao.

      1. rickmv said on November 23, 2018 at 10:48 pm

        Well, like it or not, other chromium browsers got this feature and many other long before.
        And to get complete fair, gchrome is just brutal from user feature standpoint: chromium code with bare naked UI, choked full of gtracking and data collecting with insane amount of RAM load. Perfect for user above.

      2. Weilan said on November 25, 2018 at 11:43 am

        @rickmv That’s because Vivaldi isn’t anything special. They aren’t doing “the work of the gods” or whatever. Their browser is in reality a gimped version of Chrome that has a new CSS UI on top where all their unique features reside.

        The irony with Vivaldi development is that each time they want to up their build and use a new Chrome build, they have to do all the work to put their UI on top of Chrome’s.

        All I’ve seen on their blog (where the updates are) are preaching about internet freedom, privacy and useless features.

        I once believed I like Vivaldi, being a power user-friendly browser and me liking to tweak my settings down to the last pixel. But over time I saw that Vivaldi isn’t making things easier for me, in fact it makes it harder. I realized I spend a good 10 minutes customizing it just to get it to my liking whereas with Chrome, Firefox, Opera and others, I don’t waste more than a minute setting them up.

        Vivaldi still doesn’t have a dedicated Downloads window. I have to press F4 every time to open that funny sidebar and to see my downloads. Firefox, Opera, Chrome, etc. have Ctrl+J for a shortcut and when you press it, it opens the download page in a new tab (new window for Firefox, cause there are portions of their browser they forgot to update). I’ve suggested on the Vivaldi forums more than a year ago how they can integrate a download popup window or something, I even made mockups for them. None of this was implemented. Now it’s about 18 months after I suggested this, still no progress being done.

        Opera is the same. They have an issue I’ve described as good as possible in this here forum post and they don’t even bother to respond. See the link below. Vivaldi and Opera don’t care about what their users have to say.

    3. Weilan said on November 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Vivaldi is a broken piece of shit. I’ve tested it since 2015 and hardly has gotten better. Mostly they fixed loading times and added a ton of useless features that only the 0.0000000000000000000001% use. Also they haven’t fixed an issue where the browser starts as a non-maximized window stretched to the empty space on the screen rather than starting maximized. This has been going for well over a year, I’ve reported it multiple times and they refuse to acknowledge or fix it. They even want me to fill out bug reports as if I’m part of their development team and they’re paying me… what a bunch of lunatics… xD

      This feature with tab grouping has existed before in Opera and Firefox, it’s not unique to Shitvaldi.

      1. rickmv said on November 22, 2018 at 10:31 pm

        Your same horse sh!t repeating posts about Vivaldi are asinine. Everyone here got it, you can’t use a web browser. Move on, g00gle makes a browser for s-users. Vivaldi devs. should just keep that “problem” as a feature to stir away dumb users.

      2. John said on November 26, 2018 at 1:49 am

        rick I don’t understand you vivaldi people. I have seen many vivaldi people mentioning privacy. What privacy? You don’t care about privacy. Vivaldi is collecting your personal data and has telemetry. If you cared about your privacy you would use a real privacy browser like Tor.

      3. Anonymous said on November 22, 2018 at 5:55 pm

        Have you tried clean reinstall? If the devs cannot reproduce the bug of course they won’t acknowledge it. If you don’t even willing to fill bug report then no one can help you. Good luck getting help with that attitude

      4. Fibo said on November 22, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        You don’t have to use it if you don’t like it.
        I’m a web developer and it offers the best and fastest experience to me, without any problems.
        And if you will start reading properly you’ll see i didn’t say that it is a unique feature – I just wanted to mention it because its base is Chromium :)

    4. John said on November 22, 2018 at 11:25 am

      I agree, most of the best features come from my loved Vivaldi, I just wished there was something similar to TabsFolders2 extension (abandoned sadly…)

      1. Fibo said on November 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm

        I’m sure Vivaldi Devs will implement amazing features in future versions :)

      2. John said on November 22, 2018 at 6:06 pm

        @Weilan You are right, Vivaldi is a bad browser. Slow, unresponsive and full of bugs. Vivaldi lovers most people don’t care about Vivaldi and this is an article about Chrome. Go advertise this crap to a Vivaldi article. I know that there are not many articles because most people don’t care about Vivaldi, but you will find some in ghacks.

  7. Anonymous said on November 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Presto ;(

  8. ShintoPlasm said on November 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Amazing, isn’t it? Google adding useful features to the browser while Mozilla takes them away from theirs.

    1. Anonymous said on October 21, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      Are they going to make it as good as opera 12.18 before went chrome copy. and the best browser the shittest.

      Hell i still use the old 12.18 opera as my prime browser, even if some site no longer work with it.

    2. John said on November 26, 2018 at 1:45 am

      Firefox tries to become more mainstream.

    3. Anonymous said on November 22, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      don’t worry, firefox will copy this feature too someday..

    4. Yuliya said on November 22, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Ikr, the latest Chromium builds also added a tiny prograss bar for page loading. Something which Firefox had in the past, but moz://a decided that mozillians don’t need to know when their page is still loading or has finished loading. Shite like Pocket, ads in their homepage or forced telemetry is what you hear mozillians accepting and sometimes going as far as wanting these days.

      Chromium loading progress bar on favicon GIF:

      1. tret said on November 23, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        but it does have a indicator taht a page is loadin, look at the icon

      2. ShintoPlasm said on November 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm

        Heh, didn’t know about the mini-progress bar – interesting to see when it hits stable :)

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