Save Firefox tabs with Set Aside

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 23, 2018
Updated • Nov 23, 2018
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

How do you use your web browser? Do you keep tabs open when you close it and reload the session to continue where you left off? Start with a blank page and nothing else? Use bookmarks to save important sites for safekeeping?

Depending on how you use the browser, you may be interested in a new extension called Set Aside. Set Aside is a Firefox add-on that saves any tab that is open so that you have a record of all the sites of a saved group. You may then re-open the entire group of tabs or individual sites at a later point in time.

The functionality may remind veteran Firefox users of Panorama, a removed feature that could be used to create tab groups and switch between them. Set Aside does not replicate Panorama fully, though.

There are three main use cases for using Set Aside: to save a set of tabs for safekeeping, to save memory, or to save all open tabs to start anew without losing information.

Set Aside for Firefox

firefox set tabs aside

Set Aside is simple to use. Installation is straightforward; a new icon is added to Firefox's tabbar after installation that you may interact with.

A click on the icon moves all open tabs, with a few notable exceptions, to a "set aside" group. Means, all open tabs are closed and moved to a group for safe keeping and future access.

Tabs that use internal protocols and some other protocols, e.g. about:, file:, or moz-extension:, are not closed in the process and exempt from the process because there is no option to open them again according to the developer.

Any regular tab is added to a group. You manage group in the browser's sidebar; open it either with a tab on Alt and the selection of View > Sidebar > Tabs you've set aside or by using Ctrl-B to open the Bookmarks sidebar and selecting Tabs You've Set Aside from the sidebar selection menu.

The number of saved tabs, date and time are listed for each group you saved. Set Aside displays a thumbnail image of the first saved tab and the title of the page. A click would load it right away in Firefox; options to browse all saved tabs are provided when you hover over the thumbnail.

A click on restore tabs restores all saved tabs at once. Note that Set Aside removes the tab from the group when you open it so that its use is limited when it comes to tab backups. Other extensions, e.g. Session Boss, provide better backup capabilities.

Closing Words

Set Aside is a useful extension for Firefox for some browsing scenarios. While it is certainly possible to achieve the same in a different manner, e.g. by using multiple browser windows to separate tabs, Set Aside may be easier to use in some cases and reduces memory usage as well.

I would like to see functionality to switch from a thumbnail view to a list view, and keep the saved sites in the group even when they are loaded again in Firefox.

Now You: Do you use a "Set Aside" type add-on for Firefox or other browsers?

software image
Author Rating
3 based on 4 votes
Software Name
Set Aside
Software Category
Landing Page

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  1. Amir said on November 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Great addon. I like it shows the thumbnails. And can select/remove individual tab, after setting aside group of open tabs.

    Typo in your article: anew

  2. John Fenderson said on November 26, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    How does this differ from Firefox’s “bookmark all tabs” function?

    I’m not a heavy tab user generally (I rarely have more than one going at a time), but sometimes when I’m researching something specific, I’ll accumulate a number of them that I want to save for future use. I use “Bookmark all tabs…” to do so. Then it’s trivial to reload them all later if I want, or to cherry pick specific ones as I desire.

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  3. Doc said on November 26, 2018 at 5:12 am

    I’ve always used Tab Mix Plus (and the “Firefox Quantum” version, Tab Mix Links) to “pin” tabs I want to use every day. Seeing as I hate sidebars, probably won’t need or try this…

  4. Peter said on November 25, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Very useful extension. What I was looking for.

  5. foro said on November 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Could have been great if it used bookmarks for storage. Right now I rely on MySessions, which is the only extension I know off that allows to dump all open tabs in all open windows (except private) to be dumped into Bookmarks. Then I’m bumping into the bookmarks manager in Firefox being a sorry ass excuse for a manager but that’s a whole another story.

  6. hylen said on November 23, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Session Manager is one of the best Firefox extensions of all time imho. This one looks pretty useful.

  7. A. said on November 23, 2018 at 4:26 pm
  8. Anonymous said on November 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Does it work the same or similar to OneTab?

    1. Rorant said on November 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      Never use Onetab, you’re entire Tab collection can be lost overnight someday and you will be left with no backup. Look up in reddit and google support forums for no of complaints on Onetab on this issue.

      I recommend “Sync tab Groups” for Chrome. This has similar functionality as pointed in the article but the most important feature is the automatic backup. Sync Tab groups can auto backup every 1 or 4 or 24 hrs, always keeping your tab collection data secure.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      For reference, here is the review of OneTab for Chrome:

      It shares some functionality.

  9. Guest said on November 23, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Seems like a poor mans panorama. I find the “totally no panorma” plugin to be buggy so it’s no replacement.

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