Tabs Aside is a Firefox extension that lets you save and restore browser sessions

Apr 13, 2020
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Microsoft Edge (not the Chromium one) has a cool feature that lets you set tabs aside. Basically, it saves your session and lets you restore it at a later time.

Tabs Aside is a Firefox extension that lets you save and restore browser sessions

Tabs Aside is a web extension that can do the same for Firefox. The add-on needs to be setup before it can be used for the purpose.

Tabs Aside get started

Click on the toolbar icon to get started. A side-panel opens and the setup wizard explains how the add-on works. Tabs Aside saves tabs as bookmarks in its folder. Every session is saved in its own sub-folder. You may choose to create a new folder called 'Tabs Aside' or create a custom folder.

Tabs Aside setup

The next step in the wizard lets you choose the session saving behavior. You can pick from three options. The default setting is "Active Sessions" that updates bookmarks as you open or close tabs, and each session is saved it is own window.

The "Tabs Aside 2" method disables Windowed mode. Or you can choose the "Like Microsoft Edge" option, that disables both Windowed mode and Active Sessions.

Note: The current iteration of the extension is called Tabs Aside 3 on GitHub.

How to set aside tabs in Tabs Aside

Click on the toolbar icon, it has three options. Select the Tabs Aside option, it opens a new window and begins saving each tab to the session. When it's done, a side-panel opens on the left edge of the screen. This is the "Tabs you've set aside panel", technically it's the bookmark folder's title.

Note: If you have a lot of tabs, you may notice a slight delay in the process.

Tabs Aside sidepanel

Let's call this sidebar the sessions panel, because this is where you can view, restore or search sessions. Select the restore option next to a session, and Tabs Aside opens a new window and restores your tabs. It uses lazy loading (only loads the first tab), so don't worry about the browser or the add-on using up too much memory or slowing down the browser while tabs are loading.

Tabs Aside rename or remove

Sessions that you've saved remain even after you have restored them (since they are saved as bookmarks). Clicking the three dot menu next to a session lets you rename or remove the session. Click on the arrow icon in the left edge of the screen. This makes the add-on list all tabs that were set aside during the selected session. The list displays the title of each tab.  You may click on a title to switch to the corresponding tab. Right-click on a listing to copy it's URL to the clipboard.

Tabs Aside copy url

Once you've named a session, it's title will also be displayed in the toolbar icon's menu.

Tabs Aside toolbar

Options Page

The Tabs Aside settings allows you set the session's root folder, enable or disable Active Sessions, open sessions in a new window, lazy loading. You can change the way tab closing behavior is handled: remove from session or set aside. The add-on does not set aside pinned tabs by default, but there is an option that lets it save pinned tabs.Tabs Aside Firefox extension options

I was looking for a OneTab replacement (hasn't been updated in months, and I wanted an alternative just in case) and stumbled across Better OneTab which sadly doesn't have a Firefox version. So, I continued my search and eventually found Tabs Aside. The extension is open source.

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  1. Jonas said on April 14, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    There seem to be several FF extensions with this general function. (I use Session Sync.) It would be nice if somebody wrote an article comparing the functionality and interface of all of them.

  2. James Bond said on April 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    What about extension for Firefox for Android (not preview – which is limited atm)?

    Is there an extension to save/export all opened tabs (cca 300 on my mobile) and import it on another mobile phone? This would be very handy when switching the phones without the need for Firefox account…

  3. toad said on April 14, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    With Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Chrome, without the need for an extension, we can already save all opened tabs in our bookmarks, and name that group whatever we want.

    So why would I want a “browser session” extension as this?

    IDK, but this seems rather superfluous.

    Am I missing something here?

    1. jim said on April 15, 2020 at 9:58 am

      yea you can do pretty much the same by saving the session but the benefit of using an extension would be to make it all just a bit easier and quicker.

      i cant comment on Tabs Aside, but i use Tab Stash where there a various options like stash/save but also close the tabs as well. you can then restore/open them later on but also delete them from the stash list at the same time. with the native “save session” this would take two steps.

      its not hugely groundbreaking or anything, but its quick enough to use that it has helped me fix my tab hoarding problem that ive had since forever

  4. Trey said on April 14, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Ashwin, you should also check out MySessions for Firefox. It also stores current sessions as well as a running timeline of sessions if wanted. Nice thing is it too stores the sessions in plain old bookmarks. Nice, simple interface too.

  5. Emil said on April 13, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Looks complicated… does it have any advantages of Session Boss? (besides being open source…)

  6. Diana Geek said on April 13, 2020 at 8:21 am

    âžœ This Addon is also Good … !!

    └● Tiled Tab Groups


    It is easy to use and very light !!

    (–Only 79kb)

    -Requires Firefox History …
    (Does not use bookmarks)

    [ … ]

  7. Kincaid said on April 13, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Thank you for the review Ashwin!

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