Vivaldi 3.6 launches with Two-Level Tab Stacks feature

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 28, 2021
Internet, Vivaldi

Vivaldi Technologies released Vivaldi 3.6 Stable to the public on January 28, 2021. The new stable version of the Chromium-based browser improves the tab stacking functionality of Vivaldi significantly. We reviewed the feature when it launched in snapshot builds back in December 2020. You can check out the review here.

Tab Stacks is a feature of the browser that allows users to stack tabs on top of each other. All it takes for that is to drag and drop tabs on top of each other. Besides using it to group sites together, e.g. multiple pages from a single website or pages from different sites that discuss the same topic, it is used to free up space on the tab bar as a single tab is used for a number of open sites when the feature is being used.

Two-Level Tab Stacks improves the feature by adding a second tab row to the browser when a tab stack is selected. The second row displays the tabs of the stack making it easier to access them.

The feature complements Vivaldi's impressive list of tab-related options. Vivaldi users may move the tab bar from the top to the bottom or one of the sides of the browser. Two-Level Tab Stacks work in all layouts; if the tab bar is displayed on the side, the second level is displayed next to it so that two sidebars are displayed essentially.

The second tab row improves the handling of stacks. It is easier to change the order of tabs or add new tabs to the stack using the feature. Another benefit is that it improves visibility significantly, as you see page titles and, if supported, notifications, clearly when the feature is enabled.

The second tab bar can be locked to keep it in place all the time. Vivaldi displays it only if a tab stack is selected, and will hide/show it whenever you switch between tab stacks and single tabs. A click on the lock icon displayed on the right side of the second tab bar locks the second level firmly in place so that it is displayed all the time. It takes away space from sites when a single tab is active, but it does away with the hiding and showing animation.

The new feature is entirely optional. Vivaldi users may select the compact mode in the Tabs Settings to use the single tab bar mode, or disable the feature entirely if they don't want to use it.

Closing Words

Two-Level Tab Stacks is a game changer for many Vivaldi users who use tab stacks. It improves the manageability of tab stacks significantly.

Now You: Do you use tab stacking functionality in your browser of choice, if supported?

Vivaldi 3.6 launches with Two-Level Tab Stacks feature
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Vivaldi 3.6 launches with Two-Level Tab Stacks feature
Vivaldi Technologies released Vivaldi 3.6 Stable to the public on January 28, 2021. The new stable version of the Chromium-based browser improves the tab stacking functionality of Vivaldi significantly.
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  1. Spryte said on February 1, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Even with 3 – 4 tabs open Stacking can come in handy. Reading a news site for instance there may be several items of interest and you won’t want to keep going back and forth. Also reading some technical articles I sometimes many links to related subjects that I will want to look at.
    In Vivaldi’s Settings (I am using the Snapshot) under New Tab Position > As Tab Stack with Related Tab. This keeps all related tabs easy to reference.
    For those wanting a “Tree View”, this is possible in a Web Panel (see:, #8

  2. sure said on January 31, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    I like this idea, regardless it being a minor one, the possibilities it evokes. Split tab bars, sliding out horizontally for example.

  3. quarky said on January 29, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    And still no native dark mode on Linux… I know i can change theme myself but websites will not display in dark mode on their own.

    For a browser that claims to be “the most customizable”, it’s a shame that something so basic isn’t already working.

    1. Trit’ said on January 30, 2021 at 11:30 am

      You can force a global dark theme for all websites that don’t propose it themselves via the Chromium’s flag #enable-force-dark. Restart Vivaldi and all pages (including special and internal pages, like the Extensions manager page) will be in dark mode. I use it since last summer and it works quite well, IMO.

      1. computer said no said on January 31, 2021 at 8:08 pm

        Only problem with that is there is no way to toggle the dark mode via a toolbar.

  4. Operauserplanningtomoveontovivaldipleasehelpmyproblembelow said on January 29, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    I use this feature back in prestOPERA era but is even improved in chromium version(this 1). i welcomed and appreciate this change. im still on opera(v73) but i have 1000+ stashes/bookmarks can moving to vivaldi making it easier and how?

    1. dotcomboom said on January 29, 2021 at 6:28 pm

      Hey there, you should be able to bring your bookmarks into Vivaldi by exporting your bookmarks from Opera/Presto to a standard bookmarks HTML file, and from there importing that file into Vivaldi. Manage Bookmarks -> File -> Export to HTML is where you want to get at. Hope this helps.

  5. binocry said on January 29, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Vivaldi OS

  6. Greg said on January 28, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    iv’e never found much use for Tab stacking as i only have 2 to 4 tabs open. wait till Vivaldi4.0 then you’ll see Uglyness at its best

  7. Yuliya said on January 28, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Gone are the days when I used to have like 80 to 100 open tabs. I usually have well over 200 tabs open span across six or seven different windows. I open almost everything in a new tab, even this article has been open in a new tab and left the homepage as well. I can switch instantly between them, not have to wait for whatever server (CDN or CF) to serve my requests for backwards/forwards navigation – my browser does not store any local cache so these actions will always result in a request.

    1. Firefox said on February 3, 2021 at 4:54 am

      I understand. On android, when one opens 100+ tabs on Firefox, it shows the infinite symbol in the tab count list.

  8. piomiq said on January 28, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    IMHO. They could just integrate “Tree Tabs” or “Tree Style Tab” instead of playing with another row of horizontal tab presenting.

    1. Firefox said on February 3, 2021 at 4:53 am

      I use that extension in Firefox and like it. Best thing in Firefox, one can customize userchrome.css file and remove the top tab bar, hence only the Tree tab is visible.

  9. someone said on January 28, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Bros in Vivaldi how about fixing the UI and UX first, it looks outdated as hell.

  10. computer said no said on January 28, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    The only possible reason for many tabs open could be pure speed and efficiency.I myself only have 2-3 tabs open at periodic times so this function would be of no use to me.
    Different strokes for different folks.

  11. Henk said on January 28, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Every time I see a post like this, it sets me wondering. Apparently, so many people like to have a whole lot of tabs open at the same time. So many tabs, that a need arises to somehow manage and organize the jumble of all those open tabs. OK, and if this is a common user need, then of course browser designers will develop solutions to manage such a multitude of open tabs.
    But what I still don’t quite get, is /why/ apparently so many users like to keep many tabs open at the same time. It feels like I belong to some dumb minority of people who just fail to see the advantages.
    In my own case, 95% of the time I have only 1 or 2 open tabs. In rare cases, 3 or 4. Do I ever have more than 5 open tabs? Well, this may have occurred at some points in time, but in fact I cannot remember it.
    I navigate not by switching between different tabs, but (if needed) by hitting the Backspace key to get back to the previous page(s). In the rare case when I lose track of the page I want to get back to, I use the history sidebar to jump back. For the rest, basically I get to most of my frequently-visited pages straight from my bookmarks folders: and I open those pages, simply one after another, all in the same single tab.
    The only situation where I frequently have 2 tabs open, is when I’m systematically /searching/. Yes, then I often keep the search results page open while opening the search links, one after the other, in a second tab.
    And sure, I can also imagine that keeping 2 or 3 tabs open might be practical when you want to actually /compare/ some pages, like the price listings for a product in different shops, each shop in its own tab.
    But for the rest, still I just don’t get why people like to keep, say, 10 or 20 open tabs in their browser. Can someone explain to me (and I do mean this as a serious question) what’s the actual advantage of that? I’m really curious as to what possible browsing scenarios I may have never thought of yet.
    So, Martin, if you want to make this a little more clear to me, and perhaps a few others like me, then I thank you for your time!

    1. knosso said on February 26, 2021 at 2:56 pm

      Dear Henk i am one of the people that uses hundreds of tabs at the same time. I don’t think that there is a good or bad way to use a browser. I like to have a lot of tabs well organised and this feels to me like a tidy workflow, you like to have only the bare minimum that you are using in that precise moment… that is good too. The two dramatically different styles likely derive from different needs (like you finish each task before starting a new one while i often start new stuff while unfinished tasks that may require several days to be finished stick around) and likely different internet connection when we were younger. As i child it was common to open several tabs at the same time from the results of a search engine. Infact it could take a dozen or more seconds to load a page so it was normal to open a bunch or results in order to be able to switch among them quickly (basically while you were reading one page the rest of them finished loading). Today internet is much faster but websites are impressingly heavy so it can still take more than a couple of seconds to have a reactive website so from this point of view it still makes sense to open a couple of tabs ahead of time. An important consequence of having tab stacks is to be able to tidy up the browser to have less windows and less redundant tabs (like your email account opened in 3 different windows). Like in this moment i have a tab stak with some email accounts, a tab stack with some netflix movies that might interest my family after dinner, a tab stack with a web course and all the relative materials, a tab stack with news, a tab stack with ebay auctions, a tab stack with CV and work offers, a tab stack with social networks, a tab stack with documents that needs to be reviewed, a tab stack with vivaldi related stuff (the one that im using right now). Basically tab stacking was super important to have only one or two browser windows instead of a dozen … and since i have everything in one place i don’t have commonly used tabs duplicated (this one alone is the reason why I switched to vivaldi). Surprisingly enough i don’t use the web panels much as it was much more comfortable to put that stuff in another tab stack.

    2. Paul(us) said on February 1, 2021 at 2:09 am

      I agree with Henk in principle. I really try to tone down my tab’s. Normally I have less than 5 tabs open.
      When I a really deep in research it can be up to 15 tabs.
      I think my absolute maximum deep into a research over the last 40 years where 25 tabs.
      I do not like to have to many tabs open at the same time that because it becomes a chess – or checker Bord in the opening, possibility wise.
      Rather than opening more tabs in one browser I am splitting my research into different stored sessions. After I have toned down that split up sessions I again move them together and so one.

      I still think that have the research and development is toning down to make things simple.

    3. Clairvaux said on January 29, 2021 at 6:01 pm

      If you do research on a subject, it’s very easy to open several dozens of tabs. I’m not talking about lazy tab management, where you just don’t close them, and use them instead of bookmarks. I’m talking about a single session where you would potentially need to draw from all tabs.

    4. Kent Brockman said on January 29, 2021 at 5:55 pm

      What else is the average user going to do with all the memory that comes standard on most machines now(says half jokingly)? I tend to keep 30-40 open at a time, then do a weekly review and purge down to 10 or so. Here’s an example of how I use them: say I visit a article aggregation site, the first step is to scan through all the new articles and send the interesting looking ones off into a tab for reading at leisure. Same goes if while reading an article I come across a link to another interesting article(I read…a lot). Another might be doing the same with a favorite website that has many threads going, a quick scan through the list and off the interesting ones go to tab land for reading later. Oh, and I pin several tabs that I want to check on daily(serves as a quick reminder to do so).
      If I have the resources to burn and it works for my way of doing things, then I don’t see the harm in making good use of the tab feature to the greatest extent possible.

      I think it all comes down to how you use them, yes it seems rather silly to have a 100+ tabs open because one was to lazy to close them, and it hardly can make browsing any more efficient. I guess one could take this to another extreme and find a browser that doesn’t tab at all( they do exist) for the purists or the extremely resource constrained systems.
      As for tab stacks, I think they’re great for slimming down the tabs to a more organized state. Thanks Vivaldi!

    5. leland said on January 28, 2021 at 8:41 pm

      For those of us who manage multiple projects at the same time this will be useful. I often have up to 90 tabs open at once related to all the projects I am working on at that moment. For normal users I can understand why you would not understand; it all comes down to how you use the browser and why. However I use the tab snoozing features Martin wrote about earlier which allows my memory usage to stay manageable. What I really miss though is the Colorfultabs extension from Firefox. That made finding tabs quite easy.

    6. thebrowser said on January 28, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      You are not alone in this one. I myself use a bit more than you do because I tend to have several browsers open at once, but the overall number of tabs opened adds up to 10~12 at most.

    7. UKDad said on January 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      I use Vivaldi, exclusively, and I’m working from a 24″ screen desktop. I’m in university research, and I have about 30+ tabs open for that research at any one time. But! I pin and then hibernate those tabs to keep the resources much lower. Hovering over a sleeping pinned tab will give me the name of that tab (might be the case in other browsers, too). With so many folks talking about using 100+ tabs at once, I sometimes wonder if bookmarks (which I use extensively) is something for “old” guys like me.

      Hope that helps a little. There are a lot of reasons for having many tabs open, but proper management is key. Perhaps stacking might be part of that for some.

    8. Herman Cost said on January 28, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      I’m with you, Hank. Never made any sense to me, either.

  12. Vivaldi_stable_not said on January 28, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Next level and new features are great. Only that they leave so many unfixed issues in stable versions which are only corrected in snapshot builds. Snapshots are for them the new stable.

  13. computer said no said on January 28, 2021 at 11:06 am

    They strangely released RC1 and a snapshot within days of each other and then they have now released the stable version in just a matter of days.
    i expect bug reports in a few days.
    Seems all rather rushed.

  14. ShintoPlasm said on January 28, 2021 at 9:39 am

    I’ve never found tab stacking particularly useful, though I’m sure some people would welcome this functionality. I just wish they’d work on reducing the UI’s persistently high CPU usage.

    1. Mike W. said on February 11, 2021 at 10:42 pm


      I’m always a bit perplexed by Vivaldi’s development choices. While I appreciate that they are so open to their user-base when it comes to new feature suggestions, it seems the small development team at Vivaldi would be better suited optimizing the browser for better performance (it is especially bad on MacOS), improving the built-in content blocker, squashing bugs, etc.

      Instead they seem to insist on every release bringing in a new niche feature. That is great if you are one of the people seeking out two-level tab stack features in a browser, but it seems to me, a much larger group of users or potential users would prefer it not take multiple “stable” releases to squash the bug where tab accent colors were broken or the content blocker was even on par with something like AdBlock Plus, or ensuring that your fans don’t spin up after using Vivaldi for 30 minutes.

      I continue to have a love/hate relationship with Vivaldi. They do so much right where I think it can replace Brave or Firefox as my default, but they still struggle with so many basic features it makes it hard to recommend to anyone, but hardcore browser enthusiasts.

      1. diamond said on March 2, 2021 at 5:38 pm

        @Mike W.

        I agree with your sentiment regarding their development approach. Back in 2017, I asked their forum moderator about it, and here’s their answer:

        “As to new features vs bugfixing, Vivaldi has to do both. But the primary focus has to be on features, because in order for Vivaldi to survive it has to attract new eyeballs and increase its user base. Right now it loses money, and that cannot last forever.

        What attracts eyeballs is things that are new and different. No one is trying or adopting Vivaldi because it’s the most bug-free browser. They are coming over for new and different things.”

        Back then their browser was so buggy, it was really unusable. I don’t really agree with their statement, but maybe they have data to back it up. Maybe their users really care more about features than a bug-free browser. But that answer shows that people like us are definitely not their target audience.

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