Load tabs in batches with the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome

Jul 18, 2021

When you start Firefox, the browser loads the last page that you accessed. The rest of the tabs from your previous session are available, but they aren't loaded until you click on them.

Load tabs in batches with the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome
You may edit a preference in about:config to make the browser open all the tabs, but this becomes a problem since Firefox will load everything at the same time. It would be better to have a few tabs to load, as it reduces the impact on your system. The Load Background Tabs Lazily extension helps you with this. The plugin was inspired by a legacy add-on called Load Tabs Progressively.

Just like the original, the new extension can be configured to load a specific number of tabs automatically. You will need to enable the preference I mentioned for the add-on to work. Change the value of the following setting from true to false,


There are a few more options that might interest you, which you can find on the official AMO page, along with an explanation for the permissions required by the add-on.

Load Background Tabs Lazily extension - options

Chrome users have it easy, just install the extension and it works out of the box. By default, Load Background Tabs Lazily only loads one page at a time. Click the add-on's button on the toolbar, and then on the "Open Options page". Set the value of the first option on the page, Maximum number of tabs to load concurrently, to a number from 1 to 5. Let's say we choose 3, and you have 12 tabs open when you exit the browser.

When you re-open the browser, the extension will load three tabs, after which the rest are loaded in batches of 3. Switching to a non-loaded tab will force it to load, even if the previous one has not been loaded completely.

Load Background Tabs Lazily also works with new tabs that you open, it is in fact the primary feature of the add-on. This can be very useful for people with a weaker computer. The extension's description is a bit tricky, it throws terms like Line, Discarded Tabs, Blocked Tabs, etc., without explaining what they are.

The list of tabs that the extension handles at a time (3, in our example) is called a Line, it's kind of like queued tabs. Click the add-on's button to view its pop-up interface. The first option in the menu, can be used to pause or resume the tab loading queue. Tabs that have been paused are Blocked tabs. The 2nd option in the menu jumps between tabs that haven't been loaded or are stuck. Clear the Line discards the tabs that haven't been loaded, i.e. it stops the process instead of pausing it, but you can resume the Line by clicking Add Blocked Tabs.

Session proof tabs (enabled from the add-on's settings) are those that will not be saved when you close the browser, nor can you use the undo close tab option. Discarded tabs are self-explanatory, I recommend toggling the option under the Discarded tabs setting, which enables a shortcut to the browser's context menu. Right-click on any page, and you'll be able to add it as a discarded tab to the Line.

Load Background Tabs Lazily extension - exclude sites

You can exclude websites from the lazy loading process, by entering the hostnames (URLs) in the box at the extension's Options page. While you are at it, you can customize the font type and colors used by the add-on.

Load Background Tabs Lazily extension - tab menu

Load Background Tabs Lazily doesn't display a tab bar context menu by default, but you can enable it from the settings. This allows you to remove tabs from the line, reload the tabs or discard them, without using the add-on's interface. There is a way to limit the number of tabs that the add-on opens, you can turn it on in the Advanced Options page.

Load Background Tabs Lazily extension - Chrome version interface

Download the Load Background Tabs Lazily extension for Firefox and Chrome. The latter is in beta, and has fewer options. The description also mentions that the Chrome version may stop working when Google enforces the Manifest v3 API. The Firefox add-on isn't compatible with Temporary Containers, and a few other plugins that prevent lazy tab loading. The extension only works if the tab's URL begins with HTTP or HTTPS.

Load Background Tabs Lazily extension - Chrome version

The jargons in Load Background Tabs Lazily can be confusing, and the lack of a help file/tutorial makes the learning experience a bit complicated. I found the add-on handy while using it the Open Multiple URLs extension, that I reviewed recently.

software image
Author Rating
5 based on 5 votes
Software Name
Load Background Tabs Lazily
Operating System
Firefox, Chrome
Software Category
Landing Page

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