Confessions of a Tab Hoarder

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Browser Tabs

Kevin Limb/Flickr

My name’s Rane and I’m a tabaholic. The seeds of my addiction were planted in the early days of the internet, when I would find myself with over a dozen windows open. The strain on my paltry pre-multi-core-processor CPU would inevitably result in system crashes and blue screens of death.

Then, tabs!

Sweet, glorious browser tabs!

Dozens of windows were replaced by one window containing dozens of browser tabs. So many tabs that they scrolled endless to the right, seeming to go off into infinity. The faster my computers got and the more efficient browser tabs got, the more tabs I could have open. The more tabs I could open, the more tabs I did open!

You can never be too rich or too thin or have too many browser tabs open

But, all those tabs running off to infinity became a cluttered mess. I could never figure out where this tab or that tab went. I spent too much time mining through tabs and tripping over virtual crushed cat skeletons. Surely there must be a way to add order to the chaos, without giving up the browser tabs, of course.

Then, tab groups!

Tab groups, enabling tab hoarders since whenever tab groups became a thing

Firefox Tab Groups are a beautiful thing. Now I can organize my tabs by topic. That means more tabs! So many tabs! But, the thing about tab groups is that they’re kind of weird and annoying. In order to switch between them you have to go into a different window and select the tab you want from a whole bunch of smaller windows. This is not the comforting tab experience you are looking for.

Then, Tab Groups Bar!

Tab Groups Bar, for the master tabber in all of us

Tab Groups Bar is a Firefox browser extension that takes all of those tab groups and turns them into more tabs! It’s tabs inside of tabs. It’s tab madness. It’s tabtastic!

With Firefox Tab Groups and the Tab Groups Bar extension I could have all the tabs I wanted. But, then I closed Firefox and when I opened it again… Oh no! All my beautifully curated tabs were gone! Vanished! Dead!

It turns out that Firefox doesn’t actually save your tab groups for later restoration. It looked like I was about to backslide into the realm of tabs scrolling infinitely to the right.

Then, Session Manager!

Session Manager, because losing tabs to restarts hurts

Session Manager is another Firefox Browser extension. It lets you save your current browsing session, including all of your tabs, tab groups, and the tab groups bar tabs. (Bar tabs? Did somebody say Tequila?). After you restart, you can restore to last session and everything comes back up (usually). All your tabs and tab groups resurrected.

Tab Hoarding Enabled

Now, you might be thinking, why don’t you just close the tabs you aren’t using? Shut up, you! Quit it with you logic. The reason is: tabs!

PS. The answer to the question at the top is 35. I have 35 tabs open right now. How many do you have? Huh?

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Confessions of a Tab Hoarder
Article Name
Confessions of a Tab Hoarder
Description
A foray into the dark underworld of browser tab hoarding.
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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Tab Hoarder

  1. exitstation

    To answer your question: I have 16 tabs open and that’s how I found your blog.

    Bloody Firefox crashed loosing my session with ALL THOSE TABS forever! I just had a mini nervous breakdown after which I thought maybe I need a therapy or even better I need my TABS BACK.
    Anyway thanks for sharing this with me. I feel better now. Little better…

    Reply
    1. Rane Wallin Post author

      Aw. Sorry you lost your tabs. It’s really frustrating. Session manager is great for retrieving them, though.

      Reply
    1. D

      Yeah I was like wtf 35, that’s like saying you have a broken arm when you got a splinter.

      Firefox: 350 with 3 windows
      Chrome: too many. estimate 1.3k, 60 windows, 5 where no icons show anymore, rest with 5-50 Tabs each.

      Reply
  2. A

    I’ve got +200 tabs open in chrome, only 9 of which are actually active and using memory.

    I don’t have the time to bookmark/categorize every little thing that catches my interest.

    Reply

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