5 Effective Ways to Deal With the “Too Many Tabs” Syndrome in Firefox

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firefox too many tabsIf you’re like me, you always have a minimum of 10 tabs open, but usually many more. There are some must-haves like your personal blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Google. But then there are at least 20 more. It’s tab overload!

Having tons of open tabs slows down Firefox. And as the tabs turn Firefox into an MB hungry monster, they also slow down your computer. Even if memory is not an issue, using Firefox with too many tabs just makes it tough to find anything. So what are your options? Just leave as is, discard the tabs, or move them to your helplessly unorganized bookmarks? Bad idea!

Here are some strategies to help you manage your tabs.

1. Make Use Of The Bookmarks Bar

The bookmarks toolbar is a great place to temporarily store information, for example, when you’re researching jobs or hotels for your next vacation. You can just create a folder for the purpose and shovel all links in there when you need a break from researching. When you’re back, right-click onto that folder and select > Open All in Tabs.

firefox too many tabs

As you see, I use one letter abbreviations, so that the folder names don’t take up a lot of space. Should you require more space, you can use an extension called Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar. Another extension, Smart Bookmarks Bar can shrink individual links to just the favicon of the respective site.

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Another way to store links is using the Read It Later extension, which was reviewed by Mark and more recently by Abhijeet in Get The Awesome Read It Later Extension for Firefox 3.

2. Install Session Manager

Rather than storing your project links in folders, you can manage them with the Session Manager extension. Not only does it automatically save your browsing sessions, even when you crash, you can also save sessions and open them individually from > Tools > Session Manager > Load Session…

firefox too many tabs

Since you can deselect links from a saved session before opening it, you have full control over the links that will open. That way you can even recover links from a massive sessions that crashed your browser

too many tabs in firefox

Make sure you don’t accidentally replace links in an existing session.

Now that you have temporarily stashed away most of your open tabs, let’s look at ways to actually manage open tabs. There are many extensions that help you deal with an overloaded tab bar. You can organize your tabs, make them smaller, or extend the available space. Here is a small selection of tested add-ons.

3. Group Tabs with TabGroups Manager

This is an ingenious extension. It let’s your group your tabs based on topics. The drawback is that it occupies a little more space. One row shows the category tabs and the second row displays open tabs.

too many tabs in firefox

You cannot rename the Start tab. However, when you remove all tabs from it, it automatically disappears. To remove other categories, click the – on the far left of the category bar.

Through > Tools > Extensions > TabGroups Manager you can access the > Options or rather the Preferences window for this extension. It contains a plethora of settings, for example positioning of the GroupBar, mouse and keyboard commands, settings for session backups, and loads more. In fact, this extension would deserve an entire article to explore all its potential.

too many tabs in firefox

4. Lock and Keep Some Tabs Always Open with Tabberwocky

If there are tabs you always need to be open, you should consider an extension like Tabberwocky which will lock and protect your tabs. It also supports multirow tab bar, tab progress bar, and highlighting of unread tabs, all very useful features for keeping control over your tabs.

firefox tabs

5. Save Tab Bar Space with FaviconizeTab

firefox tabs

To save tab bar space, you can use the FaviconizeTab extension to replace the context menu with the site’s favicon. Here is a comparison between a full-fledged MakeUseOf tab (right) and a faviconized MakeUseOf tab (left).

Other extensions to consider are Tab Mix Plus, ColorfulTabs, or New Tab King. The latter was also reviewed by Karl in his article The Must-see “New Tab King” Addon for Firefox.

More helpful Firefox articles on MakeUseOf:

How many tabs do you have open at any given time? Do you tend to use Firefox with too many tabs? How do you manage?

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Comments (18)
  • Tina

    Clowner,

    I’m not using Opera myself, but I will suggest this “story idea” to other authors of MakeUseOf.

  • Clowner

    I use Opera as my default browser and rarely ever use Firefox. Are there any methods in keeping my tabs organized in Opera?

    • Tina

      Clowner,

      I’m not using Opera myself, but I will suggest this “story idea” to other authors of MakeUseOf.

  • Rich Resnick

    I big reason why people keep multiple tabs open is to make searching the web easier. Take a look at http://www.kwiclick.com/. It solves that challenge and will certainly help keep the number of tabs open in check.

  • Rich Resnick

    I big reason why people keep multiple tabs open is to make searching the web easier. Take a look at http://www.kwiclick.com/. It solves that challenge and will certainly help keep the number of tabs open in check.

  • Eric

    I prefer usekit.com, it allows me to mark pages with a click, add notes or save parts. And i can get back to it later in the platform without having all this tabs open until my browser craches… I use the plugin which makes it easy to use.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.