Multiple tabs are a common reality to modern web browsing. It doesn’t take long at all before you have a good number of tabs open, and that’s natural. Heck, even right now as I’m typing this I have 11 tabs open. They’re essentially a fact of online life.
However, despite the great convenience that tabs bring us, it’s not always easy to sift through them, especially when we start reaching 20 tabs or more. For cases like these, it’s best to be able to organize or otherwise manipulate your tabs so that you have the best possible oversight. Firefox‘s extensions API is one of the best among browsers, and has been for a very long time. Therefore, there are tons of extensions which can help you organize Firefox tabs with ease.
TooManyTabs is a fairly powerful extension which lets you organize your tabs based on tasks or other defined groups. These tasks/groups will appear as additional rows in your browser UI, which makes visual management extremely easy. If you need a tab to stay where it is until you specifically close it — so that it’ll stay there after you close and open your browser again — you can also choose to pin it.
TabGroups isn’t actually the name of an extension, but rather a feature of Firefox itself. It lets you organize tabs into groups like TooManyTabs, but you won’t see those groups in your browser UI. Instead, it’ll all be hidden behind the Tab Groups button, where you’ll find all the groups which you currently have open. This feature is even more conscious about your browser UI, as all tabs which belong in other groups won’t appear in your tabs bar until you switch to the appropriate group. You can also label groups, which will appear in Firefox’s title bar, which is really cool for quick reference of what group you’re even in.
Duplicate Tab Closer is a small extension which will simply check for any tabs that are duplicates of one another, including empty tabs. While this isn’t usually a browsing issue for me, there are other people who easily lose track of the tabs they actually have open, resulting in multiple tabs which are either empty or contain the same page. With a simple click of a button, this extension, which sits at the bottom right corner Firefox, will go through all your tabs and work its magic, which is great if you suddenly notice a bunch of tabs in your browser.
Session Manager isn’t an extension to help you organize them, but rather to save sessions. A session is what you’re currently in: a window with a specific set of tabs open. With Session Manager, you can choose to save a session and then load it up at any time, even a year from now. Once you do, you’ll have the exact same windows and tabs open as when you saved it. It’s a nice feature when you tend to have the same tabs open or if you have a specific set of tabs open which are important enough to keep for later.
Load Tabs Progressively is an extension which can control the amount of tabs that are loading at the same time. If you’re a speed ninja at opening tabs, or if you’re just clicking on all your restored tabs, it can tell some tabs to wait for they start while others are loading. This is a good way to prevent any browser lag or to get started on some tabs earlier before others get their turn. There’s even an option to auto-load restored tabs, so you won’t even have to click on all of them in order to re-initialize them.
The tab bar is pretty great for most people, but what if you prefer to switch between tabs from a menu? There’s an extension which also does that, intuitively named “Tabs Menu”. There’s absolutely nothing which comes extra with the extension, so you can use your tab menu without any worries.
Tab Mix Plus is my favorite pick of them all. This nifty extension helps add a lot of needed features to the tabs themselves. Can you duplicate a tab with a stock configuration of Firefox? No, but with Tab Mix Plus you can! That’s just a tiny example of an extremely long list of possible features, such as progression bars within the tabs themselves, different colors for different tab states, and so much more. It really turns any moderate Firefox user into a power user.
With these 6 extensions (plus one built-in feature), you should be well on your way to mastering tabs the way you prefer it the most. Within all of these extensions are a multitude of different solutions and options, so it’s definitely worth it to try them all (but not all at the same time) to see which ones work best for you. Need more help with managing tabs? Check out other options featured at MakeUseOf!
How do you organize Firefox tabs? Is there an extension for tabs which we didn’t list that you absolutely love? Let us know in the comments!