<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/firefoxlogo-150×150.png” />If 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.
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 [Broken Link Removed]. Another extension, Smart Bookmarks Bar [No Longer Available] can shrink individual links to just the favicon of the respective site.
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 [No Longer Available]
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…
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
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 [No Longer Available]
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.
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.
4. Lock and Keep Some Tabs Always Open with
If there are tabs you always need to be open, you should consider an extension likewhich 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.
5. Save Tab Bar Space with FaviconizeTab [No Longer Available]
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 [No Longer Available], ColorfulTabs, or New Tab King [No Longer Available].
More helpful Firefox articles on MakeUseOf:
- 7 Ways To Become More Productive With Firefox Tabs by Ann
- 5 Tools to Harvest the Potential of Your Firefox Bookmarks by Tina
- Get Back your Screen Space: Maximize Firefox Viewing Area by Shankar
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?