Dealing with too many browser tabs

7 years ago from , Growing indie maker

Sometimes when I'm working, I end up with 50+ opened tabs without really noticing it. My mb air starts to overheat and slow down forcing me to restart the browser with 0 tab.

How do you guys deal with this kind of problem?


  • Ian GoodeIan Goode, 7 years ago

    I close a tab when I'm done with it; problem solved.

    If it's something I want to read/watch later, it gets Pocketed, then I close the tab.

    If it's something I want to keep, it gets bookmarked, then I close the tab.

    I can't think of a situation where anyone would need 50+ opened tabs. Your working memory simply can't handle that many. It's pointless.

    15 points
    • Tom GantzerTom Gantzer, 7 years ago

      Upvoted for truth. Holy damn, I say this to my friends and colleagues everyday but I think we are in a stark minority.

      0 points
  • Web BarrWeb Barr, 7 years ago

    Try OneTab https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/onetab/chphlpgkkbolifaimnlloiipkdnihall?hl=en

    13 points
  • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, 7 years ago

    Firefox Tab Groups

    3 points
  • Derryl CarterDerryl Carter, 7 years ago

    I've seen people like this, from time to time... and I've always wondered how they ended up with so many tabs open. Forreal, you have a problem. However, it's a problem many people share, and can be remedied.

    How about this: Think really hard about what sites are contained in those 50 tabs...

    • If you can't precisely remember any of them... close the whole damn window! Seriously, it'll feel great. Problem solved.

    • If there are some important ones, then:

      • Evaluate the important ones for recall-ability:
        • If it's obscure / difficult to Google again, bookmark it.
        • If you need to look at it (but not now), bookmark it.
        • If it's easy to find again, close the tab.
        • If there are multiple pages from one site, close all but one.
      • Close the rest of the tabs. You don't need 'em.

    It's the internet. Most of that stuff will be around forever - accessible within moments.

    Helpful tools to have:

    • Pocket - great for saving articles / blog posts
    • Better History - makes it easier to search your Chrome history

    "I've got 99 problems but a tab ain't one - hit me!" ~Jay-Z, after signing up for Pocket

    2 points
  • Krsto Jevtic, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    Just create a bookmark folder and add pages inside. When you're done you can just delete it. (y)

    2 points
  • Andrew LiebchenAndrew Liebchen, 7 years ago

    Close them. Its okay to not look at everything.

    1 point
  • Alex FerensAlex Ferens, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    This problem haunts me each and every day

    1 point
  • Beth NBeth N, 7 years ago

    I have this same issue. No matter how hard I try (which might not be super hard) I always end up having multiple windows of 15+ tabs open. I've found OneTab to be super helpful especially if you're anxious about losing any of the tabs. Just click the chrome extension and all of your tabs get consolidated into one list in a webpage that you can reference or share (I sometimes them to myself for reference later). Hope that helps!

    1 point
  • Diesel LawsDiesel Laws, 7 years ago

    Sharing this in case it's helpful to anyone:

    I treat the browser as temporary (the same way I think about my Desktop/Downloads folder). Anything that opens in a new tab/gets put onto my desktop or into my downloads folder is temporary and can be wiped without thinking too hard about it.

    If I really need to keep something for later access, Bookmark it into a folder. But for everything else, quit it as soon as I'm done with it - if it's going to be more than 1-3 hours (like a massive form) then I'll bookmark the link and come back when I can do it in one go.

    That way, if your browser crashes, or you do a mass delete of your downloads/desktop area then you won't lose anything worth keeping.

    0 points
  • Josh Sanders, 7 years ago

    OneTab ... one tool to rule them all

    0 points
  • Kemie GuaidaKemie Guaida, 7 years ago

    Tab Wrangler!


    Automatically "corrals" (closes and saves to a temp list) tabs you don't use after a set amount of time. You can set exception, and it will respect pinned tabs. Makes me realize most of the time I did not need that tb anymore!

    0 points
  • Adil MajidAdil Majid, 7 years ago

    Another issue might just be Chrome itself -- it sucks up your computing power. I switched over to Safari about a year ago and don't have such issues anymore.

    0 points
  • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, 7 years ago

    Basically I only keep the tabs open that are relevant to whatever the thing is that I'm doing now. Otherwise:

    • If it's something long that I'm going to read later — I send it to Readability or my Kindle.

    • If it's something I'm going to need to find later, like a tutorial or a reference article or some inspiration — I send it to pinboard.in

    • If it's something related to a $work project I email it to the appropriate trello board

    0 points
  • Jeewan RajamaniJeewan Rajamani, 7 years ago

    I have used most mentioned on this page but settled with https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-snooze/pdiebiamhaleloakpcgmpnenggpjbcbm?hl=en

    Its just brilliant management for Tabs

    0 points
  • Joshua ButnerJoshua Butner, 7 years ago

    One Tab for short term stowing; Raindrop.io chrome extension and Mac app for longer term storage.

    Both of those are so good.

    0 points
  • Mal SMal S, 7 years ago

    Can't live without Tab Snooze

    0 points
  • David KizlerDavid Kizler, 7 years ago

    I switched from OneTab to this, it doesn't keep an archive of open tabs, like OneTab, but I like the behavior a little better. It lets me close all tabs except the one I'm currently working in: Keyboard Shortcuts to Close Other/Right Tabs

    0 points
  • Pierre de MillyPierre de Milly, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I always thought having too many open tabs was like select text before reading it. About half of the people I know do it and the other half get annoyed about their doing it.

    0 points
  • sho otanisho otani, 7 years ago

    I recently start using Tab Memory Purge Extension for Chrome (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-memory-purge/aclmceilickagfkaddbiedcnccdkfafa). And It works pretty well in my case which is similar to yours.

    0 points
  • Ville MikkolaVille Mikkola, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I rarely have more than 10-15 tabs open at the same time. And usually just one window as I would probably get lost with more than one.

    Like someone already asked, what are those 50+ tabs that you have open constantly and how do you get to that point?

    If I reflect this situation to my own browsing routines: I read news, check email subscription links etc. and like most (I guess?), I open those links to new tabs to check them later.

    To keep the tab count low, I don't open more than 5-10 at a time. Then I go those tabs through and if it's something that I can read/watch/digest in 5 minutes; I will, but if it's something that would take longer time, I would save it to the pocket (http://getpocket.com/) for later when I have time (never).

    After I've checked all those tabs, I'll repeat the same steps if there is still something interesting to open.

    This was mostly for "ah, this seems interesting -> open new tab" type of situation, but for other cases OneTab or something similar might be a better solution.

    0 points
  • Owen McFadzenOwen McFadzen, 7 years ago

    I use a combination of evernote and instapaper.

    If it is an article I want to read I instapaper it and send it to my kindle. If it is a reference, resource or just something not to forget I put it in evernote and rely on tags not work books. Works like a charm.

    0 points
  • Suganth SSuganth S, 7 years ago

    If you are in safari, dont worry about navigating tabs from tab bar. Just use two fingers in trackpad and try zooming out (cmd + shift + ) it'l give aerial view. Its much faster than navigating normal way

    0 points
  • Tori ZTori Z, 7 years ago

    I've been thinking about this problem for a while and also discussed with other designers. I think it's time for somebody to come up with a better browser design.

    The current browser is basically designed in the 90s and at that time users don't have that many tabs open. Now everyone has 20+ tabs opened at all time.

    0 points