No, your memory isn’t failing you — I’ve written about managing Chrome tabs before. I wrote about an extension called Tab Wrangler once upon a time that helped keep my scatter-brained tabs under control by automatically closing the ones I wasn’t using. Now, I want to take a closer look at a different tab management extension called OneTab, and tell you why I switched over.
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If you read my review from a few years ago, you know the primary functionality of Tab Wrangler is to close the tabs that you probably don’t need. It sets a timer (20 minutes by default), and automatically closes all of that unwrangled mess one-by-one. Slowly ditching the tabs and adding them to a list that grows in the extension drop-down is useful, and for a while made my life better, but it eventually started to annoy me.
The reason is simple: closing tabs automatically can be problem when you’re in the middle of working on something and might leave the computer for a little while. You can set the time out to be a bit higher, and you can lock certain tabs to not close, but all the granular control becomes pointless when you realize you could have just spent that time controlling your tabs.
Basically, I realized I wanted a one-click button that would wipe my tabs when I wanted to, but would still keep track of the ones I’ve closed like Tab Wrangler did. I found that with an extension called OneTab — and it has a fitting name.
Rather than working off the premise of automatically closing your tabs for you and giving you the controls to make that as useful as possible, OneTab is simply an easy way to clear all your clutter without having to worry about losing anything precious from an auto-close. As long as you know none of the tabs you have open have any critical work open, you don’t have to worry. You just click the “OneTab” extension button and it works as a funnel… closing all your tabs to one tab.
So now, rather than trying to fine-tube Tab Wrangler to only close the tabs I want when I want (which, as I said, became a lot of work), I can just wait until things start to get out of hand and click one button. All of my tabs get closed, and a new tab (the “OneTab”) is opened with a list with links for all the tabs that got closed. And the history is maintained forever until you clear it.
But yes, just like with Tab Wrangler’s auto-close, sometimes things that I didn’t want to close get closed. But in this case, it’s my own fault if it happens, and not the result of a timer that wasn’t set right. And just like other tab managing extensions, I can just click the link to open the tab back up if I want — I just need to hope that what I’m reopening didn’t have anything unsaved.
Maybe this isn’t a problem that you face, and maybe it’s not even a problem that most people face. But I apparently am way too ambitious with my multitasking, and I have trouble keeping my tabs under control in Chrome to the point that I need an extension to help me out. Good for you if you have more self-control, but if you’re like me finding your Chrome instances are filling your MacBook’s RAM all the time and get confused trying find one of 100 tiny tab icons, then this might help.
The extension is completely free and you can download it at the Chrome Web Store.