The Canary version of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser supports the tab groups feature in its latest version.
Google introduced support for tab groups in Google Chrome as a way for users to better manage tabs. Chrome users can create new tab groups and use drag & drop to add or remove sites from groups. Support for custom names and colors is available to better distinguish tab groups from one another.
Google added support for collapsing tab groups in 2020 to hide all open tabs of a group from Chrome’s tab bar.
The most recent Microsoft Edge Canary version supports tabs group now as well. The feature is not enabled by default and users interested in enabling it need to enable several experimental flags at the time to do so.
The functionality itself is identical to that of Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers that have it already.
Here is how that is done:
- Load edge://flags/#edge-tab-groups in the browser’s address bar and set the flag to Enabled; this is the main Tab Groups flag that unlocks the core functionality.
- If you want tab group collapsing, load edge://flags/#edge-tab-groups-collapse in the address bar and set it to Enabled.
- If you want Edge to freeze collapsed tabs, load edge://flags/#edge-tab-groups-collapse-freezing and set the flag to Enabled.
- If you want the auto-creation of tab groups, load edge://flags/#edge-tab-groups-auto-create and set the flag to Enabled.
- Restart Microsoft Edge when you are done.
Right-click on any open tab in Microsoft Edge and select Add Tab To A New Group to create a new tab group.
Once you have created at least one group, you may use drag and drop to add or remove tabs. The right-click option changes to Add Tab To Group afterwards and includes options to add the tab to an existing group and to create a new group.
A left-click on the tab group title collapses the list of open tabs that it contains, a second click expands the list again.
Right-click on the title of a tab group to open the configuration overlay. You may use it to change the name of the tab group and its color.
Options to create a new tab in the group, ungroup, close the group, and to move the group to a new window are provided as well.
One of the main advantages of using tab groups in most Chromium-based browsers is that it improves tab management, and deals with tab overload in browsers such as Google Chrome. Chrome stops showing site names or icons eventually as you open new tabs in the browser, and in the end, new tabs don’t even get an icon anymore in the toolbar so that it becomes impossible to open them without using some sort of third-party extension or closing existing tabs.
Microsoft’s implementation does not expand collapsed tab groups when you restart the browser; in Chrome, tab groups do get expanded automatically when you start it.
The feature works well with Microsoft Edge’s vertical tabs feature.
You can download the Canary version of Microsoft Edge from Microsoft’s website.
It will take some time before the new feature becomes available in stable versions of Microsoft Edge. Even then, it may be disabled by default. Vivaldi’s tab stacks feature offers better options at the time, and Mozilla’s Containers feature advanced features that improve privacy among other things.
Now You: What is your take on tab groups? Useful feature?