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Chrome for Android may soon help ‘declutter’ your too many tabs

3 weeks ago 21

If you’ve ever opened enough tabs on your phone to swap the indicator to a smiley face ( :D ), Chrome for Android has just the “declutter” feature you need in the works.

According to a set of new Chromium code changes, Google is working on a new “Tab Declutter” feature for Chrome for Android. Like most in-progress Chrome features, it will initially be locked behind an option in chrome://flags.

Android Tab Declutter

Enables auto-archival and deletion of inactive tabs.

#android-tab-declutter

If this premise sounds familiar, it’s because Google has tried to tackle this issue once before. Back in early 2020, Chrome for Android was set to begin recommending that certain tabs – primarily those you haven’t opened in a long while – be closed. For those of us who are quite intentional about our backlog of Chrome tabs, the feature also only ever offered suggestions, never closing anything without asking first.

Google’s latest effort to rein in tab overload on Android takes a somewhat more aggressive approach. With Tab Declutter enabled, your long unused tabs will automatically be “archived,” presumably cleaning up your main tab list and speeding up Chrome. Later on, you can view your full list of archived tabs and decide whether to delete or restore each/all of them.

You have 8 archived tabs

Review the current declutter settings.

Review all archived tabs for declutter by entering this editor.

Done right, this could help people get the Chrome tabs on their phone under control without having to outright close all of them. Done wrong, this could become one of the most annoying features Chrome has ever attempted. I’m certainly intrigued to see how it pans out. As Tab Declutter is still a work in progress, we don’t expect to see it live until Chrome 125 (scheduled for May) at the absolute earliest. Alternatively, it may never launch at all.

Without cheating, how many tabs do you have open in Chrome for Android right now? Would Tab Declutter be helpful to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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