Creating tab groups in Google Chrome could soon be automatic, based on a recent report from TechDows. The feature is already live in the Chrome Canary Channel too. That's for all desktop platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. Although getting to the Canary Channel on a Chromebook is still currently far more work than its probably worth.
How do automatic Chrome tab groups work and how do you turn them on?
Now, the purpose of automatic Chrome tab groups may, at the surface, seem unintuitive. But, with an explanation of how that works — with a handy video included below from TechDows — it's fairly obvious.
To turn on the feature, users will need to;
- Install or update to the latest version of Chrome Canary
- Navigate to the chrome://flags experimental settings URL
- Using the search box at the top of the resulting page, search for “Tab Groups Auto Create”
- Use the drop-down menu next to the "Tab Groups Auto Create" option to select "Enabled"
- Restart Chrome
From there, opening up any tab from within a domain will place that tab in the same tab group. That's as long as users have followed the steps to create a tab group already.
For instance, a user might have grouped tabs from their workplace website — or any other website. They can then right-click any link within those pages' UI and select "Open link in new tab."
Chrome will keep that new tab that's just been opened within the same tab group as the other, already-opened tabs.
This will almost certainly change before the final release
Now, it is already going to be incredibly useful for most users to be able to follow those steps and keep all sites from the same domain under a single tab group. But this particular feature is a long way out, appearing in version 87 of Chrome — which lands in mid-November. So there are also obvious improvements that could be made before that happens if Google doesn't drop the feature before releasing it.
For the time being, just for starters, the automatic placement of tabs into a select tab group appears to rely on the domain. So users can't right-click a link that leads to an external site and have that automatically placed in the same tab group.
If, for example, AndroidHeadlines.com is open in a tab group, users couldn't right-click a link that leads to Amazon and open that to a new tab in the same group.
But Google could ultimately change a lot more about this new Chrome feature before it's official.