Chrome’s new Declutter tool may soon help manage your 100 plus open tabs

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Recent evidence suggests Chrome on Android may receive a new Tab Declutter tool to help people manage so many open tabs. Hints of this feature were discovered in lines of code on Google’s Chromium platform by 9To5Google. It’s unknown exactly how Tab Declutter will work, although there is enough information to paint a picture.

According to the report, tabs that have been unused for a long period of time “will automatically” be put away in an archive. You can then go over to the archive editor, look at what’s there, and decide for yourself whether you want to delete a tab or restore it. 

Not only could Tab Declutter help people manage a messy browser, but it might also boost Chrome’s performance. All those open tabs can eat away at a device’s RAM, slowing things down to a crawl.

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This isn’t the first time Google has worked on improving tab management for its browser. Back in January, the company implemented an organizer tool harnessing the power of AI to instantly group tabs together based on a certain topic.  

These efforts even go as far back as 2020, when the tech giant began developing a feature that would recommend closing certain tabs if they’ve been left alone for an extended period of time. It was similar to the new Declutter tool, though much less aggressive, since it wouldn’t archive anything. Ultimately, nothing came of it, however it seems Google is looking back at this old idea.  

Speculating on all the open tabs

As 9To5Google points out, this has the potential to “become one of the most annoying features” the company has ever made. Imagine Chrome disappearing tabs you wanted to look at without letting you know. It could get frustrating pretty fast. 

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Additionally, would it be possible to set a time limit for when an unused page is allowed to be put away? Will there be an exception list telling Chrome to leave certain websites alone? We’ll have the answer if and when this feature eventually goes live.

We have no word on when Tab Declutter will launch. It’s unknown if Chrome on iOS is scheduled to receive a similar upgrade as the Chromium edition. It’s possible Android devices will get first dibs, then iPhones, or the iPhone may be left out in some regions that don’t get a Chromium-based browser. 

9To5Google speculates the update will launch in early May as part of Chrome 125. This seems a little early if it’s still in the middle of development. Late summer to early autumn is more plausible, but we could be totally wrong. We’ll just have to wait.

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Until we get more news, check out TechRadar’s roundup of the best Chromebooks for 2024.

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