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Google is axing four of Chrome’s least used tab options

‘New tab’, ‘close other tabs’, ‘reopen closed window’ and ‘bookmark all tabs’ have vanished in the latest Chrome update and not everyone is happy about it.

Google has whittled its handy tab options back down to the basics years after developers first proposed that the menu needed decluttering, stating that many of the options are “useful in occasional circumstances, but not enough to justify the menu space”.

According to usage data collected in 2016, just 6.63% of Chrome users clicked the ‘new tab’ button, 2.20% used ‘close other tabs’, 8.92% used ‘reopen closed tab’ and only 0.64% used the ‘bookmark all tabs’ option.

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While these percentages are pretty small, they still represent a large number of users who will be sad to see the features go.

When Google originally discussed getting rid of the barely touched ‘close tabs to the right’ option in 2017, Chrome fans took to the forum to protest the changes, sending comments like, “I use these options daily. Please don’t remove them! Please make this configurable”, “Please do not remove these options. I use them constantly and they are crucial to my workflow” and “PLEASE DON’T KILL THIS”.

While Google decided not to delete the ‘close tabs to the right option’ two years ago, it seems the company did eventually get around to narrowing down the tab menu.

Luckily, there are still shortcuts to access many tab features even after they get erased from the dropdown menu. Chrome developer Peter Kasting explained how power users can continue to reach the ‘close other tabs’ feature:

“To flush your excess tabs, click the first tab you want to close, shift-click the last tab to select the whole range, then hit ctrl-w”.

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Though it would help if these shortcuts were posted somewhere more clearly (perhaps in a tab menu…) it is good to know that power users will still have options to organise their tabs efficiently.

The new tab menu is only available to preview in Chrome Canary right now, so we’ll have to wait to find out if it makes its way to the main browser.

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