Tab Wrangler keeps your browser clean by automatically closing tabs
Many of us browse the web endlessly opening new tabs, not closing them when we’re done due to carelessness, wanting to read the page later but forgetting about it, or because the page is basically acting as a to-do list reminder. To read something later, there are better solutions, such as Instapaper, Pocket, and Safari’s Reading List, but they require a lot more commitment than just going back to an open tab. And while no one would suggest that an open tab is a good replacement for a note-taking app or task manager, it’s easy to think, “I should do something about this” without it bubbling over. at the level of being added to another application.
For some reason, an excess of tabs eventually becomes a problem. Once you have more than 10 or 20 tabs open, you’re unlikely to remember older tabs, and even browsing through them is tedious. Having many tabs open can also slow down your browser. Every once in a while, you either go on a long frenzy of closing tabs, or you get disgusted and close them all without review. It’s both an ineffective strategy for remembering something you wanted to read or do and an overall waste of time.
There are a wide variety of tab management extensions available, but they mostly try to make it easier to see which tabs you have open and navigate between them. Instead, I’ve become a fan of the Tab Wrangler extension for Chrome and Firefox – the Chrome extension also works for Chrome-based browsers like Brave and Microsft Edge. If you’re using Safari, you might want to check out the CloseTabs extension, which is similar but doesn’t recover closed tabs.
Tab Wrangler automatically closes tabs after a specified time, so your browser can’t fill up with tabs. By default, Tab Wrangler closes inactive tabs after 20 minutes, but only if you have five or more tabs open, and only if they’re not playing audio. All of this can be changed in the Options screen of Tab Wranger’s Settings – click on its icon in the Chrome or Firefox toolbar. (The screenshot below only shows the top of the Options screen – scroll down to access more settings.)
But wait! Auto-closing tabs is fine for those you haven’t had time to close manually, but what about those you plan to read or act on later? Here’s the beauty of Tab Wrangler – it keeps track of closed tabs in the Tab Corral. By default, it remembers the last 100 tabs, but you can increase that number to make sure you don’t inadvertently lose something you thought was important. Click on any item in the Corral tab to re-open its page. Realistically, many items in the Corral tab will not be interesting. So you can click multiple checkboxes and then click the trash can button to mass delete them. A search box at the top helps you find a specific important tab or filter the list by domain, for example, to make it easier to remove a bunch of unnecessary tabs. I get a lot of tidbits.com tabs in the Tab Corral when working on articles, but I never want to keep them.
Of course, you might want to prevent certain tabs from closing. Tab Wrangler automatically ignores tabs you have pinned in the browser and also provides its own protection method. In the tab lock screen in Tab Wrangler settings, you can select specific open tabs to prevent them from being automatically closed.
You can also specify certain areas whose tabs should be locked automatically so that Tab Wrangler does not close them. (The auto-lock settings are further down the Options screen, not the Tab Lock screen.) For example, since you’re not me, you can add TidBITS to your auto-lock list so that Tab Wrangler does not close them. essential tabs.
The beauty of Tab Wrangler is that it keeps my browser from getting overwhelmed with tabs without me having to think about it. I rarely find myself venturing into the Tab Corral, but it all ends there at least temporarily in case I want to revisit an automatically closed tab. And if you’re more of a tab hoarder, you can set the Tab Corral to a high number and rest assured that Tab Wrangler will store all your very important tabs (that you forgot) in the Tab Corral.