Tabbed browsing has changed the way we use browsers a lot since they were first introduced. Users have quickly adopted the use of tabs in web browsing and web search.
A study of tabbed browsing behavior in June 2009 found that users switched tabs in 57% of tab sessions, and 36% of users used new tabs to open search engine results at least once during that period.
Today’s major browser platforms which offer customization by the way of extensions, like Firefox and Chrome have seen development of various addons around the browser tabs – that make using tabs easier and more functional.
Power users would agree that although they love the tabbed browsing feature, the tabs can soon get out of hand. Here are a few addons that would help you get better control over tabbed browsing.
The Best Tabbed Browsing Firefox Addons:
Here we list some of the best addons for Firefox that add more features to tabbed browsing. They are not arranged in any particular order. You should be able to select the right extension from this list – according to the features that you like or need.
1) New Tab King:
Need something better than an empty tab? New Tab King creates a personalized launch pad for the sites you use the most, recently closed tabs, suggested sites and more – forget about a blank tab.
- Get a useful dashboard with recently/most used sites in the new tab in Classic, Thumbnail or Analytics format
- Give a new look to the usually blank new tab. 7 themes are available.
- Maintain the urgent To-Do’s on the dashboard
- Shows recently closed tabs and similar sites
- Option to share your most used sites on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious and more!
2) FoxTab: (Update: Discontinued)
3D in your browser! FoxTab brings innovative 3D functionality to your Firefox.
- FoxTab offers 3D tab management extension with 6 layouts and customizable backgrounds.
- Main features:
– Top Sites (aka Speed Dial) for quickly accessing your favorite websites
– Tab Flipper – to easily flip between opened tabs using a mouse or keyboard gestures
– Recently Closed Tabs – for reopening a tab that was recently closed
- Offers efficient Grouping and Find functions.
- Highly customizable, good shortcut options but no duplicate/lock/protect tab features
- Perhaps the most good-looking and attractive extension for Tabbed browsing.
Get FoxTab Firefox Addon
3) Tab Scope:
Preview and navigate tab contents through popup.
- Real-time preview of tab contents
- Navigate (Back/Forward/Reload/Stop/Close) through pop-up
- Scroll pages or frames in preview with mouse wheel
- Click links or buttons directly in the preview
So you keep open tabs like libraries keep books… Aren’t you afraid Firefox will consume all your memory? Don’t you fear browser restarts because it takes so long to reload all your tabs?
Well, you shouldn’t! Because now you can put all the tabs you don’t need on your bar tab, and only pay for the load when you actually want to visit them.
- BarTab intercepts when tabs are loaded in the background or restored after a browser restart
- Load the content when the tab is actually visited.
- Allows you to free memory by unloading already loaded tabs, either manually or automatically.
- Opens tab but does not load the contents. Contents are loaded when you actually select the tab. If you are one who opens many tabs at once and view them later at your leisure, this add-on is for you. Will avoid Firefox from slowing down even if you open many tabs quickly!
5) Super Tab Mode:
Super Tab Mode is a Firefox enhancement tool which mainly focuses on tab browsing capabilities. It can also block web content, hide Firefox window and move Firefox hard disk cache position.
- Enhanced tab features (Double-Click close tab, Open Bookmarks/History/Searching in new tab, remove right/left tabs, decide where to open a new tab, page lock/open link in new tab…)
- Auto-lock feature to lock a page when loaded
- Simple block feature to filter webpage
- Hotkey to hide Firefox window
- Ability to change Firefox cache position
6) Tab Utilities:
Tab Utilities is a lightweight extension for tabbed browsing with a lot of features.
- Tab clicking options, including left/middle/right/double/ctrl/alt/shift-click on tab/tab bar/new tab button
- Duplicate/Protect/Lock/Faviconize/Hide/Pin Tab
- Highlight current/read/unread/protected/locked tabs – Customizable
- Close Left/Right/ALL Tabs. Reuse current/last/all blank tabs, Auto-close redundant blank tabs
- Features like customizable tab size, New tab button position, tab focus on closing tabs, new tab position and much more
- One of the stand-alone add-ons that provide almost all features individually
- Works with BarTab and Tab Scope (mentioned above)
7) Tab Mix Plus:
Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more.
It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore a combination of opened tabs and windows.
- Duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more.
- Full-featured session manager.
- Features like Multi Row, lock/protect tabs, close multiple tabs etc.
- Offers too many options and Highly configurable. Makes it a bit difficult to use.
- Another stand-alone addon
- Visual display options such as tab width can be easily modified.
- Works with BarTab and Tab Scope (mentioned above)
8] Firefox Showcase:
Showcase provides a new way to manage your Firefox tabs and windows by showing them as thumbnails in a single window, tab or sidebar. Includes a find bar that will filter the thumbnails, and the ability to select the thumbnails in the same way you would select files in your system.
Competitor for FoxTab – but Showcase get an upper hand because of Merge to New Window feature.
- Can be shown as a window, tab or sidebar. Also, it has two modes: global (which will show thumbnails for all tabs of all windows) and local.
- Default shortcuts are listed there. Those may be changed using the Keyconfig extension.
- Multiple thumbnails can be selected and Closed/Duplicated/Merged from showcase
- Mouse middle button can be used to zoom a thumbnail. Use Control-F in Showcase to use the find bar.
- A wide array of configuration possibilities
- Another stand-alone addon
- Works with BarTab and Tab Scope
9) Tabberwocky: (Update: Discontinued)
Tabberwocky is a light, fast tab browsing extension with features, including duplicate, protect, & lock tab, open selected links, multi-row tab bar, tab progress bars, new & close tab buttons, tab clicking, tab opening & closing, menu items, and more!
- Duplicate Tab, Protect Tab, Lock Tab (menu items and keyboard shortcuts)
- Tab Progress Bars, Multiple-Row Tab Bar (upto 8 rows)
- Highlight unread tabs, Set minimum/maximum tab width, Tab clicking options
- Switch to last selected tab or tab on the left when closing a tab
- Menu items for opening links in foreground/background tabs and many more.
- Another stand alone addon
- Works with BarTab and Tab Scope
Get Tabberwocky Firefox Addon
10) Multi Tab Handler:
This provides features to handle multiple tabs at once, such as – close them, reload them, and so on. When you press the mouse button and dragging over tabs, they will be selected.
After you release the button, the popup to choose command will be shown. Of course, you can toggle selection by Ctrl-click on each tab and call features from the context menu. Yes, the behavior looks like Excel.
- Close selected tabs
- Close not-selected tabs
- Reload selected tabs
- Duplicate selected tabs
- Move selected tabs to a new window
- Bookmark selected tabs
- Copy URIs/titles+URIs/HTML links for selected tabs to the clipboard
- Save (download) selected tabs to the local disk
- Print selected tabs
11) Informational Tab:
This addon provides thumbnail-style preview for each tab, does progress meter, and indicates unread status.
- Simple add-on for those who do not care for too many features
- Provides thumbnail-style preview for each tab
- Progress meter for tabs
- Indicates unread status
12) PermaTab Mod:
Turn tabs of your choice into permanent tabs. PermaTabs can’t be closed accidentally no matter what you click (even actions like “Close other tabs” will not affect them) and will stick around between sessions.
- It makes sure that your most used and must have tabs are available permanently
- Turn tabs of your choice into permanent tabs.
- PermaTabs can’t be closed accidentally no matter what you click (even actions like “Close other tabs” will not affect them)
- Tabs stick around between sessions
13) Fox Splitter:
This splits the content area of the browser window as you like. It will help you in various cases. For example, to compare multiple web pages, to show a calendar always, and so on.
- This addon splits the content area of the browser window as you like
- You can split browser infinitely, as many as your RAM and your screen allow
- Drag and drop is available to load links, bookmarks, and so on, into split browser
- All Split browsers can be closed at once
- Tile all of tabs as split browsers, and, gather split browsers to tabs
- Excellent for people with big screen monitors
- Works nicely with Multiple Tab handler
14) New Tab Homepage:
A very simple tabbed browsing extension that loads your homepage when you open a new tab. If you have multiple homepages, the first is chosen.
- Shows your Hompage instead of a blank page when you open a new tab in Firefox.
- Meant to be a lightweight alternative to using Tab Mix, Tabbrowser Preferences for this single feature.
15) Too Many Tabs:
TooManyTabs allows you to store as many tabs as you like by adding extra rows in the Firefox! It saves your browser’s space and memory as idle tabs are put aside. The extra rows also help to better prioritize and visualize your tabs.
- Store as many tabs as you like by adding extra rows
- Put your tabs on the extra rows, remove them from the memory, and restore them in your browser when you need them again
- Better prioritize and visualize your tabs
- Color-coded tabs, pinned tabs (like perma-tabs), view tab history, restore recently closed tabs
- Customizable & multiple rows for tab storage
- Backup & restore features, tabs can be transferred across machines easily
16) Boss Key and Buttons: (Update: Discontinued)
Browse the Internet with Firefox in the Office and be safe from your Boss. The quickest way to hide your Firefox Tabs and Windows.
- Press the F12 key to minimize your browser windows.
- Press both the mouse buttons (left and right) down to minimize your browser windows.
- Open and focus on a new tab with the URL you preset.
- Hide the tab-bar.
- Press Shift-F12 to show the tab bar and close the new tab opened by the boss key or buttons.
- Do the hiding for all the open browser windows.
Get Boss Key and Buttons Firefox Addon
Lock and protect your tabs in Firefox.
- This add-on enables five actions:
– Lock Tab
– Shift Lock Tab
– Protect Tab
– Lock+Protect Tab
– Shift Lock+Protect Tab
- Simple addon to get the lock and protect features
18) ChromaTabs Plus:
ChromaTabs Plus makes tabs more readily identifiable by tinting each tab a different color depending on the website loaded.
- ChromaTabs Plus makes tabs more readily identifiable by tinting each tab a different color depending on the website loaded.
- By default, colors are matched to the site’s favicon. Alternatively, tabs may be assigned a site-specific random color.
- The bar beneath the tabs will also take on the color of the active tab.
- The close button also changes, allowing more of the tab color to show through.
19) TabGroups Manager:
TabGroups Manager helps to classify and organize tabs by dividing them into Groups. Because tabs become easier to manage, you can never have too many! TabGroups Manager is ideal for tab power users.
- TabGroups Manager helps to classify and organize tabs by dividing them into Groups.
- Adds a GroupBar which is displayed above the tab bar. Here you can create Groups for organizing and managing your tabs
- This feature allows you to temporarily put a group into hibernation (sleep mode). This is useful if you have too many tabs open and need to save memory.
- The standard Session Store feature of Firefox is used to restore Tabs, Groups and Hibernated Groups when re-starting Firefox.
20) ColorFul Tabs:
The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the user interface. Also available for Seamonkey & Flock (Firefox version)
- Makes a strong colorful appeal in your Firefox browser
- Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the user interface
- Gives a colorful look to the browser
Quickly locate a tab you need with shortcut key Ctrl –
1. Press Ctrl-‘ (Control and single-quote key) to toggle the visibility of the Tabby bar, which resides at the bottom of the window.
2. Type one or more keywords in the Tabby bar, and a list will pop up and suggest you possible tabs.
3. Choose the right entry and there you go.
Now recognize a website by looking at a tabs color.
FabTabs is kind of an experimental extension, for now, that will color your Firefox Tabs in a way you have never seen before.
By taking a small screenshot of the website you are currently viewing, and calculating the most commonly used color from that screenshot, it tries to take the 1 essential color from the website and applies it to the tab.
- A new approach towards coloring your Firefox tabs
- By taking a small screenshot of the website you are currently viewing, and calculating the most commonly used color from that screenshot, it tries to take the 1 essential color from the website and applies it to the tab.
23) Liquid tabs:
Liquid Tabs (formerly SmoothlyCloseTabs) adds opening and closing animations to the Firefox tab bar. Inspired by planned Firefox 4 tab animation.
- By default, new tabs grow into place, and closing tabs will shrink and fade away.
- The Options dialog lets you change animation speed, animation quality, and toggle fading.
24) Alpha Tabs:
Try to get better tabs… This replaces the menu bar with a special tabs bar and allows the user to iconify tabs (and remember them for the next time). Also includes “Tab on Top” feature.
- Removes the menu bar in the top of the windows, and replace it with the tabs bar
- The menus are accessible with new buttons – on the right side of the window
- Allows to iconify tabs, and remember which are collapsed for the next session
- Can expand/collapse tabs with both mouse and keyboard shortcuts
Get Alpha Tabs Firefox Addon
25) Flag Tabs:
Mark/flag tabs via an unlimited amount of customizable colors. Quickly group and bookmark tabs based on color. Persistently label/color tabs by URL/regex.
Other optional features: relative tabs, highlight unread tabs, color favicon, and auto-flag.
- Unlimited Custom Colors
- Multiple Triggers (click, double-click, mouse wheel, various key combination’s)
- Color Favicon Instead of Tab Background
- Relative Tabs (like IE8)
- Mark Unread Tabs
- Session Recovery
- Group Tabs (automatically) by Color
- Bookmark Tabs Based on Color
- Persistently Mark Tabs That Match a Certain URL/Regex
26) Tab Alarm: (Update: Discontinued)
A simple Tab Extension which lets you Schedule tabs to open at specific times. The Tabs will open as scheduled. Backlogged schedules will open the next time Firefox is started.
Get Tab Alarm Firefox Addon
27) Cluster Tabs For Firefox:
End tab overload. Manage tabs into clusters. Share cluster tabs online via public (anonymous) URLs.
Makes a research on a specific topic in Firefox very easy.
- Close tabs, reopen later with history intact
- Decrease browser memory, increase speed.
- Easily share more stuff that interests you
- Cluster can be posted on Clusterurl.com for sharing – No registration & public & anonymous.
28) Ageing Tabs:
Makes unused tabs color fade with age and highlights the selected tab. This lets us know which tabs have been lying around unused for a while and may need to be closed to save memory.
Making the selected tab stand out from others also helps.
29) Tab Renaimizer:
Have you noticed that everybody looks the titles of your open tabs? It has a name: Paranoia! And a solution too: TabRenamizer!
- Random rename tabs: change the titles of your tabs to random ones with a simple click
- Select a new title for a tab, writing it or replacing a substring of the original title into another text.
- URL and domain automatic rename: rename all tabs with a certain URL or domain with the title you want, automatically
- Bookmark integration: give the pages the same title you have in your bookmarks
30) Tab Kit:
Tab grouping, vertical tab tree, multi-rows, and various tweaks for power users.
- Group tabs, by domain or opener (parent) tab, manually or automatically
- Vertical tab tree (with splitter) and Multi-row tabs
- Sort tabs, by address, last loaded, last viewed, an order of creation, origin or title
- Control new tab position and close order
- Easily duplicate tabs and groups and copy/move them between windows by dragging
- Scroll wheel tab switch
- ‘Mouse rocker’ to go back/forward in history
- Highlight unread tabs (and emphasize current tab)
- Switch tabs on hover
- Options for urls, searches and/or bookmarks to open in new tabs by default
We have listed about 30 of the best-tabbed browsing related extensions here. Many are ideal for power users and others for regular users who want added functionality to their Firefox browsing experience.
If there are any other Tab Browsing add-ons that we may have overlooked please let us know in the comments section below.
Related Reading for “Firefox Add-ons”: