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How to Create and Manage Tab Groups in Chrome Android

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  • 8 min read

Tab Group is an effective way to manage open tabs to segregate and categories per our needs. We can create a tab group and add multiple tabs to the group. You can also add or remove any tabs from a group. Once we finish a tab group, we can close the group, automatically closing all the tabs added to the group.

Users prefer to keep multiple tabs simultaneously in their Chrome Android browser. There are quite a few reasons for the same-the biggest of which stands from the multi-tasking point of view. Along the same lines, some users (including myself) don’t usually close the browser tab once the task has been completed.

Instead, we tend to close the entire browser itself. All these lead to tons of tabs being accrued over time. On the positive side, it wouldn’t slow down the browser’s performance (something that its PC counterpart is known to suffer from). However, the real issue arises when searching for a particular tab.

With a plethora of opened tabs, finding the needle in the haystack seems to be an easier task than actually being able to find the required tab. To overcome all these ‘issues’, Chrome introduced the Tab Grouping functionality on its PC build last year.

Now, the said feature is also rolling out to its Android version. Thankfully, the tab group or group tabs remain intact even after closing the chrome android browser, which is quite needful.

This guide will show detailed steps to enable the Group Tabs in Chrome Android and the required instructions to use this feature entirely.

Enable Group Tabs

First and foremost, you will have to update the Chrome browser to version 88 or newer. However, even if you have updated to this version, you might have to wait for some time as it is slowly rolling out to all devices. To check if your device has received it, tap on the Plus plus add icon situated next to the address bar.

Tab Group Feature in Chrome Android browser

The feature has been enabled if you find the tabs organized in a grid layout (see the image on the right). On the other hand, if you are still seeing the tabs in a vertically scrollable list as before, Tab Group has yet to make its way over to your device (image on the left).

In that case, you will have to manually enable this functionality by stepping into one of Chrome’s experimental features section and enabling four flags associated with the grouping of tabs.

Here are the steps to enable the tab grouping flag in chrome android:

  1. Launch the Chrome android browser.
  2. Head over to the chrome://flags page.
  3. Please search for the Tab Grid Layout flag and change its state from Default to Enabled.
  4. Likewise, do the same for Tab Groups, Tab Groups Continuation, and Tab Groups UI Improvements flags.
    Chrome Android Flag Tab Grid Layout
  5. Hit the Relaunch button at the page’s bottom.

This will restart the browser, and the changes will take place immediately. We have successfully enabled Tab Groups in Chrome’s Android build.

Remember that these flags are experimental, so you might have to compromise on the browser’s stability and performance. If you have such an issue, consider disabling all these flags immediately and wait until your device gets officially blessed with this feature.

Create a New Group Tab in Chrome

Now that you have enabled this feature let’s check out the steps to create a new Tab Group in Chrome Android, for which two different methods exist.

In the first one, you could instruct the browser to carry out this task, while the second method is more of a manual approach. Let’s check out both of them:

Via the Built-In Option

  1. Tap on the tab switcher multi tab icon icon situated next to Omnibox.
    You should see the open tabs in a grid layout.
  2. Tap on the More vertical 3dots icon for options list, and select Group tabs.
  3. Select all the tabs that you want to add to a group.
  4. Hit on the Group command option.
    Use Group Tabs options in Chrome Android

That’s it. A new group tab will be created with all the selected tabs. As the screenshot shows, we have created a four tabs group on chrome android.

Manually Creating Group Tabs

  1. Tap on the tab switcher multi tab icon icon situated next to Omnibox.
    You should see the open tabs in a grid layout.
  2. Touch and long-press an open tab for a couple of seconds until it gets highlighted/squeezed.
  3. Drag and drop the selected tab onto another tab that needs to be part of a group.
    Drag and Drop to Create Group Tabs in Chrome Android

Once you do so, the browser will create a new group indicating the total number of tabs. You can drag and drop as many tabs as you want in the group.

You can see from the screenshot that we have created a group of four tabs belonging to the Chrome flags domain. You can organize the tab based on categories or favorites; it’s up to you.

Manage a Tab Group

We can completely manage and organize a group tab within the chrome android browser. We can create unlimited groups and add unlimited tabs into a group as long as Chrome doesn’t run out of memory.

Access a Tab within the Group

We can access a tab within a Group tab easily. Just tap on its associated group, and Chrome will enlarge the group and display all tabs belonging to that group.

We can also scroll within a group and choose to open tabs from a larger group size.

Modify and Organize Tab Groups in Chrome Android

Add a Tab to the Group

Likewise, if you wish to add a new tab to an existing group, tap on the Plus plus add icon at the top right. This will display the URL field, enter the desired site URL, and the site will be added to this group.

The other straightforward approach will be to open a tab as usual and drag it to this group.

Add Tabs into existing Group Tabs

Remove a Tab from the Group

Furthermore, you could also remove tabs from a group. Head to that tab inside the group you must remove and tap on the X.

Chrome will then notify you about the tab being removed. It will also give you a five-second window to return it via the Undo button.

Remove Tab from Group Tabs in Chrome Android

Close a Group Tab

On the other hand, if you wish to close the entire group, head over to the tabs grid section and hit the X to the group.

As with removing individual tabs, you may bring back the closed group tabs via the Undo option.

Close and Remove a Group Tab from Chrome Android

Bottom Line: Chrome Android Tab Groups

So this was all from this guide on creating Group Tabs in Chrome Android. We have also listed detailed instructions to manage the group and its tabs effectively. No doubt this feature will be quite helpful in handling the plentitude of tabs that are opened in the browser.

However, as of now, it’s still far from the finished product. The biggest reason for the same could be its staged rollout process. As a result, the users who haven’t yet received it will have to go the extra mile to enable four experimental feature flags before they can get a glimpse of this feature.

In its defense, though, these efforts are just for the time being until the feature makes its way to every user’s device settings, after which you might be able to use it without enabling any of these flags.

That said, we would love to hear your opinions about this new addition of tab grouping or group tabs feature to the Chrome android browser.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts on How to Create and Manage Tab Groups in Chrome Android, then feel free to drop in below comment box.

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