I do not consider myself a tab hoarder. On the desktop, I might keep a half dozen tabs running at a time. Occasionally, if I’m really digging into some research, you may find my Chromebox with a dozen or more pages open but that’s it. On my phone? Not a chance. I don’t know if it’s an OCD thing or perhaps a subconscious inkling that open tabs are still using resources (even though they really aren’t) but I religiously close out tabs on my phone before closing Chrome.
For those of you on the other end of the spectrum, the Chrome Team has implemented some nifty features on desktop to help corral your unruly number of tabs. Tab hover is there to help you quickly identify out of focus pages and Tab grouping gives you a nice option to huddle like sites and content together but what about on mobile? Well, thanks to 9to5Google’s Kyle Bradshaw, we find that Google is actively developing a subtle way to remind users to clean up their unused tabs.
Suggest to close Tabs
Suggests to the user to close Tabs that haven’t been used beyond a configurable threshold or where duplicates of Tabs exist. The threshold is configurable. – Android
As the name implies, this feature will suggest that users close tabs that have been unused for a predetermined amount of time. When enabled to the default setting, I presume Google uses whatever algorithm they’ve thrown together to determine which tabs are “stale’ or you can select from a handful of preset time frames. These include 4 hours, 8 hours and 7 days.
This is a neat feature if you’re willing to use it. Chrome will recommend which tabs to close and you can review them and deselect any that you would like to keep open. On the flip side, some users may find this to be an annoyance they never asked for in the first place. Having a friend who is a consistent tab-hoarder, I can tell you that it’s more of a lifestyle than a casual choice. Hopefully, for those few, there will always be the option to disable this flag once the feature has gone live. If you’d like to give it a try, you can open Chrome and head to
chrome://flags. Search for “suggest to close Tabs” and pick the timeframe option of your liking. Restart Chrome and you’re all set. If you don’t see the feature working, you might want to force stop Chrome to get things moving.