With the introduction of its tab search feature, Chrome hoped to assist users in quickly navigating the cluttered and limited horizontal space provided by the tab strip at the top of the browser. By clicking the little arrow next to the minimize button, one can click an open tab to hop over to it without having to scroll left or right or hunt through existing tab groups. Alternatively, users can simply search and tap the enter key on their keyboard to get the same result.
First discovered by Chrome Story, Chrome OS 91 will be receiving the ability to view recently closed tabs in addition to the currently open ones via the tab search button. Yet again, this is one of those features that I immediately state should have existed from tab search’s inception, but it’s nice to see it coming in right on its heels. As you can see from the image below (yes, I’m trying my Chromebook shelf docked to the right, don’t judge me!) I’ve got the feature up and running and you can see that there are several mock ‘closed tabs’ that can be clicked and re-opened right from the box.
If you’re a shortcut geek like me, you can quickly open the last tab you closed by clicking Ctrl+Shift+T on your keyboard You can do this many times consecutively in order to open more tabs as well. Similarly, Ctrl+Shift+W closes the current tab and can be used in rapid succession too. I use these two shortcuts probably hundreds of times per day.
Though it’s rapid and requires no GUI interaction, having the tab search box display more previously closed items provides clear benefits. Not only is it visual, but it also allows you to pick and choose which tabs you will revive without having to open them all one by one with your keyboard shortcut and cycle through to find the one you were aiming for and then having to close the rest.
Though Tab Groups will likely end up in the Reading List section of the Chrome browser, I’m thinking there may be some logic to adding closed tab groups to the tab search box instead. That actually makes more sense than I gave it credit for all this time. I can also see recently closed tabs tying into Chrome Memories and eventually into Assistant Memory, but we’ll have to wait and see what the development team does to make all of these awesome new tab management solutions work in unison with one another. Will you use tab search to find previously closed tabs, or are you a keyboard shortcut ninja and prefer to do it manually?