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Excessive Tab Disease And My Remedy

I have an issue. I love to learn. Which means when I open one article and if it links to another related article, I’ll open that too. This leads to a lot of tabs, which means Chrome starts to demand a lot of resources, leading to performance issues and potentially overheating (worst-case scenario, AKA it’ll probably never lead to this).

Luckily for you, I’ve outlined my workflow to managing tabs.


I use four extensions to control my addiction to tabs, all with their own purpose:

    • The Great Suspender – Suspend (AKA give it a timeout) and reload tabs on the fly, even do it automagically after a set period of inactivity
    • OneTab – Collect and close all open tabs in the window and create a list of the links
    • Save to Pocket – Save the current page to your Pocket reading list
    • Batch Save Pocket – Save a whole bunch of links to your Pocket reading list

Let me explain how I use them in a bit more detail.

The Great Suspender – When My Mac’s On Fire

The Great Suspender
Whenever I do research for assignments or product reviews, I tend to have a lot of tabs open so I can reference them as I write. Unfortunately, with so many tabs open and demanding my computer’s resources to keep them running, it starts to take a toll on my system and heat builds up.

Fortunately, I have The Great Suspender, which allows me to either suspend a single tab or all my open tabs instantly to relieve my computer from processing those tabs when I’m not using them. The nice thing about this is that the tabs stay open, but they don’t require any attention. When I do need a certain tab, or even all the tabs at once, it’s simply a click away and the tab will reload to the state it was left in.

This means that the page isn’t refreshed – it’s literally like turning a light on and off. Because analogies. That could be a good or bad thing. I find I don’t mind, but I tend to refresh the page anyways to get it up-to-date.

OneTab – For When I Hoard Tabs

I love keeping tabs open because I keep telling myself I’ll come back to it, to either read or watch later. Thanks to, what seems to be, a minor case of ADHD, I forget about it quick and move onto another topic as I find them (leading to more tabs).

When these tabs start to accumulate and aren’t related to each other (like when I open articles from my Facebook new feed), I don’t want to just suspend that window. So I OneTab it, closing all the tabs and storing the links in a conveniently accessible list – in one click!

It’s a small feature, but when I click a link from my stored lists, it opens the link to a new tab and the link from the list disappears, meaning I won’t have to remember whether the link has been opened or not – basically, a dynamic list that keeps up-to-date with what you’re doing.

One other purpose I use this for is when I need to restart Chrome or my system, effectively losing all my open tabs. There’s the “Recent Tabs” for this as well, but I find storing all my links into this list then opening them at my convenience is a lot more efficient.

Save To Pocket – I’ll Read It… One Day

Save to Pocket
So I’ve got a bunch of tabs, whether they’re suspended or stored in a list, I still need to actually read them. That’s where Pocket comes in to help me store these links to read at my own convenience – even offline!

My biggest benefit from Pocket is that it’s cross-platform, meaning I can view the links I save on my iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows machine – stripping it away from being only dependent on Chrome.

Batch Save Pocket – When I Decide to Clean-Up

Batch Save Pocket
This one I recently started using because my OneTab lists have been accumulating and it works so well with it. OneTab allows you to “Share as web page” your lists of links, which then allows me to highlight all the links that are bunched together and use the Batch Save Pocket feature, which looks at the text you have highlighted, and converts it into a Pocket post in a batch.

Just like Save to Pocket, but for multiple links.


Those are my tips and tricks for managing tabs in Chrome. Pocket can be swapped out for Instapaper or whatever other save-for-later reading service you use – the idea still applies.

I hope you’ve learned something from this and that you check out the great extensions that serve only to make our lives better. Also because they’re free.

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