4 killer tab search tricks for Chrome and Microsoft Edge


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We’ve all, at some point in our computing lives, dealt with browser tab overload.

But instead of giving into that helpless feeling—and loading yet another version of a tab you’ve probably got open already—consider the alternatives. These days, there are lots of ways to quickly sift through your open or recently-closed browser tabs, sparing you the agony of having to click through each one to find what you’re looking for.

Here are four tricks you can use in Chrome, Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers to instantly get back to what you’re looking for:

Use Chrome’s built-in tab search

Over the summer, Google added a nifty tab search tool to its browser, one that you can operate exclusively with keyboard shortcuts. Just press Ctrl+Shift-A, and you’ll see a list of open tabs in the browser’s top-right corner, along with a search box and any tabs you’ve closed recently. (You’ll also see some recently-closed tabs, provided you don’t have too many open ones.) Type in the title of the page you’re looking for, then hit Enter, and you’ll immediately jump over to the appropriate tab.

chrometabsearch Jared Newman / IDG

If you ever forget how to open this menu with your keyboard, just click the little down arrow to the left of the minimize window icon. That’ll bring up the same tab search menu, with the corresponding keyboard shortcut at the top.

Note that both Chrome and Microsoft Edge offer separate “Switch to this tab” button from inside the main address bar, but unlike the dedicated search menu, there’s no way to activate this button with just your keyboard.

Try the Tab Hare extension

tabhare Jared Newman / IDG

For an even better search experience that works in practically every major browser, check out Tab Hare, a free extension for Chrome, other Chromium-based browsers (such as Microsoft Edge), Firefox, and Safari.

After installing the extension, press Ctrl+Shift-Space to bring up a search window. Type the name of the tab you’re trying to find, then use the arrow keys and Enter to pick it from the results list. There’s also a handy “previous tab” feature, which lets you toggle between two recent tabs by hitting Ctrl+Shift-U. (Sadly, this feature doesn’t work in Edge, because it conflicts with Microsoft’s “Read Aloud” text-to-speech function. More on this shortly.)

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