Skip to main content

Google secretly adds a cool new tab feature to Chrome

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The arrival of tabs in web browsers may have given us a way of easily keeping more sites open at once, but managing all of these tabs became a problem in its own right.

Over the years, Google has added various new features to Chrome to make it easier to keep on top of a growing tab collection, and there is more on the horizon. A secret option hidden in the nightly build of the browser gives you a great new way to navigate tabs.

Having already added tab grouping and group collapsing, Google is now experimenting with a new scrollable tab bar. This is something that has been available numerous other browsers for some time, but it is only now that Google feels that Chrome users are ready for it.

The ability to scroll through tabs means that there is no need for Chrome to shrink them down to favicons when you have a large number open at once, so tabs are easy to navigate, but also that they are easier to identify. While this is great news for tab addicts, it's not a feature that is available in the main release of Chrome just yet – but you can still try it out.

Keep tabs on it

The scrollable tab bar is something that Google has added to the Canary build of Chrome 88, so – assuming the testing phase goes well and reception from users is good – it should only be a matter of weeks until it lands in the stable build. But if you would like to try it out now, here's what you need to do.

Download yourself a copy of Chrome Canary here, and then use the following steps to enabled tab scrolling:

  1. Launch Chrome and pay a visit to chrome://flags/#scrollable-tabstrip
  2. From the drop-down menu next to the Scrollable TabStrip option, select Enabled
  3. Restart Chrome and you're ready to go

Via Ghacks

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.