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Chrome is getting a popular tab option back after outcry from angry users

Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google is restoring a tab management tool that it removed from Chrome 78 in an attempt to strip unnecessary padding from the browser's menus.

The 'Close other tabs' option appeared in the context menu when users right-clicked any tab in Chrome. According to Google's usage stats, only 2.2% of people actually used it, so the browser's developers decided it wouldn't be missed.

They were wrong – 2.2% of two billion is rather a lot of people, and many of them were vocal power users who spoke out loudly when the feature was purged.

"Making decisions like this unilaterally with no user feedback seems shortsighted to me," said one frustrated user. "Many Chrome users do not report usage statistics. And Chromium Linux users also do not report statistics. Statistics you rely on could very well be skewed."

The change first appeared in Chrome Canary in August, and rolled out to the release version in October, but according to a message from a Chromium developer (first spotted on Reddit) plans to undo it are already afoot.

Rolling it back

The tab management feature is likely to reappear in Chrome Canary in the next few months. Until then, you can use a shortcut described by Chrome developer Peter Kasting to do the same thing: "To flush your excess tabs, click the first tab you want to close, shift-click the last tab to select the whole range, then hit Ctrl+W."

The option to bookmark all open tabs, which was also removed from the context menu in Chrome 78, shows no sign of returning, but you can perform the same task by tapping Ctrl+Shift+D.