3 Reasons Every Browser Needs Vertical Tabs

When you are working on something important and you have a lot of tabs open in your web browser, things can get messed up very quickly. You may lose your spot when searching for something. You can accidentally close a tab and have to go through a bunch of menus to find it.

But if you struggle with tab overload, we’ve got good news: some web browsers have a simple solution that can help you solve these problems and more. This is a feature known as vertical tab.

With vertical tabs in Microsoft Edge, you are in control of your own web browsing, and you can stay organized. Here’s a look at three reasons why they should be in every browser.

They better fit your natural web browsing flow

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When browsing the web, you are naturally scrolling your mouse up or down and never scrolling left or right. This is where the vertical tabs come to the surface.

In a browser that has a feature – such as Microsoft Edge – vertical tabs work better as if you are already working or learning on the web. When activated, vertical tabs move the list of tabs from the top bar of your browser and into a neat, organized column on the left sidebar.

This is right from where you are already scrolling and where your eyes naturally go as you read through the webpage. Also, the list of websites is tiled up and down instead of left and right, which makes it easier to click and switch tabs as they see fit. You can also fit more tabs like this without truncating tab names.

Without the feature, you need to move your mouse to the top of the screen and move left and right to choose between tabs. With a better fit for the 16: 9 aspect ratio of your laptop screen, why not do it more naturally?

It keeps the most important information front and center.

3 reasons every browser needs vertical tabs
Arif Bachus /

Another common behavior when browsing the web is paying attention to the title bar of your open window, partly so you see which tab is active. This is something you are familiar with doing in programs such as Microsoft Word, where the title bar tells you the name of the document as well as whether your recent changes have been saved. But have you ever thought that your web browser can also do this.

On Windows 10 with Microsoft Edge, this is what vertical tabs can do for you. Instead of staring at the screen with a long list of tabs with vertical tabs while you’re working, you’ll have the active tab front and center in the title tab. You will see the full title, favorite icon and just the name of that tab and that tab.

All other inactive tab information goes out of your way and into the sidebar. This can be important when you have a lot of tabs open and are working on a research project or something that requires a lot of attention.

This is a cleaner way to organize tabs

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Tab hoarding, or having too many tabs open, is a common behavior when browsing the web, and is designed to accommodate vertical tabs. With convenience, you can easily align your tabs in an order that you see fit.

As you open more and more tabs, the vertical tabs let you see the full tab name in the cleaner list, shrinking the tab name. In addition to feeling more natural, as we mentioned earlier, it allows you to click and drag your tabs from top to bottom in an order that you see fit.

It is a fairly clean experience, allowing you to extend the bar outward so that you can always see your tabs or keep it compact, it shows only the favorite icons for your open websites. Again, this is useful for situations where you are doing a research project, can compare shopping at various online retailers, and so on.

Add it to your browser with an extension

The Vertical tab is a native feature and works best in the new Microsoft Edge, but if you want to add these to your current web browser, you can workaround. This is accomplished through extensions. On Firefox, you can try the Tab Center Reborn extension, which uses Firefox’s sidebar API to move tabs vertically. On Google Chrome, you can use vertical tab extensions.

Just be aware that, on Chrome, most of these extensions will not change the new tab bar. You will have both vertical tabs and normal horizontal tabs. However, since Microsoft Edge is based on Google Chrome’s open-source Chromium engine, it is hoped that one day the Vertical tab may end up in the world’s most popular web browser.

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