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Good Bye, Side Tabs

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“Side tabs” were an experimental feature on Chrome that many among us loved. This will be removed from future versions. However, the team may look at a different way to present this use case.

” Sidetabs were an experiment that didn’t pan out. They’re in a half-working state and should be removed, says Glen. We’ll try to come up with other approaches for this use case.”

This change was added to Chromium a couple of hours back. This will be gradually moved to Chrome Dev and Beta versions and then to the stable version.

I can already see comments from users who loved this feature.” I actually use the vertical tabs all the time and would like them in the Linux version too.

“Why are they being removed? Is an alternative going to be in the actual release? Otherwise, why not wait until the alternative is ready?” one asks. “They are not “half-working”, they are “awesome-working,” another user says. I am sure many here as well will have the opinion that this should not be removed until an alternative is ready.


source: Chromium  Thanks Adam Gomaa for sharing.

  1. That’s a shame. I loved those sidetabs, although I already switched a time ago back to normal tabs.
    It was a good concept for a lot of tabs and a big screen. But yes, it wasn’t working great.

    1. yes, I remember you mentioning that you love this feature.. hope they bring it back ..


  2. Unfortunately side tabs is only effective with people who have big computer screens. I do not so I stuck with the normal tabs, but they were a nice feature to have

    1. yep, they were handy, and nice if we want to use for a change 🙂

  3. Argh. I am so dependent on side tabs now that going back to the old way is painful 🙁 Please someone make an extension to bring this back.

    1. ooh! were you using this your primary set up?

  4. ScottMGS Avatar

    Side tabs make a lot of sense now that so many monitors come in short-screen format.

    1. short-screen? …hmm need to google that word 🙂

      1. ScottMGS Avatar

        “Short-screen” is more germane than “wide-screen” as far as I’m concerned – not enough vertical work space.

        1. oh! thanks… learned something new today 😀

          Yes, on widescreen monitors, this will make more sense..

          1. ScottMGS Avatar

            You mean “short-screen”. LOL 😉

    2. I used side tabs to make all the titles of the tabs readable. The height savings wasn’t of consequence.

  5. good question about Glen 😀

  6. Matthew C. Evans Avatar
    Matthew C. Evans

    Ouch. Just restart Chrome tonight and lost my side tabs. Glad I found this web site, but “Boooooo!” for removing side tabs. I like being able to actually read the name of the tab and used the side tabs all the time. It was the one feature that originally held me back from switching from Firefox to Chrome. Now I just have squished set of icons across the top. I guess it is time to reconsider the switch back to another browser. Bummer.

  7. This utterly sucks!
    Ive been using sidetabs ever since they came in and going back to the unreadable top tabs sucks!
    Yea they only half worked, but they still made my life a heap easier than this, Im back to having no idea what half my tabs are and have to hover the mouse over a BUNCH of tabs trying to figure which one I want.
    Time to check look for an extension to make my life easier, really wish my tab marker didnt affect bookmarks now cause Im going to need it.
    This really sucks!

  8. Here’s what me browser looks like without them….
    ….I think even half baked side tabs is a hell of alot better than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. +1

      Likewise. Tabs become unreadable. I loved the “half baked” tabs.

  9. Ugg what a mess. I hope they have a replacement soon!

  10. TangyPuzzle Avatar

    I can hardly wait to get them back…
    Argh Firefox is too slow right now 🙁

  11. Vertical tabs are such a popular feature with FF. How can Google say that side tabs weren’t compelling enough?

    “a small number of people really passionately loved them”, they write.

    Sure, chop the flea’s legs and it won’t jump.

    Since the vertical tabs option is hidden in Chrome, it’s hard to find. Asking a non geek to use “about:flags” to set up options in Chrome is plain silly. Vertical tabs are supposed to be a popular feature, not an option for computer engineers only.

    It reminds me of the Google Labs services they’re dumping for the same reason: it’s not that these services are not compelling enough, it’s because Google doesn’t market them at all.

    “Build it and they will come” is a worthless attitude when it translates into “Hide it and they might come”.

    1. Ben McCloud` Avatar
      Ben McCloud`

      I Completely Agree.

  12. Seriously… Should Google say bye bye side tabs, you’ll be able to count the nano-seconds on one hand before I head back to Firefox. It’s likely that by the time you say: “extensions.checkCompatibility.8.0.1 = false”, I’ll have Firefox adorned with Google Toolbar and Tree Style Tabs. Oh, nevermind… I *already* have that fallback in place! 🙂

    In the real world, there are significant disconnects surrounding what the user community would like & what the Chrome Dev Team providing. Two clear specifics: side tabs, and search-integrated “word find” (aka, the Google Toolbar) are strong indications that the Google Chrome Dev team does their own “tunnel-vision” thing without actually *listening* to their customer!

    To be clear, to me it seems totally backwards to believe that a half delivered solution & ongoing cries for a completed feature add up to a reason to bag the feature… IMHO, it is a poor project management decision, and raises significant concerns surrounding the overall architectural control that Google wields… not to mention the lack of 3rd party UI extensibility being supported…

    UGH! Goog – ur giving me a tummy ache.

    1. Jonathan Strange Avatar
      Jonathan Strange

      I came to post something similar. I am getting increasingly irritated by the attitude of the dev team. I’ve been on Chrome since it’s start and now I’m seriously considering going back to Firefox. Their design decisions are so badly in contrast to some other areas where Google actually listens to user input instead of total disregard for a niche but avid group of users of their browser.

      Google Chrome Dev Team, please get your act up. Until then…

  13. Tom Tamplin Avatar
    Tom Tamplin

    Good Bye ide Tabs – Good Bye Chrome for me.

  14. I used side tabs all the time, they were perfect for wide screens and was much easier to read the tabs when many were open. As soon as I found out they were removed I switched to Firefox, which I have not used in a couple of years, since it has plenty of add ons to allow side tabs. I am really disappointed in Google and will not be using Chrome again unless the feature is restored.

  15. I just can’t believe this! Removing that just shot my productivity way down! it’s so much harder to find stuff when you’ve got lots of tabs open, without side tabs. I’m super bummed. How do we petition Google to bring it back?

  16. koniczynek Avatar

    Removing a feature without presenting something in return and without even asking the users – really mature way of developing software. Oh wait, they probably develop chrome only for those 10 or so devs, in that case, sorry. I’m back to Firefox already.

  17. David Alexander Avatar
    David Alexander

    This is infuriating. Side tabs were the sole feature keeping me with Firefox. Even half-baked, Chrome’s version was massively useful. And not I CAN’T READ ANYTHING. Earth to Google Devs: just because you browse one site at a time doesn’t mean the rest of of us do. Vertical tabs are STUPID. They always have been; we moved to widescreen displays five years ago. With toolbars and window menus and the taskbar, vertical space is at a premium. Horizontal space isn’t. This change is worse than useless– I’m back to Firefox now, instability be damned, because I can READ the names of the sites!

  18. Ben McCloud` Avatar
    Ben McCloud`

    i am another side-tabs user that is extremely upset they are missing. i just needed to voice that and if enough people come forward and do the same then maybe we can get our voices heard and the Devs’ will come up with something or bring it back.

  19. +1 for Side Tabs, -5 for removing them. Cripes, they only got turned on if you went and set the flag, how were they bothering anyone? They worked great just the way they were. Now I’m going to have to get used to Firefox all over again.

  20. I can’t believe this. Goodbye, Chrome, I’m using Firefox again..

  21. koniczynek Avatar

    I think that the best way of letting Google know is to remove chrome and in the survey state why you removed it. As simple as that.

  22. I used side tabs ALL the time. They work great with widescreen monitors, and they allowed me to be able to READ the tab title. Google: what are you thinking? Eliminating side tabs before an alternative is ready? The other way to do tabs would be MULTIPLE ROWS (like Firefox has)….again, so more tabs can fit and can be READ. What a sad day that side tabs have been eliminated. What was it hurting to keep that option?

  23. I thought Google had some creative people. Eliminating side tabs is crazy. I’m going back to Firefox.

  24. I loved Chrome 15’s side tabs. For that reason I created an addon for Firefox which is heavily inspired by them.


  25. Marcia Pazzolyne Avatar
    Marcia Pazzolyne

    É bem feito…
    Pois é para não andarem de papo grosso. O Google tira sem deixar coisa feita e foi assim, sempre. Já aconteceu com muitas outras coisas… Viva o Logótipo antigo do Google Chrome!

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