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Chrome finally has tab search on desktop – here’s how to enable and use it

Do you keep too many tabs open? This can help.

google chrome logo on purple background for google search
Image: KnowTechie

One of the handiest new features in Google Chrome is Tab Search, which lets you quickly search through all of your open tabs to find the one you wanted to read. It arrived last year, in Chrome 87, but it was limited to Chromebooks at the time. Now, with Chrome 88, that nifty feature is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

You’ll need to enable it before you can use Tab Search, as it’s disabled by default. We’ll show you how, and how to use it once it’s enabled on your computer.

Here is how to set up tab search in Google Chrome

google chrome flags page showing the setting for tab search
Image: Google Chrome

Once you’ve updated Chrome to version 88, you’ll need to enable the flag for Tab Search in your Chrome install. Go to chrome://flags/#enable-tab-search and change the setting from Default to Enabled. Then click on the Relaunch button at the bottom left of your screen.

That’s it, now you’ll have the new Tab Search icon up at the top right of your browser, above the area that your Extensions icons live.

To use Tab Search:

  1. Click on the Tab Search icon

    You can also use Ctrl+Shift+A google chrome tab search

  2. You’ll see a short list of the tabs you have open

    Either click on one of those, or click on the Search Tabs space and start typing a keyword to search for

That’s it, now you have Tab Search enabled in Google Chrome. We can’t promise you won’t “lose” that open tab you wanted to read, but now you have a quick way to search for it without having to flick through every open tab.

Have any thoughts on this? Plan on using this feature? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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