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Organizing Information



We know that organizing all the information and tasks we need to juggle with just tabs and bookmarks can get overwhelming quickly. Over time, the Firefox team received many practical feature requests that asked us to tackle this problem – tab collections, groups, and a native solution to vertical tabs.

We would like to return to talking about your goals and needs when organizing information, though. What problems and challenges do you have with keeping ahead of your tabs and bookmarks? Perhaps, you need to switch context often and return to “moments in time” that can be quickly retrieved from one Firefox window? Or maybe the challenge you face is getting reminded about important tabs you opened or saved?

We would love to hear from you, and we will be checking this thread multiple times a day in the next two weeks!


@rayf @vincentj 

I found a CSS hack on the web that gives inactive tabs a dimmed background. I think this could be a nice solution to better separate tabs visually, without the need to reintroduce line separators. The effect is very subtle (but maybe too subtle for people who are visually impaired - for them, a more contrasting background could be used).



EDIT: this the hack, for anyone interested:

.tabbrowser-tab:hover>.tab-stack>.tab-background:not([selected], [multiselected]) {
background-color: color-mix(in srgb, currentColor 12%, transparent);
.tabbrowser-tab>.tab-stack>.tab-background:not([selected], [multiselected]) {
background-color: color-mix(in srgb, currentColor 6%, transparent);


That does look nice.  One thing to bear in mind: not only is it important to distinguish the active tab from inactive tabs, but it's also important to distinguish different inactive tabs from each other.  (The use case is that you want to go back to a tab you previously opened - how do you quickly find it visually?)

For my eyes and brain, line separators make that much easier, so I configured that in my userChrome.css.

Hi pg_78, if you look closely, you can see that the background of the inactive tabs makes them look more 'separate' as well, without using line separators. See cyan arrow on the attached file.

Thanks, I see. With a greater level of contrast between the tab bar and the inactive tab backgrounds, that would certainly help.

Overall I prefer square tabs with line separators rather than round tabs with gaps, but for me that's less about accessibility, more about subjective taste (I like angularity and flatness, I don't really like rounding and shadows!).

I am aware of Lepton and other CSS fixes for addressing the issues introduced with Proton.  But I'm currently managing 4 different computers (down from 5) and don't really want to spend all my time updating UI styles on all of them.

Whenever Mozilla introduces a significant change like this that requires users to fix it ourselves, particularly those of us with multiple machines, that's really inconsiderate and disrespectful of our time.  It also excludes people without the technical skills to apply such changes.  It's even worse when the workaround itself becomes unsupported and removed in a later version.

Look at all the posts about the new download manager for another example... Mozilla introduced a change, and expects everyone to toggle an about:config setting to restore the old behavior.  Why should we?  And how long will that even be supported?

The lack of respect, disregard of user's time, and removal of choice is driving people away from Firefox just as much (or more) than the frequent changes themselves.

@rayf wrote:

Is the extra padding a concern for the bookmark menu/folders? For the browser tabs? Or for both? You mentioned that you need to make adjustments to fit more bookmarks on the screen, should I assume that having more content density here would be helpful when searching for specific bookmarks?

It's just the bookmark menus/folders where the extra padding created issues for me, so yes, more density in the bookmarks would be preferable. The extra padding in the hamburger menu or other places seemed fine.

I don't speak for everyone though; your own hardware data shows that around 40% of people have a vertical resolution of 900p or less, with over 26% at only 768p. It's quite possible that other people encounter problems with the extra padding, especially if they have display scaling over 100% set in the OS.

Glad to hear that the other issues are being investigated, thanks!

Thanks for clarifying!

Making moves

I switch between my phone and desktop a lot. It would be really helpful if I could check tabs on my phone from my desktop and then delete them. I know I can check them, but it would be really helpful to be able to delete them from my desktop.

Personally, I think that's the main use case for being able to see tabs on other devices. Often I might open a tab on my phone for later. When I'm back at my computer, I want to be able to open it on my desktop and close it on my phone. Right now it stays on my phone, which causes clutter. Safari has this feature and it's the one thing I miss.

Great feedback here @alias ! Is the concern to keep clutter under control more important for you on your mobile device than on your desktop?

Making moves

I suppose. It's a lot harder to manage clutter on a smaller screen I think. But I think what I said about tabs applies both ways. I do usually go from mobile to desktop, but I also go from desktop to mobile when looking up directions, for example. Mainly, I just don't think it makes much sense to grab a tab from a different device and then have it on both devices (whether it's going from mobile to desktop or desktop to mobile).

Thanks for clarifying @alias . You make an interesting point in that one may only need or want to have a single device at a time with any given tab for information retrieval. We'll take a look at this more as we are currently working on optimal solutions for tab sharing across devices.

Making moves

here is a simple, (somewhat), request. implement all the best features of "speed dial FVD". All the custom, personal set-up options that that extension provided. It, (speed dial), was a good personal customization extension. A speed dial style custom option would greatly improve fire foxes appeal.

Thanks for the feedback @mlp63 ! One really interesting thing that an extension like this provides outside of the customization features, is the ability to have a visual snapshot of the tab/page content. We will keep this in consideration once we revisit this area of exploration.

Making moves

Some thoughts:

  • Vertical tabs (with the ability to hide the tab strip at top to maximise vertical space)
  • Tabs that launch from parent tabs can be nested (like Tree Style Tab) - makes it easy to expand/hide/close a bunch of related tabs at once, and keeps browsing organised. Eg if I'm researching something and open 10 tabs.


  • A tab search feature (currently I use Tabby extension), with preview and close button:


  • More details about the tab when hovering, eg URL and thumbnail. Some sites like Facebook give their page titles only "Facebook" so you don't know what the page actually is
  • Easier way to see identify which tab is playing audio
  • Duplicate tab detection - there are addons for this, but perhaps if you're about to click a link (that you already have open in another tab), FF could prompt you


This is wonderful feedback @KERR ! There seems to be many different ways we could potentially build up tab management in general -- even aside from developing a vertical format, there's merit in providing ways to find and read information more quickly within a group of any given tabs.

We are getting good feedback in our video discussion thread on the issues that users are experiencing with audio + tabs, so thank you for surfacing this here as well! We will take all of this feedback into consideration once we revisit this browser area.

Familiar face

Firefox's address bar already provides tab search(there is an icon in the autocompletion popup to search in tabs specifically) and duplication detection(it suggests "Switch To" that tab in the autocompletion).

On your 2nd bullet point(nested hierarchies of tabs), I'll suggest that you please look at the 2nd and final note at the bottom of my other post(on tab management) in this thread(at this point in time you can find it simply by sorting the thread to display most recent posts - it should be at or near the top).

Making moves

What I would like is that when we pin the tabs we want..  They should remain pinned when we close Firefox.. often I have to  re pin.. As of now I don't close my browser so I don't lose my pinned tabs.

Thanks for your feedback on this @Sheila ! It sounds like you'd like to maintain your pinned tabs without selecting "open previous windows and tabs" in about:preferences, correct? You don't want to save anything from the last session, other than the pinned tabs?

YES.. Keep  tabs pinned.. but tabs that are not , can be restored from last session

Thanks for clarifying your suggestion on pinned tabs behavior @Sheila . We'll take this into consideration as revisit tab management in general.

Want to chime in on this one. I use the Feedbro add-on to open RSS feeds in a separate tab. The add-on provides a moz-extension://<GUID>/reader.html page, and I usually pin this tab for quick access. However, every time Firefox updates, this tab is unpinned, which is rather inconvenient. Other pinned tabs just stay in place after the update.

Is there some configuration that unpins tabs associated with add-ons after Firefox updates? Thx!

Familiar face

I'm posting this in part because I think it will be of interest to all of us who use tabs extensively and who need tab management solutions. Particularly in this thread discussion, @lolrepeatlol and @CT who have expressed interest in tab management and vertical tab solutions.

In terms of tab management, there is in my view an existing addon combo that comes close to the ideal of fulfilling that purpose for the most general use cases and needs, that is, satisfying both more casual and heavy tab users alike(the former possibly satisfied with "Chrome"-like collapsible stacks on the tabbar and the latter with additional need to manage "windows" of such stacks).

Before talking about such addons I'll justify the need for them with an example workflow(a web developer's one) but that would be easily transferable to other use case scenarios(like shopping, family, research, travel):

Imagine that he has several websites in development, each with a deadline.
Each of these would map to a project and in turn each of those would have different stacks("Stacks" = "Chrome tab groups"):

- one for accessibility, test tools and performance.
- another one for searches and documentation/reference material and Q&A, etc.
-etc.(any other web developer and client specific/unique (per project) stuff that you can imagine).

With a multi-column full page view project manager he would be able to put projects with closest deadline at the top along with auxiliary, depended on and/or next projects in his pipeline following in rows below.
Each column is same height with project title and tab list(scrollable) allowing tab movement between projects.

Choosing a project to work, he would further refine his workflow by sorting "tasks"(stacks) (on the tabbar) for the work to be done or focused in the next work session.
Dependent, successive or related tasks would be in sequence at the top/bottom of the tabbar/list/queue saving him time in not having to search/locate as much or at all for tabs and tasks.

Furthermore, thinking that this person has a house, family, hobbies and likes to travel, he needs to have those aspects and activities of his life represented as well.
So, instead of having different Firefox profiles for each type of activity(each with a set of "projects") and/or needing to scroll through multiple projects in the manager to reach those other projects when switching activities, the project manager view should have tags(or categories) for filtering projects(with that tag) that belong to an activity(e.g. tag(s) web development, home, professional, family, research, travel, health).
This would allow for more straightforward switching between activities, similar to the concept of virtual desktops but without hogging resources(only one project(or "window") in one activity is active at a time).

All of the above can effectively aid in burning down and focusing in "tasks" in a "project".

Now what are the addons that enable in part this workflow today and that I've been using for many years?

Tab Sidebar(TS)  for "Chrome tab groups"/tasks and Simple Tab Groups(STG) for providing "project-groups" management view.

However, STG doesn't currently have project filtering and I can't say for sure if it preserves per-page scroll and history(don't remember). 

Also TS is supposed to be a vertical addon and there are people that would prefer to have traditional horizontal tabbar but with "Chrome tab groups" support or even be able to switch between the two modes.

With the additional help of another addon - Manage My Tabs, a view of URL domain-grouped tabs in which such groups can be sorted by tab count, one can more easily group tabs that are meant to be closer together and be able to be managed and put into groups and stacks by the other mentioned addons or natively(if "stacks" are a native feature).

Note 1:

It is conceivable that STG could be used with other vertical addons, however I have not tested any such other combination and so can't vouch for them because there could be potential conflicts, I guess.

Note 2:

Here I present my take on another tab-management related aspect: tree hierarchies and auto-grouping.

Tree hierarchies(such as provided by Tree Style Tab ) can be IMO at times a bit clunky because of indentation caused by the multiple nesting, wasting space that way and making illegible the tab titles.

I know that one can have such hierarchies be flat indented if such option is chosen, but perhaps that is not an option for some users.

Auto-grouping could be an alternative without need for indentation and I'll give an example of how that can be achieved:

Related tabs(same domain and direct links) are auto-reassigned to a new tab stack as per the following example.

From tab TA opening tabs TB and TC would form stack S1 with tabs TA, TB, TC.

Short Version: (TA=>(TB,TC))=>S(TA,TB,TC).

Opening TD and TE from TC(both on a different domain from TA) would make S1 (TA, TB) and S2(TC,TD,TE).

(Not so short) Version: (TA, TB, TC=>(TD,TE))=>(S1(TA,TB), S2(TC,TD,TE)) , TD!=TA, TE!=TA.

I wrote this note with some users in mind, like @steel835's reply with input on "automatic groups based on parent tabs" and @KERR's "Tabs that launch from parent tabs can be nested (like Tree Style Tab)" who have replies on this matter of auto-grouping and hierarchies.

I have addressed in this note both auto-grouping and nesting(@steel835's and @KERR's concerns/suggestions, respectively), so I'd like that they will notice it (and say something about it).


Making moves

For my part I am satisfied with the current organization, with the help of an extension that simply manages the groups of side tabs (Tree Tabs): moving with the mouse a tab in the group or between groups, usual tabs pinned as small buttons, etc. I don't even use the "folders" in the tab groups.
I already tend to leave too many tabs open, which surely slows down the opening of Firefox 🙄

In addition, the personal bar tool does the trick to conveniently organize bookmarks (with subfolders of course). I put it on the right side of the menu bar to save space in height.

Happy 😁

Firefox 99.0 (64 bits) under Linux Mint 20.3 - Mate 1.26.

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback here @Christian75  -- and really appreciative that you are a happy Firefox user! It sounds like we can definitely stand to take a closer look at some of the existing extensions and add-ons offerings and consider ways that we can integrate some of these behaviors directly into Firefox.

Making moves

A better History feature would help a lot.  Two particular suggestions:

- Advanced Search (so you can search on a combination of visited date, domain name, title etc).

- Option to have links clicked from the History panel open in a new tab, rather than stomp on the currently open tab.

Thanks @pg_78 ! Can you further explain your second suggestion to me? If you right click on a link from the History panel currently, you can choose to open it in a New Tab. Are you suggesting a different behavior than what exists today?

Making moves

Good question, let me clarify.  What I'd like is for History to work like Bookmarks here.

For bookmarks, I can (and do) set "browser.tabs.loadBookmarksInTabs" to True in about:config.  That means a single left-click on a bookmark will open it in a new tab.

But there's no corresponding preference for History.  I wish there was!  (Personally I'm fine with this living in about:config, but some users might like it to be exposed in the friendlier about:preferences UI too.)


If you right click on a link from the History panel currently, you can choose to open it in a New Tab.

That's better than nothing, for sure.  But the current UX is too clunky really: (right-click + move pointer to correct menu option + left-click) takes much longer than a single left-click.

Making moves

I use the address bar as the primary way of searching. On desktop and mobile. 

It searches across existing tabs, history, and bookmarks. I don't actually open and look at the bookmarks,or history. I just type a part of the title of the page from history,  or part of the bookmark name or tag, and expect the search to find it for me.

I think it mostly works well. I like that clicking some entries can switch me to an already open tab. There are times when I feel that it's missing some history, or my memory was a bit fuzzy or I made a typo, and thought,  it would be nice if the search could do fuzzy searching or synonym searching. But never felt this strongly. Overall quite satisfied with how the address bar search works. Thanks, great feature.

Really glad to hear that you are enjoying the Firefox Suggest feature @lovelyjubbly ! This is a feature that we are particularly proud of and look forward to taking feedback like this to continue improving it where helpful 🙂.

Making moves

Hi there,

Excited you guys are tackling the tab management/organizing information challenge and are reaching out to the community! I am someone who likes to keep things organized and tidy, but over the past few years I tend to have more and more tabs opened at the same time. A browser that helps me find my way in the tens of tabs I have opened, could make a big difference.

To have my tabs organized today, I mainly use the wonderful Simple Tab Groups (STG) add-on. I manually create tab groups, and move tabs into these groups to view them at a later time. The add-on allows for a nice, visual overview of all tabs (similar to the old Panorama function in Firefox), has a good search function and works well. Most important drawback is the active group name that isn't visible in the tab strip, probably because changes to the interface are severely limited by the WebExtensions API.

I also installed Tree Style Tabs (TST), another great add-on which allows for (automatically) nesting tabs, but I use it less frequently because the horizontal tab bar can't be hidden when using TST (something the WebExtensions API should allow, IMHO) and having both a vertical and horizontal tab strip is too much clutter for me.

My main wishlist:

  1. Whatever changes you introduce to improve tab management, make sure they don't irreversibly break great and popular add-ons like STG and TST. Instead, further extend the possibilities of the WebExtensions API to allow add-on developers to improve their add-ons (see limitation in bold above). Get into contact with (a few of) them!
  2. Some form of (manual or automatic) tab stacking would be a great addition to Firefox's functionality! Named and stacked tab groups wouldn't necessarily be incompatible with Simple Tab Groups or container tabs. I can imagine a scenario where I move a set of individual tabs, container tabs AND stacked tab groups to a STG group. Use cases:
           a) When automatic stacking is enabled, or when using a modifier key, Firefox groups tabs that were initiated from a particular web page (clicking links) into a single group. Comparable to the nesting that TST offers. This way, related pages are manually/automatically grouped, the tab strip uncluttered, and the user can go through his/her search stack.
           b) Manually created or automatically nested tab stacks/groups can be given a name very easily. A named stack/group can be moved over the tab strip just like an individual tab. Unstacking/ungrouping should be really easy as well.
  3. Searching within tab groups/stacks is a nice to have IMO, because Firefox already offers to search for tabs using the address bar, which works OK.

Thanks for reading!




Hello all! I just to express how grateful we are as an organization to have such amazing contributors. Your feedback is essential to giving us the ammunition we need to inform meaningful products.

We've learned so much over the course of the last couple of weeks around understanding your user needs, desires, and pain points as it relates to information organization in the browser. Some of the more common idea suggestions fall into the realm of:

  • Tab management
  • Information density within the tab UI
  • Organizing tabs based on things like website and/or related content
  • Pinned tab functionality
  • Accessibility concerns within the tab UI

I especially want to acknowledge the recurring request for a vertical tab format option. This is something that we hear and want continue to research and investigate!

Although I cannot share any specifics around what we will commit to at this moment, I can assure you that all of your feedback is being considered and discussed with the internal team. We look forward to providing more updates in the future!



Community Manager
Community Manager

Hey all,

Thanks so much for participating in such a productive discussion about tabs, tab management, and more. It was great seeing so many valuable insights shared both ways! We are closing out this discussion, but want to encourage you to continue sharing your feedback and ideas about this particular topic (and more, of course) in new posts—just be sure to use the necessary labels and tags, so your posts are easily searched for and discovered by our teams.

Also, we are excited to announce that more of these discussions hosted by Mozilla employees are headed this way next week, including one focused on accessibility and another on credential management and form autofill. This will be an ongoing series here in the Mozilla Connect community, so we look forward to continuing to collaborate with you all 😀

-The Community Team