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I had about 200 tabs open in about 15 tab groups. Needless to say, Firefox wasn't lightning fast (even with the "don't load tabs until selected" option checked). The solution that dramatically improved my browser performance was simple: I started using bookmark folders instead of tab groups. When I want to switch to a different set of tabs, I bookmark my current set, close all the tabs and then open a new set.

The problem is, it's pretty inconvenient. I'm looking for an extension that would make the whole process more automatic. Ideally, I'd like to have a simple toolbar button with drop down menu which would show me all my tab groups - clicking on them would switch my tab set. Moreover, it would be awesome if it would synchronize my open tabs to my bookmarks, so when I open/close a tab it would automatically update the bookmarked set. Of course, it doesn't have to use bookmarks, it can be some other database.

Is there an extension that suits my needs? If not, maybe some other browser has this feature?

EDIT:

I've just found Taskmark for Chrome. It does exactly what I want. Is there something similar for Firefox?

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If you occasionally open and close these groups, and groups are more or less independent (e.g. the don't share session state, passwords, etc), maybe having separate browser profiles would be better? –  bytebuster Jan 19 '13 at 11:30
    
I open and close those groups quite often, so restarting firefox every time I want to switch would be too inconvenient. –  humanista Jan 19 '13 at 20:18

7 Answers 7

I have similarly stupid numbers of tabs open, I've tried other browsers over time as they came to market or as major new versions come out, but nothing seems to match Opera's ability to handle them. Sometimes an updated version gets a bit crashy at launch so I skip it and stick with an older one until it's patched but been using it about forever. Currently have a shade over 200 tabs open, though admittedly only a couple of handfuls are in tab groups.

I have turned off tab/thumbnail previews but they all load live (as well as retaining their histories through restarts/crashes), and also set my plugins to load only on request (and either click the play icon, or enable all in current tab from the address bar). Mostly use it on OS X now, but been in a similar position when I've had linux or solaris as my desktop OS.

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I would second the multiple profiles option. What you're missing is that you can run multiple profiles concurrently, ie. separate browser instances. Ironically, I had this going with a separate Firefox for my work and for personal, but just recently switched to using a tab group for each, for the convenience of tab groups. I usually have about 30 tabs in each group, and my system (sandybridge core I5 running Ubuntu) runs fast enough, slowest part being the initial launch but that doesn't need to happen very often.

I hate to say it but if the 200 tabs slowing you down (for me I think it would still run OK), switching to Chrome might be your best option...

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@humanista,

The original suggestion for profiles might sound like a bad one - except:

  1. There is a way to open new profiles from within the current profile without having to exit Firefox at all, and (even better)
  2. You can have multiple profiles open if you feel like.

Now, the second part may cause you problems if you have the same URL open in both profiles, I am not sure as I have never tested that scenario myself.

The only-addon that you need is https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/profileswitcher/

I actually started using this with Thunderbird first, so I could have multiple profiles for connecting to my email accounts at different domains and keep them completely separated - signature, files, etc. - then realized that it would work well also for Firefox, not as you want to use it, per se, but so I can always have a good backup working profile in case an addon update (or something) hoses my current good working profile.

I personally use the grouping feature as I am only at about 75 tabs not 200, but in your situation this might end up being your best alternative until you either find (or write) an addon that allows you to backup your groups to bookmark folders.

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An alternative option would be to use the Session Manager addon and create your group of tabs, save your session, create another group, save it, etc. - then you can use Session manager to open whichever session you later feel like opening - however, the drawback is that you'll only be dealing with any one set of tabs at any given time, or else you'll be merging multiple sessions, not making it an ideal solution. This info came from support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/795591 –  NKYadav Nov 16 '13 at 8:53
    
A particular answer from that same thread also looks a little closer at using bookmarks to accomplish this: support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/795591#answer-317998 There is also a Bugzilla bug report that you can take a look at (and vote for and add your name to the mailing list), having been reopened about 6 months ago: bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_activity.cgi?id=604963 HTH –  NKYadav Nov 16 '13 at 9:04

Tab Mix Plus seems like what you want, but I remember seeing somewhere on here that having hundreds of tabs open (even with addons) is a Bad Thing To Do

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How does TabMixPlus help here? –  user905686 Jun 5 at 16:07
    
One if its features (at the time when I wrote this) was that it allowed an user to save the active tabs and load them at will. It seemed to fulfill what the OP wanted in the 2nd paragraph. –  Doktoro Reichard Jun 5 at 23:05
    
And this feature is no more available? Or do you mean the session feature? –  user905686 Aug 9 at 17:48
    
I haven't used TabMixPlus for a long while, so I wouldn't be able to say if the feature still exists, although removing that feature wouldn't make a lot of sense. –  Doktoro Reichard Aug 9 at 22:58

I experimented the same issue than you, because I believed that I really need this 150+ open tabs, but in fact, if you think about it, you don't need all this tabs. This is a real methodology problem.

First I forced myself to have less than 60 tabs open in all groups (using a counter). But the bad habits come back very soon.

The bests solution I have found is to save all this stuff in a convenient external system (this way, Firefox is lightweight) with a powerful tag feature. The solution I have used for this is not Firefox related, so you can use it in Chrome, on your smartphone, etc. So, take a look at Pocket (once, it was called Read it later, but I think this tools goes further than a simple read list).

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There is another addon: TabGroups Manager. It implements own tab groups and allows to hibernate them, so they do not use resources.

The workflow would be as follows:

  1. Start Firefox
  2. Load the tab groups you want to use
  3. Do your browsing
  4. Hibernate all tab groups you want to keep
  5. Close Firefox

I just tried it out and it works.

The problem is that, as far as I know, the addon cannot automatically save the tab groups you have in use when closing the browser.

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The Toomanytabs addon will allow you to view a map of all your tabs.

You can then synchronise your bookmarks with xmarks.

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-1 Question is for Firefox, not Chrome. –  Doktoro Reichard Aug 23 '13 at 0:06

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