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My browsing habits cause me to open lots of windows and tabs, either related to different projects I'm working on or things I may want to read later. I use OSX and use about 5 spaces with multiple windows in each space. The problem is eventually I'll have around 200 or more tabs open (spread over 15-20 windows) that I don't want to close. Needless to say, my computer's performance starts to degrade. As I write this on my mobile, Safari on my laptop is locking up the computer. I used to use Chrome but found better performance with Safari.

What I'd like to know, is there a graph of browser performance based on tab usage? I don't need a browser that keeps all tabs active. It would be great if the browser could increase performance by "putting tabs to sleep". Or if there was some sort of tool for saving a "workspace" of tabs that you could reactivate the next time you are working on that project. What sort of solution can you recommend to solve this problem?

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What about using a session management browser extension? That way you can save groups of tabs with a label for future use. That combined with bookmarks means you don’t have to keep everything open; you can close whatever you’re not actually using immediately and restore them later. – Synetech Oct 1 '13 at 3:30
That sounds pretty good. I don't know of anything like that so maybe you know of one you can recommend? – Andrew Oct 1 '13 at 4:26
For what browser? I use Session Buddy for Chrome and it is great. – Synetech Oct 1 '13 at 4:44
After a week of using session buddy I have to say it accomplishes 80% of what I need. However it is lacking a key feature. It does not provide the ability to save individual windows, only all windows open. – Andrew Oct 8 '13 at 3:28
When you hover the cursor over a window or tab title, it shows an x next to it that you can click to remove them. You can do this before or after saving the session. Also, you can export the session to a text list, make any changes you want, then import it back. – Synetech Oct 8 '13 at 17:55

There's a bunch of extensions that allow to suspend tabs. You might want to look at The Great Suspender for example. You may also want to have a look at FlashBlock and AdBlock Plus. Especially Flash can be a CPU hog in background tabs, but also ads in general. You'll wonder how you ever got along without these two.

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Per our discussion in the comments above, you can use a session management browser extension to mitigate a great deal of the work.

For Chrome, I recommend Session Buddy because it has many great features that make it very easy to use and manage sessions, including:

  • Importing and exporting (which allows manual editing of sessions via a text list)
  • Complete control over which items you want to save (you can remove tabs, windows, sessions, etc.)
  • Option to automatically save tabs which helps recover in case of a crash
  • Active support by the developer Hans Meyer
  • He has been working hard on adding an online sync function
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