Tabbed Browsing may be nice for reading news sites in one sitting, but I still think they are a usability nightmare if you need to keep the page open for a long time, e.g., for testing it while developing or as a reference for something.

The nice thing about the Windows Taskbar (before Windows 7 broke it) is that it's easy and natural to remember where things are. I can have 30 tabs in it, but because I know what each one is, I know where I have to click to open something - it's the most efficient way of working I've encountered so far.

Sadly, Tabbed Browsing completely breaks this efficiency because it is not possible to specifically click on a tab in the taskbar, I have to click on the browser, search the tab and then click it, which means at least 2 clicks.

Long story, short question: Is there an extension or setting to completely disable tabbing on Firefox 3, Chrome 4 and Internet Explorer 8 and have one Window/Taskbar entry for each open page? I know that in Chrome I can just drag a tab out of a Window to create a new one, but if there is a general way, that would be easier.

Edit: IE8 conveniently offers an option for that: Tools - Options - Tabs - Enable Tabbed Browsing.

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    I think you're really going backwards with your solution, there are enough extensions that let you peak at content on other tabs. Plus it's only a matter of time before you can use Windows 7's taskbar to peak in all your different tabs (like in IE8). I simply don't see what your problem is... – Ivo Flipse Feb 1 '10 at 14:37
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    Perhaps you should consider using IE6 if you want lack of tabs – Ivo Flipse Feb 1 '10 at 14:38
  • IE6 won't run on Windows 7 and does not support transparent PNGs, so it's not really an option :) It's still faster and more usable than IE7 and 8 of course. – Michael Stum Feb 1 '10 at 15:43
  • @Ivo the problem is that I want to reach any open Window with exactly 1 mouse click. That way, I don't have to think and lose my concentration when I need to switch an app. If I have an open window, I memorize it's position in the taskbar automatically. So if I need to open it, I just click it without losing focus on whatever else I am doing. – Michael Stum Feb 1 '10 at 15:45
  • If I already know which Window I want, why do I have to search? Why do I have to open the browser window and then search the tab there? If everything is exactly one button in the taskbar, it's very easy and quick to go to any open application without having to actively think about it. Also, unlike ALT+TAB, buttons in the Taskbar don't change positions. – Michael Stum Feb 1 '10 at 15:47

Well since you got IE8, for Firefox there is the Tab Killer add-on which removes all traces of tabs from the browser. As for Chrome, it seems it's not an option yet (the post is old, but I've downloaded Chrome and took a peek -- still no apparent option).

  • you can 'avoid' tabs though by pressing SHIFT when clicking on a link in Chrome ... and of course CTRL + N wil open a new browser window. – Molly7244 Feb 2 '10 at 0:40

There is of course this option:

FF Options

And change the 'Open links...' option to New Window.


For Google Chrome you can install extension New Tab, New Window

Turn off tabbed browsing: Chrome/Firefox - Is it possible?

via https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/POF5lUuDFnE

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