Open up some tabs on various sites. Open up a New Tab, and start typing a fragment of the URL in one of the other sites.

See something like this:


Note the red arrow to the Switch to this tab button I need to press, specifically from the keyboard, not using the mouse. When I reach for the mouse, my browser-use-productivity degrades.

How do I do that? https://superuser.com/a/1520693/106977 says I can Right-Arrow then press Return, but that is not what I want:

Is there some global shortcut that, when I type it, it will progressively narrow the list of open tabs I have based upon keywords typed in, very similar to what Google search does when you start typing into the search field? Note: I do not want to duplicate an existing tab: I want to switch quickly to one I already know is in an existing browser tab, without having to do a brute-force search through all of them.

Right now, if I press the Return key on that line, it essentially sort-of duplicates what I had typed in before which is typically a search phrase that would launch my default search engine.

The online help for this at https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/157179?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en does not mention this Switch to this tab button.

I'm open to installing Chrome Extensions to address this, but that would be a "software recommendation". And besides, this probably should be built-into the Google Chrome base product.

3 Answers 3


You can use vimium extension to improve usage possibility of keyboard in chrome.

To search across tabs you can use T (https://github.com/philc/vimium/blob/master/README.md)

  • This is probably "the" answer I was looking for. However, it does not, and cannot, work completely for all sites, such as gmail which captures its own keybindings for navigation, and also youtube that also does such capturing. But for many sites, the T binding works fine.
    – bgoodr
    Sep 30, 2020 at 14:38
  • 1
    just checked and it works on youtube, unfortunately it indeed doesn't work on gmail. If you have just a few tabs where vimium doesn't work you can still press CTRL+TAB to move next tab where it'll hopefully will work. Sep 30, 2020 at 15:49
  • I have learned that you can go into insert mode with the "i" key, followed by the webpage specific key, and explained it further in an addendum answer.
    – bgoodr
    Oct 1, 2020 at 15:03

This is an addendum to the real answer at https://superuser.com/a/1589629/106977:

Some websites already have JavaScript code that acts upon the unmodified keys (i.e, keys not using modifiers such as CTRL, ALT, etc.), and that is why, by default, the Vimium Extension has a default "rule" in its options to disable the keybindings for Vimium for Google Gmail via a disabling Vimium rule:


I discovered a couple of other sites that I use that I would like to continue to use a subset of the most useful Vimium keybindings, such as T. Initially (but keep reading!), I thought to just add the keys into the Vimium options rules for those sites, for all of the site-specific keybindings in those sites as follows (this is coming from the subset of JSON for two of the sites using Vimium's Advanced options to backup the settings to a JSON file):

  "pattern": "http://some_confluence_site.your.domain.com/*",
  "passKeys": "cg?/[esbemnp]wstf"
  "pattern": "https?://some_jira_site.your.domain.com/*",
  "passKeys": "g/c.?ojkz[npfutyeamsl,i123znpt-"

These correspond to Atlassian Confluence:

Confluence unmodified key bindings

And for Atlassian Jira:

Jira unmodified key bindings

But found that was overkill: I can still simply put Vimium temporarily into Insert mode using i, type the site-specific key, and then type ESCape to exit Insert mode. It is an extra two keystrokes, but at least I don't have to reach for the evil mouse for the often-used keys.


There is a new solution for this in current version of Chrome (104.0.5112.81, maybe even a bit earlier, I've noticed this feature like a half year ago)

You can press CTRL+SHIFT+A to search open (and recently closed) tabs.

Type part of tab name, navigate with arrows, then just press ENTER to switch to desired tabs.

enter image description here

  • 1
    +1 Nice! I've updated my answer with Update 2022-09-15 07:24:11 to point to your answer here. Now, I'm tempted to mark yours as "the" answer, but I cannot because my fingers muscle memory is now highly addicted to Vimium. And no matter, because I can use both solutions when appropriate.
    – bgoodr
    Sep 15, 2022 at 14:31

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