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Never lose a tab in Google Chrome again

When you're guilty of tab overload, it can be hard to find what you're looking for. Find out the easy way to find any tab at any time.

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The introduction of tabbed browsing made it really easy to check lots of things at once, but sometimes even the best of us get tab-happy. This can lead to a lack of productivity because more time is spent hunting for a tab than doing actual work. Google Chrome supports a number of tab manager extensions that make it much simpler to find what you're looking for without having to engage in a trial-and-error mission. Here are a few free options available at the Google Chrome Web store.

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The Tabman extension shows your open tabs in a list. Screenshot by Iyaz Akhtar/CNET

A very popular tab manager is called Tabman Tabs Manager. Once installed, hitting Alt + Z on a keyboard will bring up the Tabman manager. Tabs are listed in a drop-down screen with lots of text, which allows for easier location. There's also a search function that lets you find tabs by typing the name of it. The Tabman window can appear as its own window in case you want to keep an eye out on all your tabs at a glance.

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Tab Manager shows tabs things at a glance with this icon view. Screenshot by Iyaz Akhtar/CNET

My new personal favorite tab manager is called Tab Manager. Unlike Tabman, it displays all open tabs in every Chrome window you have open. For people who create lots of windows with lots of tabs, Tab Manager makes it a little easier to find things. When clicked, Tab Manager displays all open tabs as icons. Multiple windows are separated by vertical bars. Tab Manager also allows the user to move tabs from window to window by dragging the icon within the Tab Manager interface. Multiple tabs can be selected to pin or delete them. This extension also features a search similar to Tabman.

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The TooManyTabs extension in action. Screenshot by Iyaz Akhtar/CNET

A third option is TooManyTabs. The interface seems a little busy, but for people who like visuals, the extension is very helpful. TooManyTabs shows miniature versions of your tabs along with complete names of each tab. It also can sort your tabs by title, URL and creation time. There's a search function like the other two extensions, plus TooManyTabs can suspend tabs to save your computer processing power.

Another helpful extension to make sure you don't lose a tab to another window or virtual desktop is called Merge Windows. Like the name says, it will merge all of your open Chrome windows into one to create one window with every tab you have open.

Try out the extensions and see which one works for your usage. Tabman was my favorite until I found Tab Manager, but TooManyTabs does have a lot of cool features, as well. All of the extensions can coexist for that belt-and-suspenders approach, but you might need a tab manager manager at that point.