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Stop drowning in Google Chrome browser tabs -- here's how to reclaim sanity

Whip your 837,921 tabs into shape.

groups-tabs-google

Organize your tabs with Chrome's new feature.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Google's new tab-grouping feature for the Chrome browser on desktop just might be the answer to your prayers. If you're one of those people who always has 25 tabs open on one screen, the new tool will organize them so you're not clicking through tabs like a mad person trying to find that email you opened five minutes ago.

While Chrome's new tab-grouping feature hasn't officially rolled out yet, you can still try it yourself -- but be forewarned. It's still experimental and Google says that you could "lose browser data or compromise your security or privacy." Yikes. If you do try it out, we recommend opening a new incognito window to get the feel of it. Otherwise, consider this a preview of what you'll soon be able to get.

I did have some issues with the new feature closing out my entire browser while testing it out. If that happens to you, close out your Chrome windows and start fresh. That should fix any issues.

In order for this to work, you'll need to download the latest version of Google Chrome Canary. Here's how to get started.

google-tabs

Google's tab grouping.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Update the Chrome browser to Canary

You can skip to the next section if you're already using the updated version.

1. Open Chrome on your computer and click on More (the three stacked dots) in the upper right corner.

2. Click Update Google Chrome. If you don't see an update, then you have the latest version.

3. Click Relaunch. All of your tabs will relaunch, so save any work first.

tab-groups

Enable tab groups.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Turn on tab grouping

1. Open Chrome and type chrome://flags.

2. In the search box, type Tab groups.

3. In the drop-down box, select Enabled.

4. A box will pop up at the bottom of the screen that says you'll need to relaunch Google Chrome. Click Relaunch Now. Remember, all of your tabs will relaunch.

5. After your window reopens, open a new tab. You'll see a welcome message from Chrome. Click Get Started.

6. Sign in to Chrome with your Google email and password. 

7. Add any bookmarks you'd like saved and click Continue.

google-tabs2

Create a title and choose a color.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Use tab grouping

1. Right-click on any tab you'd like to group, like the CNET homepage, and select Add to New Group. You'll have to individually add all the tabs to the group. 

2. Once you have at least one group created, you can right-click on the tabs and select Add to Existing Group

3. When you select a group you've created, the tab will automatically move to that group. You can also remove the page from the group by right-clicking the tab and selecting Remove From Group.

4. Next, you'll want to rename your groups so they're more organized. Right-click on the group tab (the default name is Group 1, 2, etc) and name it something like Priority, Less Priority or Read Later.

5. Last, you can change the colors of your tabs from the same box you changed tabs names. Right-click the tab and select a color from the New Color drop-down box.

Want more tips to become a pro at Google? Read how to schedule Gmail messages to send later to keep you from looking like a jackass, because no one wants to be that guy.

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