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Laptops

Turn off Facebook's pop-up conversation tabs

This new feature brings potentially unwanted clutter to your desktop browser.

Facebook's new conversation-tab feature might prove helpful for following certain posts, but the execution is lacking.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Facebook is trying to solve a problem.

When you post a comment to, say, a group or a friend's post, how can you keep tabs on that conversation? Until recently, Facebook would simply notify you of new responses. But that's inefficient at best; I know many users who never bother to click the Notifications icon, despite an "unread" bug that numbers in the dozens (if not higher).

Each conversation tab must be manually minimized or hidden.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Facebook's solution? For desktop users, a pop-up conversation window -- similar to a Messenger window -- that appears whether you want it to or not. And not for every conversation, but only those "you care about."

Hmm. I kind of like the idea, but not the execution. For starters, how does Facebook determine which conversations I want to follow so closely that they deserve their own windows? On my system, these tabs seem to appear at random, though in reality a new tab appears if someone replies to or comments on a post that you've created or commented on yourself.

More importantly, how do I turn off the feature so these conversation tabs aren't cluttering up my Facebook space?

To mute an individual conversation, you can click the Minimize icon to stow the conversation at the bottom of the screen, or click the gear icon and then choose Hide This Tab to eliminate it entirely.

facebook-turn-off-post-tabs.jpg
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Thankfully, there's also a global option, something that didn't exist when Facebook first rolled out this feature.

At the very bottom of the sidebar on the right side of the Facebook window, click the gear icon, then click Turn Off Post Tabs. Presto! No more pop-up conversation tabs. If you decide you miss the feature after all, you can always turn it back on via the same menu.

Your thoughts?

Editors' note: This article was originally published on March 29, 2017, and has since been updated.