Google Chrome just got a great free upgrade – and it's a game-changer

Google Chrome just added Group Tabs and they are oh so very useful for organising a busy browser

Chromebook stock
(Image credit: Google)

I know, I know, it's 'just a browser'. But the most recent Google Chrome update brings a genuinely exciting new feature that I'm convinced everyone will want to use – and, of course, it's totally free to download. 

I'm talking about tab groups. Hear me out here, as I know the name isn't exactly thrilling and there have been iterations of this available for some time. But if you're the kind of user who ends up with dozens of tabs littering your Chrome window then this new feature is your perfect tidy-up solution to help you keep more organised. No longer will you have to stare at all your tabs all at once. 

It's super simple to use: (Windows users) simply right click on an open tab > select 'add group to tab' > 'new group' > then name your group > select a colour > press Esc to finish. 

Google Chrome group tabs

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

You can then add additional tabs by right-clicking other open tabs and adding them to new or existing group tabs. Once you have multiples in a group you can collapse it and only the name and colour will show in the top tabs bar. Genius, I tell you. I can finally banish all these spreadsheets from permanent eyeshot.

Even if you're a chronic Ctrl + Tab user, as I am – this, if you don't know, skips between tabs from left to right – this will bypass collapsed group tabs to further streamline your workflow. Open groups present what's within that grouping by showing an underline of that group's selected colour, which is visually very handy indeed.

Google Chrome update: What else is new?

This Chrome update brings a few more bells and whistles too. You can easily check out the official Google page (opens in new tab) for the latest info. 

See that little drop arrow towards the top right (by close, restore down, minimise)? That there is your full tabs drop-down menu. And it contains a search. So you can easily search all open tabs if you have that many open and cannot find what you're looking for. Ctrl+Shift+A is a shortcut to that, if you prefer.

That's not the new bit, though, it's that tabs are now grouped by type within here. So if you're looking for an open video chat in browser, a recently closed window, or one of your currently open webpages, it's all grouped. 

It's the little things, eh? I, for one, am super glad this Google Chrome update dropped. It'll make me less reluctant to delay deploying cool free updates in the future, that's for sure. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.