How to collapse/expand tab groups in Chrome

Tabbed browsing changed the way users browse the internet. With tabs, users are able to switch between different pages they have open without having to switch between windows.

Tabbed browsing has been great but lots of users open one too many tabs, and often they’re opened across multiple windows. Tab management in modern browsers is often a challenge not just in terms of keeping things organized but also when it comes to managing system resources.

Collapse/expand tab groups in Chrome

Chrome introduced Tab groups a while back. At the time, this feature was simply a visual method for grouping tabs. Tabs within a group were bundled together via a color-coded border. 

Tab groups are still an experimental feature and the visual is nice for keeping track of related tabs but if you want to be able to manage tab groups, you should enable the collapsing and expanding tab groups.

Enable collapse/expand tab groups

In order to collapse/expand tab groups, you must have tab groups enabled. These steps cover both enabling tab groups and enabling the collapse feature for them.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Enter the following in the URL bar and tap Enter.
chrome://flags
  1. Look for the following two flags using the search bar.
Tab groups
Tab groups collapse
  1. Open the dropdown next to each flag, and select Enabled.
  2. Relaunch Chrome.

  1. Once Chrome relaunches, open a few tabs.
  2. Right-click a tab and select Add tab to group.
  3. Give the group a name.
  4. Add at least two tabs to a group.
  5. Click the tab group name to collapse the tabs in it.
  6. Click the tab group name again to expand the tabs.

Offload collapsed tabs in Chrome

Collapsed tabs are easy to expand and, depending on how you browse and work, you may need the tabs to be readily available at all times. However, if you’re okay with the tabs in a group reloading when the group is expanded, you should enable tab freezing.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Enter the following in the URL bar and tap Enter.
chrome://flags
  1. Look for a flag called Tab Groups Collapse Freezing.
  2. Open the dropdown next to it and select Enabled.
  3. Relaunch Chrome.
  4. When you collapse a tab group, the tabs will be offloaded.

Why offload tabs?

If you’re wondering why tabs need to be offloaded, it has to do with freeing up system resources. Chrome takes a massive toll on the system resources and reducing the number of open tabs is the only way to keep Chrome under control. It will allow the browser itself to run more smoothly. Be warned that you may lose unsubmitted form data this way.

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How to open multiple Chrome windows on iPad

The iPad, ever since it transitioned away from iOS and began running iPadOS has moved towards supporting better multitasking on the device. If you look at how the device behaved in its early years and compare it to its present features, it’s obvious that the device’s features have been built around how users use it.

Among the many multitasking features that were added in iPadOS, there is a feature to pin two apps side-by-side. A third app can be used via Slide Over. iPadOS has removed many restrictions that apps were subject to in older versions of iOS.

Multiple Chrome windows on iPad

Chrome has only recently added multiple-window support for its iPad version. That means, in order to open multiple Chrome windows on the iPad, you must update the app to version 87.

Once you’ve updated Chrome, follow the steps below to open multiple Chrome windows.

  1. Open Chrome on your iPad.
  2. Tap the more options button at the top right.
  3. Tap New Window.
  4. The new window will open and it will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. Repeat for as many windows as you’d like to open.

Open links in new a new window

If you’re using Chrome and want to open a link in a new window, you can do so without going through the Chrome menu.

  1. Navigate to a webpage with a link.
  2. Press and hold on the link.
  3. From the menu, select Open in New Window.
  4. If you do not have another window, the link will open in a new window that will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. If you already have two Chrome windows open, the newly created window will open separately.

Close a Chrome window

Chrome windows don’t have a close button and unlike the desktop version of the app, closing all tabs in a Chrome window will not close the window itself.

To close a Chrome window, follow these steps.

  1. On your iPad, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen and stop at the center.
  2. You will see the app switcher.
  3. The app switcher will show each Chrome window that is open.
  4. Flick away the window you want to close.

Note: if you have two Chrome windows pinned side by side, remove one window and then close it from the app switcher.

If your iPad model is one that has a home button, you can double-press it to view the app switcher. 

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How to change Chrome profile name

Chrome has support for multiple profiles. What differentiates one profile from the other is the Google account that is (or isn’t) connected to a profile. 

Users can create a new Chrome profile and sync it with their Google account, or they can skip adding an account and keep everything local. What a user cannot do is create a profile that has no name.

Change Chrome profile name

The Chrome profile name is set when it’s created and users can’t proceed without it. The data for each profile is kept separate so it stands to reason that the name is incredibly important.

While a profile name is important, it isn’t set in stone. A profile name is a user-friendly way for users to identify their profiles when they switch between them. Chrome allocates numbers e.g. Profile1, Profile2, Profile3 etc to identify a profile and its folder. 

What all this means is, you can change the Chrome profile name.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the profile icon at the top right.
  3. From the list of profiles, select the profile you want to rename. If it’s the current profile, you can skip steps 2 and 3.
  4. On the Chrome window of the profile, click the more options button at the top right.
  5. Select Settings.
  6. On the You and Google section at the top, click Chrome Name and Picture.

  1. Click inside the name field.
  2. Change/edit the name.
  3. Go back or close the browser window.
  4. Restart Chrome.
  5. The profile name will be updated.

Change Chrome profile picture

While the above option claims to let you change the Chrome profile picture, it does so in a limited way. You can select a picture from presets but you cannot select a picture from your desktop.

To set a custom profile picture in Chrome;

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. Change the Gmail account profile picture to the one you want to use in Chrome.
  3. Open Chrome.
  4. Go to Chrome’s settings. 
  5. If sync is On, turn it Off.
  6. Once the sync has been turned off, turn it on again.
  7. The profile picture will be updated immediately. 

Note: unless you enable Chrome sync on Chrome, you cannot set a custom profile picture. The new profile picture can sometimes take a little time to sync to Chrome.

Conclusion

Chrome, for some odd reason, doesn’t offer much in terms of profile customization. It’s a browser so there isn’t much of a profile a user will want to maintain but it is still very restrictive. 

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How to clear site data in Chrome on Windows 10

When you have problems loading a website in any browser, the one troubleshooting action you’ll be advised to take, regardless of which browser you use, is to clear the cache. All browsers maintain a cache and it’s normally maintained for every single website that you visit. Clearing the cache is a good idea and often it will fix loading problems but sometimes, the cache isn’t the problem.

Clear site data in Chrome

The cache is automatically refreshed after a certain period of time. When we force clear it, we’re basically removing files sooner rather than later. There are still some files for websites that Chrome keeps, and they generally are not refreshed. These site-specific files may prevent a website from loading.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Navigate to the website that won’t load.
  3. Tap the F12 keyboard key to open the developer console. Alternatively, right-click anywhere and select ‘Inspect’, or tap the Ctrl+Shift+I keyboard shortcut.
  4. On the developer console, go to the Application tab.
  5. In the column on the left, select ‘Clear storage’.
  6. In the pane on the right, you will see a donut chart. Click the ‘Clear site data’ button under it.

Clear website cookies and cache

The above will clear files related to a website that are normally kept indefinitely. You can use the developer console to manually delete cache files that are specific to the website.

  1. Open Chrome and visit the website.
  2. Tap either F12 or Ctrl+Shift+I to open the developer console
  3. Go to the Application tab.
  4. In the column on the left, expand ‘Cookies’ under the Storage section.
  5. Right-click each cookie, one-by-one, and select Clear.
  6. In the column on the right, right-click Cache Storage.
  7. Select Clear.

Note: deleting cookies will end all sessions that you have e.g., if you’re signed into a particular account/service on the website, you will be signed out. Data saved by extensions is not removed.

Website data in other browsers

Chrome is not unique in storing files specifically for a website. Lots of other browsers do it though not all of them provide a button to clear it. Most have a single option to clear all data for all websites. That said, most modern browsers are now based on Chromium so the option to clear site data may be present.

Edge, for example, allows you to clear site data in the exact same way. Its web developer console is identical to that of Chrome and all options that Chrome offers are available in Edge.

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How to identify Chrome GPU Process on Windows 10

Chrome has its own built-in task manager. You can open it with the Shift+Esc key. Chrome’s task manager only shows processes that are run by Chrome, or extensions that have been installed in Chrome. It can be used to close a tab but if you’re trying to monitor your system’s resources, you will still have to use the Task Manager on Windows 10 (or Activity Monitor on macOS).

Chrome GPU Process

If you open the Chrome Task Manager (Shift+Ese in a Chrome window), you will see processes with names that match the tabs that you have open. You will also see GPU PProcess. Chrome isn’t an app that needs to use the GPU i.e., it is neither a graphics-intensive game nor is it a graphics editor like Photoshop or GIMP (or Affinity) however, it can still use it.

Chrome GPU Process

1. Identify GPU process tab

The Chrome GPU process may be idle i.e. no usage, or it may actively be using the GPU. The only way to identify this is to go to the Task Manager. You should know that just because you see GPU Process in Chrome’s task manager, doesn’t mean that it is actively being used.

  1. Right-click the Taskbar, and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. Go to the Processes tab.
  3. Click the title of the GPU column to sort items by GPU usage.
  4. The processes at the top will be using the GPU and if it reads 0% then no Chrome tab is actively using your GPU.
  5. The GPU engine column will read GPU 1 if it is being used by Chrome.

2. Disable Chrome GPU process

If you want to prevent Chrome from ever using the GPU, you can.

Turn off hardware acceleration

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the more options (three dots) button at the top right.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the System section.
  5. Turn off the ‘Use hardware acceleration when available’ switch.

Set Chrome graphics to Low Power mode

You can also prevent Chrome from using the GPU by changing a setting on Windows 10.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to System.
  3. Select the Display tab.
  4. Scroll down, and click Graphics settings.
  5. From the dropdown, select Desktop app.
  6. Click Browse.
  7. Select Chrome’s executable file and add it.
  8. Select Chrome, and click the Options button.
  9. In the pop-up that opens, select ‘Power Saving’.
  10. Click Save.

Conclusion

Chrome will still continue to use the onboard graphics card. All apps use it and it is not unusual behavior for the browser to use it. You may also continue to see the GPU Process in Chrome’s task manager but as long as it isn’t using your GPU, you don’t have to worry about it.

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