Skip to Main Content

Tab Stacking/Tab Groups

by StarboardPilot | Jun 6, 2021 | in General / other
Mozilla exploring

Add the option to make tabs stackable.

- I attached a short video because my description doesn't do it justice -

What is it?

Stacking tabs is the most useful, intuitive and elegant way to handle and organize a large amount of tabs, in my opinion.

How does it work?

You drag and drop tabs into each other creating a group of tabs. This stack can be collapsed to shrink to the size of one normal tab - or expanded so you can access all tabs in the stack like you normally would.
Hovering over the stack gives you a preview of the tabs in the group. Expanding/collapsing is done via a button or by double clicking the stack. Unstacking via context menu or by dragging tabs out of the stack.

Why is it useful?

It makes the tabs you don't immediately need get out of your way. It frees up space in the tab bar. It lets you organize your thoughts and activities by tab group.

Whether you're researching, shopping or bingeing videos the tab bar gets full very quickly. Grouping tabs is the solution to this problem. When you're taking a break or need to do something else you simply collapse the stack and have the whole tab bar available for browsing again. It's genius. And it's quick and intuitive.

This feature was first introduced in the original Opera browser and can today be found in Google Chrome ("tab groups") and Vivaldi ("Tab Stacks"). it has to be said that both implementations aren't as good as the original feature in Opera (legacy).


Vivaldi has just released a new snapshot with an improved implementation of this feature which now more closely resembles the one of the original Opera.  They are still missing the critical "double click the tab to expand or collapse the stack" function but I'm sure that will come soon.  So, if you want to check out this feature on a modern browser, here's your chance. 

Edit 2:

It look like Chrome is adding the option to save Tab Groups for later, making this feature even more powerful for managing tabs and browsing sessions.  Come on Mozilla, get on this. You're falling behind.

edited on Aug 24, 2021 by StarboardPilot
Public (34)
You will need to login to post a comment
chimeratech Jun 7, 2021

Yes, please.

The implementation of tab groups in Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi, and now Safari are all welcomed additions to those browsers.

Tab groups help manage tabs that are related by grouping them together -and- saving space in the UI. In Chrome/Edge, you can "collapse" a tab group so that a group of tabs doesn't take up unnecessary space.

It is important for Firefox to not fall behind in feature sets, but this primarily should be added because it is clearly useful to users and every other browser company is recognizing that.

Reply 5

NotlawS Jun 7, 2021

Vivaldi's tabs are great and different. And the side bar with vertical tabs and bookmarks are so useful. They all improved my workflow!

Reply 0

Syauqi Dir Jun 8, 2021

Use add-ons Sidebery this add-ons recommends by firefox

Reply 1

Erik Itland Jun 18, 2021

Agree. Sideberry or Tree Style Tabs does this and a lot more in addition to moving tabs to the side where they make more sense anyway on todays wide screens.

Sadly the API to hide the main toolbar was borked during the great purge and hasn't been fixed yet.

This issue has more details:

Sadly some people seems to really make an effort to make sure that no one can even discusss that problem.

Reply 0

Matthias Jun 9, 2021

Id rather see panorama making an official comeback, much more useful for tab-handling than tabgroups in the tab-bar. is really great, but i guess it could perform even better when not limited to webex-API.

Reply 3

Dmitrii Frolov Jun 23, 2021

omg, I even forgot that it existed natively. Still can't believe they cut it out

Reply 0

Jack Rip Jun 11, 2021

At least make them visible for Christ's sake! Who's bright idea was it to make the outline of tabs basically invisible, it looks like one long string of Titles and icons. Every time i try to find a particular tab my eyes hurt from looking at one giant tab. I wasted 5 minutes of my life posting this which i wouldn't care to do in a million years but this s#$# actually makes my eyes strain, that's how annoying it is!

Reply 1

rv Jun 11, 2021

Opera (legacy) implementation seems nice in the video (also Chromium implementation is pretty good). But I think this should be first tried as an optional behavior (opt-in) or as an extension/add-on, because maybe some people would feel confused, and only many-tabs users will find it useful. Also, at some point, multi-tab compulsion starts being non-efficient, both for users and (I imagine) code-maintainers and Firefox developers.
Best regards!

Reply 1

StarboardPilot Jun 16, 2021

I'm actually not one these people hoarding tabs. When I end my day my tab bar will be empty. I still find it very useful though.

Agreed on the optional part. Although you would have to stack the tabs by accident to even notice this feature is there, so I don't think it would be in the way or confuse people.

Reply 0

Buğra Akca Jun 15, 2021

This idea has to be in Firefox. I love Firefox and I don't want to switch browsers every time. This should be in Firefox too.

Reply 2

Dmitrii Frolov Jun 23, 2021

I had the same idea, which wasn't reviewed for 2 weeks now, but I guess, I'll just post my thoughts here

1. If group toggle is going to be on the tab panel, I'd want an option to collapse other groups automatically if I click on another group

2. Separate [+] buttons for each group (so you could open a new tab in that group without the need to drag it in like you have to do in Chrome)

3. Would be great if you could assign certain websites to certain groups, so they would be moved to that group automatically (like in multi-account containers)

4. An option to assign a multi-account container to such group

5. An option to turn on cross-device sync for separate groups

6. An ability to stash groups (or at least an API for groups so Tab Stash extension could sync with these groups)

Reply 3

Nabil Tharwat Jun 25, 2021

I have been scouring the internet for anything like this for Firefox. All these plugins out there just don't cut it for me, aside from the risks. This should be a priority. They implemented performance improvements and a design overhaul, this should be next.

Reply 1

Valid Opinión Jun 28, 2021

This one is particularly sad, because you had it implemented first and you had the best implementation, but you threw it away. Now all your competitors have it and you don't.

I recommend the extension Panorama View.

Reply 0

James Nisbet Jul 5, 2021

Please add this feature. It feels to me like the new tab bar UI was literally designed with this functionality in mind.

Reply 4

igorlogius Jul 13, 2021

Stacking isn't something i find very useful and for tab groups there is
the "Simple Tab Groups" addon

Reply 0

BelFox 10 months ago

I use the Simple Tab Groups add-on, and while it is wonderful, I still see a use case for stacked tabs. Stacking is more intuitive than creating groups and assigning tabs to them.

For organizing my work, I would use Simple Tab Groups.
For quickly freeing space on my tab bar, I would use tab stacking.

Reply 2

FairLight Jul 29, 2021

This feature fits with the current UI perfectly. There are lots and lots of users that work with too much tabs. Vivaldi just added this, and I think it is a great thing to add to Firefox.

Reply 3

Asa Dotzler Aug 9, 2021

Status label added: Open to the community

Reply 1

StarboardPilot 11 months ago

What does this label mean?

Reply 0

Jon Siddoway 11 months ago

Hey! It means it is now posted publicly for the community to upvote, discuss, and add their input. Then it will go under review by the Product team for potential adoption. Hope this helps =)

Reply 1

survivorboiii 11 months ago

I'm switching back and forth between FF and Vivaldi - and this is one of the features that make me keep wanting to go back to Vivaldi. When it comes to tab management, Vivaldi simply has every other browsers beat (Accordion auto-expanding tab groups, etc.)

Reply 2

Lyubomir 11 months ago

I suggest to make tab groups and "Set Aside tabs" from Microsoft Edge classic two pieces of one functionality. You create tab groups and you stash them.

Reply 3

yohghimi 11 months ago

searched for "collection" via ctrl+f and didn't hit something, so:

Firefox for Android has "Collections" to sync group of tabs.. this would be a great way to introduce them to desktop browsers, as stackable/accordion tabs

Reply 1

AmkiTakk 11 months ago

Begging the devs to consider implementing this, it's the one thing keeping me from fully switching to FF from Vivaldi. I tend to open tabs for stuff I'd like to do/read later, and close them once I'm done, but this means I often have at least 30 tabs open at all times. This isn't a problem with tab stacking since I can leave them all in a pile that's closed unless I'm actively viewing one of the tabs inside. I can see this being very useful for people who do a lot of research or who, like me, keep tabs open for later viewing.
Without tab stacking, my tab bar is extremely cluttered and going from one end to the other is a pain when I can't stack them.

Reply 0

Gaarco 10 months ago

This would be great, currently I'm relying on addons to manage tabs but I have the constant feeling it's not polished enough. Something built in into the browser would be 100% better.

Reply 0

Jon Siddoway 10 months ago

Status label added: Mozilla considering

Status label removed: Open to the community

Hey all, 

Here with some exciting news…

Your idea has emerged as a top idea in this category and will now be reviewed by the product team at Mozilla. As soon as we have another update on its status, we’ll let you know right here in the comment section.

Stay tuned =)

Reply 5

Jon Siddoway 10 months ago

Note: this will be brought to the product team alongside similar ideas: &

Reply 4

StarboardPilot 5 months ago

I see your comment says you will update us as soon as there are any news. But just in case:

Are there any news to share? It's been four months so I assume the product team has had time to look at and discuss the idea, right?

Reply 0

Jon Siddoway 5 months ago

Hey StarboardPilot, it has taken much longer than we had initially hoped to route the top ideas to the right teams, thoroughly evaluate each idea and respond back to the community. This is a new system and moving forward that turnaround time will be much quicker. Thanks for your patience! And yes, the idea has now been reviewed and an official response will be posted this week.

Reply 2

StarboardPilot 5 months ago

Can't wait! Thanks for the update.

Reply 0

peterwx 9 months ago

I'll put forward a perspective on what tab stacking (and additionally tab grouping integration) can look like on Firefox.
Starting with tab stacking:
- Tab stacking seems to be nonexistent on the horizontal `tabbar`.
- Otherwise tab stacking already comes supported in many vertical tabs addons at least conceptually(grouping, collapsing, (re)ordering as opposed to look and feel - theming and animations) - those being for example Tree Style Tabs, Tab Sidebar, Tree Tabs even Simple Tab Groups(STG).

For the average user, the one who has few tabs and extensions, tab stacking (or grouping but not both) would presumably be sufficient.
So a minimal solution would entail implementing or making easier for addons developers to implement horizontal tab stacking.
On top of this minimal solution maybe it would be desired by (some) users or developers to have consistency on the horizontal and vertical implementations(internal) and/or the look and feel they already know from other browsers like chrome, edge or `vivaldi` (external).

Next for the experienced and heavy tab users(those who are comfortable tinkering with any of options, user.js, user CSS and JS(chrome and content), who use or do lots of (re)searching, learning, reference materials, web tools, etc - myself included) i'll make the following claims:
- the average user workflow is a more specific form of a heavy user one.
- heavy users benefit of a workflow involving both tab stacking and tab grouping
- there are already ways of achieving or at least approximating this workflow with existing addons
- the above workflow is all that is necessary and sufficient for the great majority

What that workflow/combination of addons looks like in this case?:
- on the sidebar, vertical tab addon that enables tabs collapsing in "stacks" and reordering of those "stacks"(tab "stacking") .
- on a tab or separate window(preferably), an addon for managing groups, each group possibly containing several tab "stacks".

Why this workflow in particular?:
- each "stack" on the current "group" is meant for a specific "task" to be accomplished by the user and that may include tabs for searching, learning, answers, tools and reference material.
- "stacks" may be rearranged by the user in their (vertical) order to have the ones with higher priority at the top and the ones in logical succession, similarity or relevance close together.
- a single "group" is meant to be active at any time, A.K.A the "current" one.
- an active "group" is like an active project or session or window.
- all "groups" are able to be managed (that is rearranged, selected, collapsed, named) according to priority, relevance - sort of like a "kanban" board(`trello` for a specific example of what that means) except a "project/group" would be a single "kanban" todo with a list of tabs(flat view). By contrast the current "group" (on the sidebar) would be composed of tabs arranged in "todos/stacks".
- any tab in any "group" can be moved to another "group" and ideally between "stacks" in the same group.
- inactive "groups" and/or "stacks" should preserve for each tab history and scroll position

Which addons enable this workflow?:
- for vertical tab "stacking" many popular ones exist, some already mentioned.
- for grouping, STG enables managing "groups" in a "kanban" like board with 3 columns and how many rows needed, depending on the size of the window.
- STG manager enables rearranging, selecting, naming, moving tabs between "groups" (collapsing groups if the dev adds it or through userChrome/userContent CSS).
- the chosen vertical addon would probably need CSS to hide inactive groups if no STG integration present

Possibly missing would be moving tabs between "stacks" or "stacks" between "groups" either in sidebar or management page.
Also it is not guaranteed that any and all combination of that kind of addons will work without conflict(never encountered such conflicts).

So ideally there should be a single addon (probably as an improvement to STG or other addon) or native feature that combined both tab "stacking" and tab "grouping" with the benefits that such integration could carry namely awareness and use of both concepts in a single codebase. Tree Tabs has these 2 integrated but is no longer maintained, has bugs in certain features and its "group" management is on the sidebar when STG can do it in a separate window or tab .

It is easy to experiment such combinations without affecting your current workflow
or profile, all that one needs to do is disabling current relevant tab management addons and enabling the combination that one wants to experiment with and when finished disabling the experimented ones and reactivating the others.

Additionally one can have a view of grouped tabs by site(domain) with such groups able to be sorted by tab count and tabs searched and/or switched to with addon Manage My Tabs.

Reply 0

It's Networkcat 8 months ago

Please update us with more info.
This feature is lit!

Reply 0

Swifty Poop 8 months ago

I prefer Vivaldi Tab Groups over Chrome Tab Groups because they are more customizable, and Vivaldi Tab Groups also are easier to manage. Here how's it look:

Reply 0

peterwx 8 months ago

A more ambitious, detailed idea for tab management that combines both stacking and grouping on this proposal(not mine) which at this point is overlooked and under voted compared to others:

"Bring back The old Tab group (Firefox Panorama)"

The interesting part is at the end of the proposal(after the videos) in which the integration of both concepts is explained.

Reply 0

HdInfAutre 6 months ago

complementary to

Reply 0

Alexandr Б 6 months ago

It would be more convenient to right-click on the tab and add it to one of the categories (purchases/videos/music/interesting information, etc.), which can also be controlled - add new ones, edit, specify the background color of tabs, select all tabs of a certain category.

I would also like to see an opportunity to find and highlight all tabs, containing in the address bar, for example, "youtube" or "aliexpress", and assign them all a certain category at once, or at least move all these tabs to the right or left - then they will go in a row, and it will be easier to find the right tab, knowing which site we are looking for.

Many plugins often use a sidebar, but this is inconvenient because the sidebar hides part of the web page.

Reply 0

AshenPaladin 6 months ago

Before, I didn't particularly care about tab groups or tab stacking, it seemed like the sort of feature that would only benefit the kind of people who have hundreds of tabs open, and I personally tend to be very careful with that. However, ever since Chrome and Safari have added such features, I've realized that in certain situations, being able to group and/or to stack tabs is absolutely a necessary feature for a modern browser. Firefox should add it in a future update as fast as possible.

Reply 2

Mofazzal Hossain 6 months ago

In this video The Idea was really better ... but if their was some option to customize by user that will be more better option for multitask user.. like 1 . Sort by URL in tab 2. Sort by Firefox Multi_Account Containers 3..Sort by URL in Group 4. Sort by Firefox Multi_Account Containers in Group
5 .. Reset for Default

Reply 0

GnenoDEV 5 months ago

I like this idea. Alot, actually. I've started to use Pin-tabs [on Firefox 97], but would like an easier way to stack different tabs in a category, in a feature thats built-in to Firefox rather than depending on an Addon.

An idea from my side though to fully add to your suggestion is that the Stack feature could fully utilize the about:unloads more efficiently, as in my case I dont think the about:unloads is even being used properly with the pinned-tab.

[FYI: Been using Firefox since before version 94!]

Reply 0

Jon Siddoway 5 months ago

Status label added: Mozilla exploring

Status label removed: Mozilla reviewing

Hey all,

Back with an update...

This idea has now been reviewed here at Mozilla and our team wants to explore it further as we prioritize tab management. This means we are going to invest in research before making that final decision, but we invite you to continue the conversation and stay tuned for announcements.


Reply 5

StarboardPilot 2 weeks ago

Hey Jon, it's been a hot minute and I was wondering how the exploring is going.

Do you have any updates for us?

Reply 0

NesteaZen 5 months ago

Vertical tabs > stacking

How does ctrl-tab behave? Does it adhere to the groups or the tabs? Is it toggeable?

Reply 0

Travis Mehrer 1 month ago

This would be extremely welcome for me in Firefox. Currently I use Simple Tab Groups, and run each group in a separate window. The biggest drawback for me to this, aside from needing separate windows is when I accidentally close my windows in the wrong order and lose all my pinned tabs from my main Firefox window. Having stackable groups like Vivaldi or collapsable groups like Edge/Chrome would make it possible to keep all my tabs better organized.

Reply 0

James Jacques 1 month ago

I think tab stacking is very important feature for firefox users, but I think that two level stacks (like in Vivaldi) are much better. Here you can see example:

Reply 0

Profoundish 2 weeks ago

These kinds of tab-management tools are making Vivaldi looking very appealing -- but I like Mozilla, and also Firefox's "send this tab to [device]" feature works very well. Tree-style would be neat too. As would being able to see tabs in-window *as* you're dragging and dropping them from a window. But anyway, hope this one gets traction!

Reply 0