Windows 10 Tip: Declutter Microsoft Edge by Setting Tabs Aside

Posted on April 9, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 4 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Declutter Microsoft Edge by Setting Tabs Aside

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft Edge picks up a new “Set these tabs aside” capability that helps you declutter the browser by managing open tabs.

Note: This tip is derived from the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Edge users who have too many open tabs and wish to declutter the view can now do so: With the Creators Update, you can set all of them aside, essentially hiding them, so you can work with a clean browser window. Tabs that are set aside are grouped together and can be accessed individually later. Or you can restore hidden tab groups in their entirety.

Note: Tabs that are set aside are saved in Edge, and will be available later if you close and reopen the browser, or even if you restart your PC.

To set all of the visible tabs aside, find and select the “Set these tabs aside” button in the upper-left of the Edge window.

To see how this can be useful, imagine you are researching a topic online. Over time, you open more and more tabs, cluttering the view.

Over time, you might want to work on something else. You could open a new browser window, of course, or just close all of the tabs. But if you wish to return to those tabs later, you can set them aside instead.

To do so, press the “Set these tabs aside” button. The tabs disappear, and the “Tabs you’ve set aside” button, to the left of the “Set these tabs aside” button, is colored to indicate that tabs have been set aside.

To view the tabs that have been set aside, select the “Tabs you’ve set aside” button. The “Tabs you’ve set aside” pane appears, showing the group of tabs you just set aside.

From here, you can do the following:

Restore all of the tabs. If you’re ready to begin working with all of the tabs you set aside again, select the “Restore tabs” link.

Restore one tab. To view any tab you’ve set aside, simply select it normally. This will remove the tab from the “Tabs you’ve set aside” group and will display that page normally in the browser.

Close all of the tabs in a group permanently.” To close all of the tabs in a group and remove them from “Tabs you’ve set aside,” select the Close (“X”) button in the top right of the tab group in the “Tabs you’ve set aside” pane.

Add the tabs to your Favorites. To add the tab group to your Favorites, select More (“…”) and then “Add tabs to Favorites.” A new folder, named “Tabs from [today’s date],” will be added to Favorites. Note that doing so does not remove the tabs from “Tabs you’ve set aside.”

Share the tabs. Edge lets you share one or more tabs with others. I will discuss this functionality in another tip.

Set other tabs aside. If you put tabs aside and begin researching another topic, you may find yourself in a situation where you wish to put another group of tabs aside for later. This works normally, but these new tabs will be stored in a separate group in the “Tabs you’ve set aside” pane.


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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Windows 10 Tip: Declutter Microsoft Edge by Setting Tabs Aside”

  1. edboyhan

    Unless I'm missing something, all you can do is set all non-pinned tabs aside. There's no way (that I can find) to set pinned tabs aside. Nor is there any way to pick and choose the tabs to be set aside. As near as I can figure there's no easy way to create groups of tabs: I could set all tabs aside, then restore individual tabs that would make up a group, and the set those tabs aside -- then I have two groups? It would be nice if I could restore a group of tabs, but still keep the list of tabs in that group in the set aside list as well -- this would be a way of creating a history of tab groups in case Edge loses your tabs (it happens).

    Sharing set aside tabs lets you set the tab list to apps. Currently only Mail and OneNote are supported.

    • edboyhan

      OK, I've finally figured it out. Let's say you've got 15 tabs open that you want to rearrange into 3 groups of five. Hit the set tabs aside button to set all 15 tabs aside; then hit the tabs you've set aside button. That will bring up the set aside panel. Click individually on each of the tabs you want in group 1; that will restore all the group 1 tabs. Now hit the set tabs aside button again; that will cause all the group 1 tabs to be added to the set aside panel as a separate tab group. Repeat to create the other two groups. One problem: it appears that when you set 15 tabs aside, they are displayed in a single line in the set aside panel such that you can only see 4 or 5 of the set aside tabs -- that can complicate the creation of groups -- unless there's some way to scroll the set aside panel that I haven't found yet.

    • edboyhan

      In reply to edboyhan: What's even better: if you set all your tabs aside, and then hit the 3 dot "more" button in the set aside tabs panel, you can add all those tabs to your favorites. They'll be added to your favorites in a folder labelled as "tabs from {date}". If you add another tab group to favorites on the same date, they'll be put in a folder labelled "tabs from {date} (2)" (and so on). This is a way to create a "session manage"r of your tab groupings. If you right click on a tabs folder in favorites, you'll be given the option of opening all the tabs contained in the folder -- a handy way to restore tabs you are working on across Edge sessions. BTW adding a tab group from the set aside panel to favorites does not remove the tab group from the set aside panel. If you want to get rid of a tab group in the set aside panel, click on the 'X' to the right of the "Restore tabs" button, or you can remove individual tabs in a group by right clicking on the tab and hitting the resultant "Remove" button, or you can hover over an individual tab thumbnail, and click on the 'X' in the lower right corner of that tab thumbnail.
      This feature is a lot more powerful than the first descriptions would lead one to believe (or maybe I'm just slow :grin).