When you right-click on a tab in Google Chrome, you’re offered a surprising number of options. However, this number looks like it will be reduced in the near future.
A new update to Chrome (spotted by Techdows via Bleeping Computer) will remove the options to open a new tab, close all other tabs, reopen a closed tab and bookmark all tabs from the right-click menu.
The update was spotted in Chrome 78 Canary, the web dev-focussed version of Chrome that receives nightly updates. For context, the stable release, the one you’ll almost certainly have if you’re a Chrome user, is version 76, and the beta version, which sees monthly updates, is on Chrome 77.
The reason for this decision is to reduce ‘clutter’ and redundancy. Web developers who have spoken to Google say that the existing right-click tab menu is too large, and is unnecessarily so, since you can perform the same functions in other ways.
A Google employee who spoke to Techdows recommended using using shift + left click to select the range of tabs you want to close instead of the Close Other Tabs option. On the other hand, the option to bookmark all tabs has been relocated to the window menu at the top of the screen.
The Chromium forums (frequented by web devs working on Chrome and the open-source platform that underpins it) provide additional context. This thread on the forums which discusses the removal of these four options dates back to 2015, which shows just how long it’s taken for Google and the developers to be absolutely sure that these options won’t be missed.
While patterns may have changed over the four years since the thread was created, the usage data posted on the thread show how the removed options were being rarely used in practice even in 2015. You can see the percentages, which show how often an option was selected when the menu was opened here:
- Duplicate: 23.21%
- Reload: 22.74%
- Pin / Unpin tab: 13.12%
- Close tab: 9.68%
- Reopen closed tab: 8.92%
- New tab: 6.63%
- Close tabs to the right: 6.06%
- Mute tab: 5.38%
- Close other tabs: 2.20%
- Unmute tab: 1.41%
- Bookmark all tabs: 0.64%
That said, given that Chrome gets only quarterly updates on its stable release, the final death of the ‘Close Other Tabs’ and other options is a little ways off into the future, considering the last update was Aug. 26. Still, it means you have plenty of time to say goodbye to these long-standing members of the tab options menu.