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Mozilla to drop support for Tab Groups in Firefox

Mozilla to drop support for Tab Groups in Firefox

by AshwinNovember 7, 2015

Mozilla, the developer of the famous browser Firefox, has announced that it will soon drop support for a feature.


The browser maker has been drawing ire for many controversial moves recently, including switching to a new add-on API, and the introduction of a new technology called Electrolysis, both of which could spell the end of many popular extensions.

But this time, Mozilla’s decision to cut off a feature, may go almost unnoticed. Because, the feature it plans to remove, is something which you may have never used, or even heard of.

Tab Groups, also known as Panorama is the one which is being killed. The feature is actually quite a useful one, but apparently is not being used by many. In fact, the amount of users who use the feature amounts to a paltry 0.01%, which is actually why the browser maker wants to remove the feature in the first place.

If you aren’t aware of Tab Groups, here is what it does. It lets you drag and drop a number of tabs into a group, like a folder, and you can switch from each group and manage tabs easily, all from one single browser window. If you want to try it, just press the key combo Ctrl + Shift + E to be taken to the Tab Groups interface.

Mozilla Firefox Tab Groups Panorama

Note: If it doesn’t work, or does something else, you probably have an add-on which uses the same key combo.

Softpedia reports that Mozilla originally announced its intention to drop support for Tab Groups in Firefox, back in 2013. A bug report filed on the company’s support page, mentions that Tab Groups were the cause of crashes and bugs, and they haven’t been fixed yet.

So, killing off the feature from the browser, may make the app perform better after all. But users of tab Groups, you don’t need to worry,¬† there may be a solution for you after all. You may be able to use add-ons to enable Tab Groups even after Mozilla removes the proprietary code from the browser.

Mozilla will end support for Tab Groups in Firefox, in version 45 of the browser. According to Mozilla’s release calendar, Firefox¬†45 is currently in the nightly channel, and will move to Aurora in the 2nd week of December. So we could see it hit the stable release channel early next year.

A few days ago, we reported that Mozilla Firefox holds a dissapointing 11% of usage shares on desktops, something which the browser maker needs to focus on improving, rather than making controversial additions/removals.