If you usually go around the web clicking links and opening tab after tab, you’re called a tab junkie in the tech world.
You might be wondering if there’s a limit to the number of tabs you can have open at a given time.
You’ll be surprised to know that with some browsers, the only thing limiting the number of tabs you can open is your computer’s resources.
That allows you to be as reckless as you want, but it comes at a cost.
However, some browsers have stricter limits encrypted in their settings.
Read on to learn about each browser’s limitations and what happens if you have multiple tabs open simultaneously.
How Many Browser Sessions Can Be Open At One Time?
The number of browser sessions you can have open at one time depends on three factors:
- Your operating system.
- Your computer hardware.
- Your internet speed.
- Your browser.
Some operating systems have limitations on how many tabs you can open regardless of the browser you’re using.
For instance, Windows XP only allows browser windows, while MacOS X lets you have six individual browsers with three tabs per window.
Operating Systems like Windows 10 don’t have any specific limitations for the number of tabs.
Moreover, you’ll need your computer to have enough resources for handling multiple tabs open simultaneously.
If it doesn’t have enough memory space and processing power, you’ll experience more lags, delays, and crashes the more tabs you open up.
Every tab you open is another computer process you start that needs additional bandwidth from your internet provider.
If your internet isn’t fast enough, it won’t be able to load too many requests.
Most internet browsers support multiple tabs and windows, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Chromium-based browsers.
Let’s see precisely how many tabs each of them lets you open.
Google Chrome doesn’t put any limits on the number of tabs you can open at once.
You can enjoy free browsing without concerns.
You’ll only have to worry about how much your computer and internet can handle without slowing down and becoming sluggish.
Suppose you have around 10–20 tabs open in one window, which is the average number of tabs most users open simultaneously.
In that case, the slowdowns you’ll experience in speed and responsiveness won’t be noticeable with Chrome.
In one user’s experience, a generated code could open as many as 9,000 tabs open at once.
Much like Chrome, Microsoft Edge doesn’t have any caps on the number of tabs you can open.
However, the developers advise the user not to exceed 50 tabs to prevent their systems from slowing down.
Firefox keeps its memory usage to around 20MB, eliminating the risk of crashes and odd behavior.
However, there is no reported limitation of the number of sessions one can open in Firefox either.
Users have even reported opening 1,000+ tabs at once.
The 10th version of the Internet Explorer browser had a limitation of 10 open tabs, which upset many users.
They fixed this problem in IE11, and now users can open 100+ tabs per window.
The new version automatically allocates memory to each tab, pausing tabs that haven’t been used in a while.
This feature will prevent your computer from malfunctioning.
Before the iOS 10 update, Safari had a cap of 30 on its tabs.
Since then, they’ve lifted the limits, and now with iOS 14, users have confirmed that they could open 500+ tabs with Safari.
What Happens If You Have Too Many Tabs Open?
As mentioned before, browsers could be very resource-heavy programs, putting pressure on your computer’s resources, including the CPU and RAM.
For some browsers, each web page can occupy up to 2GB of your PC’s memory.
Therefore, continuously running multiple tabs in the background will result in a slow and lagging system and even lead to browser crashes.
That mainly happens if you’re loading too many graphics-intensive web pages, like games and videos.
Sometimes, you can’t help but open lots of tabs when you get caught up in the middle of working.
However, since you don’t want your browser to freeze and close all your tabs suddenly, you need to take action.
Continue reading the next section to find out about tools and browser extensions you can use to help manage your tabs and prevent issues.
How To Limit The Number Of Open Tabs
As a tab junkie, if you want to bring your tab-opening problem under control, you can choose one of the following tab management tools and give it a try.
XTab is a Chrome extension that allows you to set the maximum number of tabs you can open in each window.
Once you install it, you’ll find its dedicated button to the right side of the URL search bar.
Once you click on it, you can change the number of maximum tabs you want to allow yourself to open.
XTab offers to help you with your extra tabs once you reach your limit in three ways.
You can set to close the tabs you’ve used least recently, the tab you’ve accessed the least, or the one that has been open the longest.
This extension will help you reduce your memory usage while increasing the productivity of your workforce.
Remember that the tabs XTab closes aren’t gone forever.
You can access them any time you want through Chrome History in the Recently Closed section.
Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, you can convert all of them into a list by clicking on the OneTab icon.
This method will save up to 95% of your computer’s memory and reduce the CPU load while keeping your workplace clean.
Once you need to re-access the tabs, you can open them all at once or choose them individually.
Tab Manager Plus
Once you click on its icon in the browser, a window will pop open, showing all your open tabs grouped by the windows.
If you click on Options, it’ll allow you to set a tab limit for each window.
If you exceed your limit, opening up a new tab will generate a new window automatically.
Tab Manager Plus allows you to search through open tabs easily, eliminate duplicate tabs, add tabs to different windows, create custom groups of tabs, as so on.
Tab Session Manager
Tab Session Manager works for Chrome and Firefox as well.
It shows you all the tabs you have open currently and allows you to save single tabs or groups to come back to later and clears them out of the way.
You can give names and tags to each group and even sync them to your other devices.
With the integrated search tool, you’ll be able to look for tabs quickly.
Great Suspender Original
The Great Suspender is a simpler Chrome extension that can put tabs to sleep after a specific amount of time, helping to save your computer’s resources.
New Tab Suspender
Tab Suspender works just like Great Suspender, but for the Firefox users.
It suspends the inactive tabs after a time interval that you can set.
Note: Chrome extensions can also run on the Microsoft Edge browser since they share the same base code.
You can also use integrated browser tools to manage your tabs in different ways, clearing up the clutter as you work.
You might be more comfortable with these since they’re not third-party programs concerning privacy.
Google Chrome has introduced a new integrated feature for managing your tabs into groups.
If you have the latest updates of the Chrome browser installed, you can click on any open tab and then choose Add tab to new group from the dropdown menu.
Then you can give your new group a name and assign a color to it.
You can add new tabs to groups by dragging them in or right-clicking on them and choosing Add tab to a group.
You can make as many groups as you want and close them anytime.
Once you click on the group’s name, it’ll hide all the included tabs, and another click will display them all.
This method will allow you to have an organized browsing session, having different groups for different purposes like work, shopping, social media, research, and so on.
Getting back closed groups is not different from reviving closes tabs.
Just go to Chrome’s Recently Closed section.
Other browsers don’t have this feature yet, but Firefox has some extensions that do the same job.
Workona is a popular and powerful extension that allows you to sort tabs into groups and sessions in Firefox.
To clear the decks in any browser and make your workplace a bit tidier, you can get help from different browser windows.
Instead of opening up hundreds of tabs in one window, you can create a separate window divided by their categories for each group.
Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge allow you to select multiple browser tabs at once with Ctrl + Click for Windows or Cmd + Click for macOS.
Bookmarks are an underrated feature in web browsing that people usually forget about.
You can create custom bookmark folders and set each aside for a specific purpose.
Once you add the tabs you want to each bookmark, you won’t have to have them open all the time.
You can close them and get them back with a click later.
Arrange Tabs By
This feature is a simple yet handy option for the Safari browser.
Hitting Cmd + Click on a tab and choosing the Arrange Tabs By option lets you order your open tabs.
You can either group them based on the website they’re showing or by their titles.
Can You Use More Than One Browser?
Installing more than one browser is completely possible, and multiple browsers won’t conflict with each other.
You can install Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and various other browsers on your system like an ordinary program and even use them simultaneously.
That may even be a good idea because, for example, some websites, especially older pages, will only work correctly on Internet Explorer.
Moreover, Chrome can run Flash videos efficiently without the need for any additional software.
Other browsers need you to install Adobe Flash Player for this cause.
You can even use a separate browser for sites like Google or Facebook to increase your privacy since they track browser activity.
If you want this to work, you shouldn’t allow the browsers to share your personal information.
Each browser can import data from another, like bookmarks, cookies, history, and so on.
However, this happens only if you let it.