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What is the point of hidden tabs, and why does it mess up extensions like "Simple tab groups"?

Lex
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It seems like the feature is super bugged and fundamentally flawed. Not only is it halfbaked, but I have very little to no control over how it works. I end up with 40 hidden pages because of my style of browsing. Even using the Simple tab groups gets unnecessarily convoluted. Ive got like 60 hidden tabs in this browser window alone, but they arent displayed logically and you cant tell if they are assigned to another window in STG or what. So, whats the point of it? Why must I, as someone with amply memory and storage, must deal with its illogical behavior?

It seems like the feature is super bugged and fundamentally flawed. Not only is it halfbaked, but I have very little to no control over how it works. I end up with 40 hidden pages because of my style of browsing. Even using the Simple tab groups gets unnecessarily convoluted. Ive got like 60 hidden tabs in this browser window alone, but they arent displayed logically and you cant tell if they are assigned to another window in STG or what. So, whats the point of it? Why must I, as someone with amply memory and storage, must deal with its illogical behavior?

Modified by Lex

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Question owner

  • Ignore this comment, it was an accidental post.*
*Ignore this comment, it was an accidental post.*

Modified by Lex

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jscher2000
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Ignore the original question or ignore the reply??

What do you mean by "hidden"? Definitely Firefox's tabs bar can't show much more than a dozen tabs at one time. But there are scroll buttons on either side, and there's a drop-down "All Tabs" list to show the other tabs in that window.

Of course, you might also have additional windows with even more tabs, depending on your style of browsing.

They start off being displayed in the order you opened them, but if you are on, say, the third tab, and you click a link that opens in a new tab, it pushes the fourth tab over and occupies its space. (That's by default, you could, if you want, force all new tabs to open at the end of the bar.)

So that's what I would consider normal so far...

Are the tabs actually vanishing from the tabs bar on your Firefox?

Do you have any tab-related add-ons that could be hiding them?

Ignore the original question or ignore the reply?? What do you mean by "hidden"? Definitely Firefox's tabs bar can't show much more than a dozen tabs at one time. But there are scroll buttons on either side, and there's a drop-down "All Tabs" list to show the other tabs in that window. Of course, you might also have additional windows with even more tabs, depending on your style of browsing. They start off being displayed in the order you opened them, but if you are on, say, the third tab, and you click a link that opens in a new tab, it pushes the fourth tab over and occupies its space. (That's by default, you could, if you want, force all new tabs to open at the end of the bar.) So that's what I would consider normal so far... Are the tabs actually vanishing from the tabs bar on your Firefox? Do you have any tab-related add-ons that could be hiding them?
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Question owner

Im talking about the actual feature "hidden tabs". firefox used to just display all tabs in a group, and I could have far more than 12. now, firefox randomly throws some tabs to a hidden tabs where you have to click the down arrow to access it and getting those tabs back out of being hidden is incredibly annoying and excessively laborious. I dont like the feature. Its not useful for me, but seems to be hooked into the browser enough now that it causes issues with other extensions if its turned off. The feature does not act predictably and thus provides me little benefit.

Im talking about the actual feature "hidden tabs". firefox used to just display all tabs in a group, and I could have far more than 12. now, firefox randomly throws some tabs to a hidden tabs where you have to click the down arrow to access it and getting those tabs back out of being hidden is incredibly annoying and excessively laborious. I dont like the feature. Its not useful for me, but seems to be hooked into the browser enough now that it causes issues with other extensions if its turned off. The feature does not act predictably and thus provides me little benefit.
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Question owner

Basically, Im asking if anyone can point me to some sort of release info that explains the point of it, and how to turn it off or actually be able to control the feature. I dont like features that do things regardless of what I want.

Basically, Im asking if anyone can point me to some sort of release info that explains the point of it, and how to turn it off or actually be able to control the feature. I dont like features that do things regardless of what I want.

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jscher2000
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Thanks for the screenshot, I've never seen that before, but it is mentioned in this article: Access hidden tabs in Firefox.

Firefox doesn't hide the tabs itself. Add-ons can hide tabs. Either the tab group extension or one of your other extensions must be doing that. Any idea which one?

If you want to share your extensions list, you can copy/paste it, starting here:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

Scroll down past "Application Basics" and "Firefox Features" to "Extensions". Then you can select and copy the table that follows (not the entire page, please, that's too much information) using either Command+c or right-click > Copy and then paste it into a reply. It will be messy, but we're used it.

Thanks for the screenshot, I've never seen that before, but it is mentioned in this article: [[Access hidden tabs in Firefox]]. Firefox doesn't hide the tabs itself. Add-ons can hide tabs. Either the tab group extension or one of your other extensions must be doing that. Any idea which one? If you want to share your extensions list, you can copy/paste it, starting here: * "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste '''about:support''' in the address bar and press Enter Scroll down past "Application Basics" and "Firefox Features" to "Extensions". Then you can select and copy the table that follows (not the entire page, please, that's too much information) using either Command+c or right-click > Copy and then paste it into a reply. It will be messy, but we're used it.
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jscher2000
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Now that I think about it: the Simple Tab Groups probably shows one group at a time and hides the others. Try using the Simple Tab Groups toolbar button to track down hidden tabs that are in other groups. I don't know whether it can keep multiple groups displayed at once.

Now that I think about it: the Simple Tab Groups probably shows one group at a time and hides the others. Try using the Simple Tab Groups toolbar button to track down hidden tabs that are in other groups. I don't know whether it can keep multiple groups displayed at once.
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Question owner

The problem is that there isnt any clear line to indicate what are tabs Ive saved to the simple tab groups, and what are just orphaned tabs that were moved into the hidden tabs based on some not-obvious-to-me metric. The hidden tabs pane does not contain all the tabs I have in the simple tab groups. Its incredibly frustrating to not be able to discern what the pattern is and why some data is there but not other data. I find the whole feature to be a bit half baked and poorly communicated/documented.

The problem is that there isnt any clear line to indicate what are tabs Ive saved to the simple tab groups, and what are just orphaned tabs that were moved into the hidden tabs based on some not-obvious-to-me metric. The hidden tabs pane does not contain all the tabs I have in the simple tab groups. Its incredibly frustrating to not be able to discern what the pattern is and why some data is there but not other data. I find the whole feature to be a bit half baked and poorly communicated/documented.
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Question owner

Also, firefox most certainly hides the tabs them self. The feature is not dependent on extensions to operate. Its a memory saving feature, and is on by default. You wont see it happen unless you open, and leave open, a bunch of tabs.

Also, firefox most certainly hides the tabs them self. The feature is not dependent on extensions to operate. Its a memory saving feature, and is on by default. You wont see it happen unless you open, and leave open, a bunch of tabs.
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cor-el
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Hiding a tab is more an extension feature.

Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions ("3-bar" menu button or Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem.

  • switch to the DEFAULT theme: "3-bar" menu button or Tools -> Add-ons -> Themes
  • do NOT click the "Refresh Firefox" button on the Safe Mode start window
Hiding a tab is more an extension feature. *https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions/API/tabs/hide *Hide Tabs https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/hide-tab/ Start Firefox in <u>Safe Mode</u> to check if one of the extensions ("3-bar" menu button or Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions) or if <u>hardware acceleration</u> is causing the problem. *switch to the DEFAULT theme: "3-bar" menu button or Tools -> Add-ons -> Themes *do NOT click the "Refresh Firefox" button on the Safe Mode start window *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/troubleshoot-firefox-issues-using-safe-mode *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/troubleshoot-extensions-themes-to-fix-problems

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Question owner

Ill try your suggestion, but I have to disagree with the assertion that the feature is for extensions. It operated the same exact way before I installed any extensions. The feature hides tabs you havent been accessing into a separate hidden spot which you have to click on the hidden tabs to access. Thats built into the browser and completely unreliant on any extension. The feature is not behaving worse now with simple tab groups installed, its just becoming more of a problem.

Ill try your suggestion, but I have to disagree with the assertion that the feature is for extensions. It operated the same exact way before I installed any extensions. The feature hides tabs you havent been accessing into a separate hidden spot which you have to click on the hidden tabs to access. Thats built into the browser and completely unreliant on any extension. The feature is not behaving worse now with simple tab groups installed, its just becoming more of a problem.
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Question owner

Also, I previously turned off hidden tabs in one of the about:config panels as a test, but it caused simply tab groups other issues. "extensions.webextensions.tabhide.enabled"

Also, I previously turned off hidden tabs in one of the about:config panels as a test, but it caused simply tab groups other issues. "extensions.webextensions.tabhide.enabled"

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Question owner

I feel like people are confusing all the similarly named extensions with the actual feature. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/mozilla-makes-it-easier-to-hide-tabs-in-firefox-and-unclutter-your-tab-bar/

I feel like people are confusing all the similarly named extensions with the actual feature. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/mozilla-makes-it-easier-to-hide-tabs-in-firefox-and-unclutter-your-tab-bar/
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cor-el
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The article you linked to above mentions just what I posted above and that include the Hide Tabs extension.

Quote: Answering user requests, Mozilla created a new "tabs.hide()" function for its WebExtension API last November.

Quote: The "Hide Tabs" extension is probably the easiest to use, and this one works by hiding tabs under a dropdown arrow to the right side of the Firefox window.

The article you linked to above mentions just what I posted above and that include the Hide Tabs extension. Quote: ''Answering user requests, Mozilla created a new "tabs.hide()" function for its WebExtension API last November.'' Quote: ''The "Hide Tabs" extension is probably the easiest to use, and this one works by hiding tabs under a dropdown arrow to the right side of the Firefox window.''

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Question owner

My point is that the function exists in the browser and is not merely an extension I installed that is causing issues, as your post could lead one to believe. The feature functioned exactly the same without simple tab groups installed at all. I do appreciate any replies, but it seems the replies so far are from people unfamiliar with the feature. Im not a programmer, but I am familiar with the structure of coding and am familiar with the extension platform introduced in Quantum. When I say that this feature is not extension dependent I am saying that you dont need to install anything for the tabs to get hidden as I have described.

My point is that the function exists in the browser and is not merely an extension I installed that is causing issues, as your post could lead one to believe. The feature functioned exactly the same without simple tab groups installed at all. I do appreciate any replies, but it seems the replies so far are from people unfamiliar with the feature. Im not a programmer, but I am familiar with the structure of coding and am familiar with the extension platform introduced in Quantum. When I say that this feature is not extension dependent I am saying that you dont need to install anything for the tabs to get hidden as I have described.

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jscher2000
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Lex said

Also, firefox most certainly hides the tabs them self. The feature is not dependent on extensions to operate. Its a memory saving feature, and is on by default. You wont see it happen unless you open, and leave open, a bunch of tabs.

If that were true, I think there would be a lot more screaming. I usually have 60-80 tabs open and I've never seen a tab hidden.

There is a feature that can unload tabs to save memory, but the tabs don't disappear from the tabs bar, and when you click them they reload. That feature is disabled by default, at least on mine, but you can check here:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste lowmem and pause while the list is filtered

(3) If the browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory preference is bolded and "modified" or "user set" to true, double-click it to restore the default value of false

''Lex [[#answer-1257901|said]]'' <blockquote> Also, firefox most certainly hides the tabs them self. The feature is not dependent on extensions to operate. Its a memory saving feature, and is on by default. You wont see it happen unless you open, and leave open, a bunch of tabs. </blockquote> If that were true, I think there would be a lot more screaming. I usually have 60-80 tabs open and I've never seen a tab hidden. There is a feature that can unload tabs to save memory, but the tabs don't disappear from the tabs bar, and when you click them they reload. That feature is disabled by default, at least on mine, but you can check here: (1) In a new tab, type or paste '''about:config''' in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk. (2) In the search box above the list, type or paste '''lowmem''' and pause while the list is filtered (3) If the '''browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory''' preference is bolded and "modified" or "user set" to true, double-click it to restore the default value of false
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