Jogging bazillions of open tabs has always been an issue in Chrome. Unlike Firefox or Safari, the Google browser does not make the tab strip scrollable – the tabs only get smaller until you can just separate them using the favicon, and the right tabs will even start to disappear at some point (I’ve been there , trust me). Google introduced tab groups to reduce the problem, but the company has also long wanted to introduce a scalable tab strip as an alternative. And in Chrome version 88, you can finally activate the first version of a scrollable tab bar via a flag.
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The flag in question is aptly named “Scrollable TabStrip” and can be accessed by searching for the term below chrome: // flag. If you want to be able to use left and right scroll buttons in addition to the trackpad or scroll wheel, you can also enable the “Scrollable TabStrip Buttons” flag. Once you restart your browser, the tab bar will scroll as soon as you open a certain amount of sites, although the tabs will first shrink in width to make room for more before turning them on. We can confirm this behavior on macOS and Windows, but the flag does not work properly on Chrome OS yet. We have not been able to test it on Linux, so your mileage may vary there.
Chrome Canary Version 90 Scrolling Flags tab tests shrinking behavior preferences. Source: Reddit.
The scrollable loss strip was first discovered in October 2020, when the already existing flag finally started working in Canary Version 88 on Windows and macOS. And Google continues to customize the table strip in the latest Canary 90 release, as reported by a Redditor. The company is experimenting with different tab widths available under a “Tab Scrolling” flag, and testing which size is the perfect compromise between information density and readability.