Usage tracking shows that 95% percent of home users typically have 5 or fewer browser tabs/windows open at a time. In an office environment though, this number easily triples.  This tip will help you juggle dozens of browser windows more easily, and let you spend less time finding the one you need.

Part of what keeps IE usage share so high is the usage in the enterprise. The ubiquity of both Windows has meant that many line of business tools are built for Internet Explorer.  So during our typical days, we may have dozens of these browser windows open, ranging from finance and expense reporting, travel sites, HR portals, intranets, SharePoint sites, and vendor specific sites.  We leave them open, but switching between them gets cluttered and difficult.  Which one has my HR site again….?

When every little tab gets its own taskbar entry, finding the one you need is daunting.
When every little tab gets its own taskbar entry, finding the one you need is daunting.

 

You can make switching easier by hiding individual tabs on the taskbar button, which will then show just a single button per window, no matter how many tabs it has.  So although I still have all these open, I can put a vendor tool in one window, all the tabs for HR intranet in the next, and our SharePoint site tabs in another. These 3 tabs are then much easier to find in the taskbar.

Showing one button per window instead of tab lets you group and find them logically.
Showing one button per window instead of tab lets you group and find them logically.

 

To try this out yourself, go to Internet Options, choose Tabs, and uncheck this box.

Tabs from Internet Options
Turn off individual tabs in the taskbar.

Although it says this takes effect after a restart, you can actually just close all browser windows to start taking advantage of this change.

This is of course for Internet Explorer, but most browsers have this option.  Google Chrome and Firefox default to a consolidated view, but have plugins if you prefer to see all tabs on the taskbar.