Enable vertical tabs in Google Chrome

Note: Google unfortunately chose to remove the Side Tabs feature in Chrome 16. The instructions below will not work.


I am a big fan of using vertical tabs in my browsing. Vertical tabs have several advantages:

  • Their titles are always readable, even with 40 tabs open.
  • They free up precious vertical space for content. This is especially important on widescreen monitors.
  • They are easy to click on, being consistently big and predictably positioned.

I got addicted to them back when I used Opera. They followed me to Firefox with its excellent Tree Style Tab extension (and the Vertical Tabs extension in Firefox 4). Now that Chrome tempts me to switch with its amazing performance, it’s great that I can configure it to have vertical tabs too.

There are two steps to enabling them.

First, enter about:flags in your address bar. Enable “Side Tabs” and restart Chrome.

Second, right-click on a tab and choose “Use side tabs”.

Welcome to the wonderful world of vertical tabs!

Published by

Leons Petrazickis

I'm a full-stack developer at IBM Digital Business Group. I do Ruby, Node, Python, Hadoop, Spark, as well as web scale devops with Docker and Terraform. My opinions are my own.

3 thoughts on “Enable vertical tabs in Google Chrome”

  1. Annoying as hell tbh. Still stuck using firefox which typically uses a gig of ram.

Comments are closed.