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Chrome is preparing to let you lock Tab Groups to prevent accidental changes to them

If you’re a regular reader here on Chrome Unboxed, then you will no doubt recall how much I love Google’s Tab Groups feature for Chrome. I’ve been tracking it for quite some time, and get excited whenever I see new features appear for it. Not only can you auto-create tab groups, but you can also collapse and freeze them to preserve system memory and save horizontal space. I’m excited to finally see them be able to be stored in the Reading List for later recall, though that feature hasn’t made a public appearance yet.

Last night, I was browsing the Chromium Repositories, and I happened upon a new feature that the development team is working on for tab groups. Soon, a new Chrome flag will enable tab group locking to prevent accidentally adding tabs to a specific group that you designate.

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While this flag has not appeared on Chrome OS Canary yet, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to toggle chrome://flags/#lock-tab-groups. Once you’ve done so and restarted, right-clicking a tab group dot or name and selecting ‘Lock this group’ will disallow the addition of new tabs to the group via drag and drop! That’s pretty cool, right? Logically, it stands to reason that right-clicking the tab group again will present you with the option to ‘Unlock this group’. I’m assuming that locked groups won’t be able to be added to the Reading List once that’s implemented.

Tab Groups Context Menu where unlocking will soon appear

Additionally, locked groups will not appear in the “add to group” context menu, so that new or duplicate tabs can’t be added to them that way either. The disassociation of tabs from a group is still allowed, however – you can drag and drop items out of or right-click and remove items from a locked group – you just can’t add new ones. Do you feel like this would be useful to you at all? Let me know in the comments!

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I’m not sure if I’ll ever use Tab Group Locking for the purposes of preventing accidental additions to a group, but I may use this feature to prevent myself from closing and destroying tab groups since I’m pretty clumsy with my right-clicking. It will be a while before this feature rolls out to the masses – assuming it doesn’t get nixed in development. However, I can see this crossing the finish line before long, so just be aware that it’s very likely to be official in time.

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