Discussion - Set Aside Tabs and Warn on Close


Hi Insiders, we have received a lot of feedback about how you would like to close your tabs with the option of easily finding and reopening them later as you move between different workflows. Specifically, many of you are asking for the Tab Set Aside feature from the previous version of Microsoft Edge to be brought back. Some of you are also asking for a prompt to help avoid losing all your tabs such that you can’t find them again if you accidentally close the browser.

• Ask users if they want to close all tabs when they close a browser window
• Bring the tab set aside feature from the current version of Microsoft Edge


Each of these requests seem related to the fact that many of you have a lot of tabs open at once across many tasks and workflows. This leads to a situation where it can often be difficult to manage all of your tabs at the same time, and each additional tab makes it difficult to deal with all of the rest (e.g. tabs get smaller, harder to read each titles, many similar tab icons begin to blur together, etc.). But it can also be scary to close tabs and declutter your workspace, for fear of not being able to find things again later if you need to. We have definitely experienced this problem ourselves, observed it in our research and conversations with users, and agree it is an area where we want to invest in tools to help you be more productive across various tasks. We are actively investigating the best way to address this problem and would love your help and input as we proceed to make sure we get the experience just right.


We have looked through your feedback, and there are definitely some very valid reasons for why there was value in the Set Aside feature such as: Helping you pick up on a task later without leaving the tabs open when you aren’t using them, organizing your tabs into groups related to a similar task, and a short term home for more transient tasks that didn’t warrant saving in a permanent location such as Favorites.


We also reviewed feedback on the Set Aside feature itself from people actually using it in the previous version of Microsoft Edge, and there were some very valid critiques on how it worked and how it could be improved. For example, the Set Aside buttons being in a location where they were often accidentally clicked causing some to think their tabs had disappeared, requests to be able to set aside a subset of the currently open tabs rather than “all or nothing”, or requests to rename and personalize tab groups further to more easily find them again later.


The request for a prompt before closing the browser also feels related, because if people could always confidently find and reopen any of their previous tabs, then there would be less fear or concern about losing tabs if they are accidently closed. This would allow people to feel free to declutter and reduce the number of open tabs with no fear about finding them later if needed, and more easily focus on the subset of tabs they are working on now.


As we begin this journey of investigating how best to address these requests, we are asking for your help. Please continue to tell us more about your experience with Set Aside and closing tabs in Microsoft Edge, why these features are important to you in which types of tasks, what did and didn’t work for you about previous implementations, and how you would improve on these scenarios going forward.

334 Replies

@Elliot Kirk "• Ask users if they want to close all tabs when they close a browser window" - This should be entered as an option so that the user has the option to enable or disable it. I personally do not need to be asked before closing the browser (i.e. all open tabs) and I would like to be able to turn it off.

There are lots of things being covered in one single topic, I really hope all the comments are read and considered.

I for one want the same things you mentioned above:
• Ask users if they want to close all tabs when they close a browser window
• Bring the tab set aside feature from the current version of Microsoft Edge

Tabs set aside also looks good in the same place, top left corner of the browser.
it won't be somewhere that people will accidentally click on all the time because there is literally nothing interesting or actionable in there right now. the X mark for closing tabs are on the right sides so in the top left corner there is nothing. so putting Tabs set aside button/icon on there won't cause any problem.

when we put our tabs set aside, we should be able remove single tabs in a group as well.


And you mentioned Tab Grouping (which can currently be activated using Tab Groups Flag)

Tab grouping needs so much improvements
here is more info about it:

Also it would be great if the groups that we make and put websites/tabs in were remembered again.
so for example I create a tab group and put YouTube tab in it, set the color to red and name it YouTube tabs. now i close my browser and click on YouTube favorite item again but then i have to recreate my group, name it, set its color etc. this should not happen and all of the preferences should be remembered and saved,

@Elliot Kirk 

Sorry in advance for the bad grammar, I have limited time today.

Two parts to this reply: Keeping all my tabs in a window, and keeping my tabs open because they are doing something.

Part 1: I always keep all my tabs in one window, but why is this? I could have a window for my scheduling, (list of tasks and calendar) a window for my music and entertainment (Pandora and Youtube) and a window for my each of my current projects. I keep everything in the same window because it's much easier and faster to jump between tabs than it is to jump between windows. There are two reasons for this. First, multiple windows means going to a tab is a two-step process. Click the window you want, then click the tab. However, more importantly, in my opinion, is the issue of identification. Windows of Edge can either look like this:



or like this:


Or maybe even like this:


The issue is that tabs have favicons, making it easy to know the contents of every tab. Windows have the application's favicon, and the text depends on which tab is open in that window. Why is this important for setting aside tabs? Well, a large part of the reason why Set Aside Tabs was "all or nothing" for me was that I kept all my tabs together in an "all or nothing" window.


Part 2: why the "close all tabs" warning is important. I am not concerned about losing all my tabs and not being able to reopen them. If I close all my tabs then reopen microsoft Edge, I can simply right click in the tab bar, choose "reopen closed window", and get all my tabs back. If that's too much of a chore, I can just hit ctrl+shift+t on my keyboard. The real reason why I don't want to close my tabs by accident is that some of my tabs are doing important things. If I have a 3 paragraph Amazon review in a tab, and the tab is closed, restoring the tab does not bring back my draft. When all my tabs close unexpectedly, I lose any in-progress downloads, music, video streams, and text box contents. The URL isn't the important part.


I have to get to class now, have a great rest of your day!

There are several scenarios for Set Aside tabs, let say I am doing research on something and I open up multiple tabs , visit websites and I end up with so many open tabs, I am not doing this research forever, so may be I want to keep tabs for few days and once I done with research let them go, in this case, it won't worth to add them to favorite and then delete favorites or browse through History (as I might open up other non-related tabs that day) and set aside is very useful.

I also regularly looking for developer related questions and open up multiple tabs and I am into same scenario, if I keep add everything in Favorite it is very confusing and I am lost and Set tab aside was a fast way to quickly get everything in one place for short time. Set tab aside actually could integrate into favorites too. So let say I open multiple tabs and set them aside then I have another Window with multiple tabs, I want ability so if I set them aside I could select to set them aside as new folder or include into existing folder. And when I right click, I could rename, delete or add to favorite. It would be interesting if look and feel of Favorites was look like Set Tab aside so we could see preview of website and this look should be customizable and see like list of folders or thumbnail of website and of course ability to Sync across devices.

For close tab prompt, it should be simple , in the setting there should be an option asking prompt if I want to close tabs. It normally happens by accident, let say I have multiple programs (including Microsoft Edge) and I try to close one of them and accidently close Microsoft Edge too. In past, it shows notification and prevent from accidental close down but in new Microsoft Edge, accident happens and everything close. Those who don't like this feature could just turn it off but people like myself would see it very helpful.

@Elliot Kirk Setting aside tabs can be useful for many different reasons. I have used the feature in the past when working on a particular project in Classic Edge.  Being asked whether to close all tabs is also a useful feature.


I think there is room for both Set Aside Tabs and Collections in Edge, but the features need to be publicised to all.

@Elliot Kirk 


My idea: can we just integrate a "add all open tabs" button to Collections? It'll sync, it's already been developed, and we can name them, to boot: none of these apply to "Set Tabs Aside", but will accomplish mostly the same thing.

The Problem: I'm stuck on a task waiting on someone else's reply, with this task's associated 8+ tabs. I want a clean browser to begin the next task.
Bad Workaround 1: I could use favorites to save all the tabs in the old task, but those get cluttered and hard to manage, especially for these quick-switch tasks.
Bad Workaround 2: I could open a new window for the new task, but that's a little trickier to navigate with an auto-hide taskbar.
A Solution: a button/shortcut key to send all current tabs to a Collection
Why I like this solution:
  1. Collections can be named & organized, while Set Aside groups were nameless.
  2. Collections will sync across devices by default; IIRC, the old Set Aside tabs did not sync.
  3. It's already been developed in Chromium Edge, reducing developer overhead and bug surface area.

So....we'd just need a new button to add all opens tabs. Currently, adding all open tabs to a collection is painfully slow: it takes a long [2n+2] amount of clicks, where n = number of tabs.


  1. Click the Collections button
  2. Click "Start New Collection"
  3. Add current tab.
  4. Switch to next tab. Repeat from step 3 for each new tab.

Adding just five tabs means 12 clicks. I'd could happily use a "Set Aside" button that essentially used the Collections backend: i.e., send all open tabs to a New Collection. 

Why not combine Set Aside Tabs with Collections. Save all open tabs to a new collection and have the option to reopen them all from there at a later time. Best of both worlds. By the way I love the Collection feature.

I think Jacques is really onto something. :stareyes:

Fully agree.


TBH, I never use the Collections feature because I can't export anything there to my current note-taking application (Notion). But, I would LOVE using Collections for Setting Aside Tabs! And, oooh, could we maybe have opening all the tabs in a Collection at once?

@Elliot Kirk I loved the set tabs aside feature because I was able to save a session in one second and pick back up later where i left off, while having the option to be able to open only some of those tabs.

@ikjadoon I personally like how they were named with the date because if i just want to save a session, its not just another "new collection".

So instead of defaulting to "New Collection" with the option to enter your own description MS could just default to the current date as a name instead.@cjc2112 

@Jacques Van de Meerssche @cjc2112 


I do see the value of having the date perhaps with a name. Another idea: maybe all collections can automatically have their creation date next to them, in the nice friendly date version that Edge uses, i.e., "Six days ago" or "15 minutes ago"? 


And if you don't set a title, it just has the friendly date.

@Elliot Kirk First, implement Set Aside as it was in Edge, give us a try (again, in the new browser) and then we'll see how to improve it! Iterate! (a classic)

@Elliot Kirk 


I used Set Aside Tabs a lot in classic Edge. I had a stack of many tabs and it worked very well. I have (well, HAD, because classic Edge is now gone) tabs set aside for different tasks.


1. I am a net control operator on the amateur radio Maritime Mobile Service Network. I have many tabs open for that function, and that function, only. See below.


2. I am webmaster for a nonprofit. I have several tabs open for that; designing the website and viewing it when it's updated. I also have tabs open for searching for and downloading content to put into the website. That's another tab set.


These are just two of the examples I can provide. Right now, I am using two different profiles, which works--sort of. My Maritime Net is in a profile that is NOT connected to a Microsoft account. It works, but nothing on that profile links to anything else. But, I can live with that. However, it would be superb to have the Set Aside tabs so I could work on one project, then set the tabs aside, and go into a totally different project--like I did with classic Edge.


Two things about Set Aside Tabs: (1) the location where the control was in classic Edge is fine. It was out of the way and worked well. (2) when closing a browser window that has set-aside tabs open, please give a reminder, "Do you want to close this browser without setting aside your tabs?" Or, have it automatically set them aside again.


I haven't used Collections at all (well, I did look at it, but it didn't seem to work for what I need--maybe I just don't understand it properly). It seems cumbersome and just not suited to my needs.


Thanks for taking our feedback!



@Elliot Kirk One more thing: Allow naming of the set-aside tab groups.

Thanks again!


@Elliot Kirk I really really miss the Set Tabs Aside feature. It was THE BEST feature from the old Edge browser. I do think both Set Tabs Aside and Collections can and should be implemented on Edge because they provide different use cases. Collections is for static pages and documents you want to save, while Set Tabs Aside is dynamic (it MOVES from the open tabs to the Set Tabs Aside area when you click the button, and then it MOVES from the Set Tabs Aside area to the tab bar when you reopen them) making it always updated with what you're currently working.


Something I'd really like to se implemented aside from what has already been mentioned is the ability for Set Tabs Aside to store sessions automatically (in a different area of course, maybe in a submenu) so that even if I forget to click on the Set Tabs Aside button, if my browser crashes or if I just want to go back to a previous session, it'll already have my previous sessions stored and ready to be reopened.


Also please work on reliability. On old Edge some of my tabs would be simply gone from Set Tabs Aside, and this happened constantly. This is definitely something I don't want to happen on the new Edge.

If they want to add all tabs to a collection, they should still put a button for 1 click action to add all tabs into a collection.

@Elliot Kirk Sometimes Warn On Close is as simple as I'm not paying close enough attention and close the browser vice closing another program or individual tab. In my - admitted haste - I've closed my Tab Rich Browser by mistake. A simple warning for those of us who are getting  a tad hasty in our older age would be a nice option; one that would *not* be set on by default but one I could set for myself. What I've appreciated since the early days of the Win10 Insider was having some sense of shaping the OS as it moved from development to flight. Similarly, having even a small voice in shaping the next iteration of browser development is pretty cool. 

I'm using Firefox and it ALWAYS warns me if I want exit with more than a tab opened ! And it's optional !
I exit a lot by mistake and this warning always saves the day!
I use more than 20 tabs and sometimes even more than 200 tabs in the same time daily for my work!!!
Now Imagine if I clicked exit by mistake!! Which happens a lot BTW !!
SPECIALLY when I'm editing in WordPress or editing anything else!!!
So closing all that by a mistake is just A JOKE!! Every browser should have this option! Can't believe many bowers doesn't have it !!
Actually if you don't want to add the 2 options (warn me or don't warn me) for any reason then IT MUST warn us by default then !!!
And it's actually how I count how many opened tabs !! I mean when you add the warning of course you should mention how many tabs are opened in the warning !!

It's just extremely important that I simply won't move to Edge until this is added !!