Let's talk about Set Tabs Aside

Steel Contributor

I believe Set Tabs Aside is a fairly popular feature. Since I began testing Edge Canary (I'll refer to it as just Edge from now on to simplify things), I have tried three different solutions. First, I tried two different session manager extensions to get an idea of how they work. Then I tried using Edge's history/recently closed list. As to that last option, I have only done a few test runs of Continue Where I Left Off to see how it behaves under different circumstances.


The session manager extensions are great but not perfect. For one thing, they do not keep track of the window location and size. What's more, they load the saved tabs into whichever Edge instance is active. If I want two Edge Windows, I open two instances and then load the saved tabs from within each one separately, otherwise, they're all going to end up together in a glorious jumble. Guess what? I have made that mistake.


Using the new Edge, I have noticed that History/Recently closed tabs remembers recent sessions. They are listed by the number of tabs that were in use by each instance. Best of all, it remembers locations and size.


1- Open one instance and go to historySessionHistory.jpg

2- Click on the recently closed session and an Edge instance will open at the right location with all appropriate tabs.

3- If you have more recently closed sessions, just click on them in history's recently closed section and you're all set.


The advantage of this way of doing things is you get all your instances open at the right screen location with all the right tabs. The disadvantages are many. For example, you are left off with one open instance too many. Another problem is that you are at the mercy of a very short list. Some of your sessions will likely disappear from the list if it's not the last thing you do. There is also a bug I haven't figured yet how to replicate: sometimes, sessions are forgotten and do not appear in the list even if they were the last things closed.


And finally, I tried Continue where I left off. Unsurprisingly, it's good only if you want to bring back one session. But can it do more? Out of curiosity, I reset the computer while two sessions were open the desktop. Surprise, surprise, I got both instances back the next time I launched Edge.


That's what I tried and how it worked for me, but what do I want? I'd love something akin to History/Recently Closed but would contain only saved sessions. Just like History, it would remember locations and Window size. This way, we wouldn't necessarily have to recreate various working arrangements.


If you'll allow me to dream a little more, I'd wrap this up with the Edge Sets that were dropped a while back. Those sets (containing Edge, document and app tabs) could be saved as projects. Everybody's got their own way of doing things. Let them have Edge their way, right away.


Come on, folks! Let's talk about how we envision the best way to get what we want in as few steps as necessary.

5 Replies


I do agree that set tabs aside should be brought back. Set tabs aside, tab preview, ink notes, and favorites hub button were on the maybe list as revealed on a slide during BUILD conference, so that means microsoft is considering bringing them back or might not at all if they cannot be convinced it's popular enough to warrant keeping the code in the browser.  Out of all those 4, setting tabs aside should be brought back because it was the most useful and something anyone could use. It cleaned up your browser without having to close all your tabs. That's something that should be brought back to give someone a reason to use edge over chrome. I hope microsoft brings it back because it was awesome to use.

I agree, I would like to see Set Aside Tabs brought back, but I would like it to sync between my devices. I would presume this is the reason some people never used it, but adding sync would make it super useful. I'm surprised it's not more popular, but maybe the feature just wasn't not lighted up to a lot of users so many are probably unaware. 


For reference, i have 12 tabs open now that I need later but don't want to keep them open or save them to reading list or favs. Set Aside would make a lot of sense here. If cloud sync to MSA or Azure AD was possible them it would make being productive across devices so much easier. 


I really hope it comes back, new and improved. 



Meanwhile, one can try Session Buddy ext. from Chrome Store. It auto saves all sessions, and you can open any individual tab from any saved session or all tabs. You can also manually delete unneeded tabs from an auto saved session without opening the session, and save the rest under a new session name or leave as is.


Good news is, now Edge Insider thanks to Chromium should offload old open tabs from RAM without closing, if not viewed for awhile. This is far more important on older PCs with limited RAM. If you still want more, install The Great Suspender ext. And of course, uBlock Origin ext. is your best friend to keep open tabs less hardware hungry by blocking numerous unwanted page ads.



I agree with this, I think tab aside is very productive feature for browser, and is difference usage with history or favorite