Tab behaviour enhancements

Brass Contributor

A couple of tab behaviour enhancement suggestions:

  • Add option to use most recent order when switching tabs with ctrl+tab
  • Add option to always switch to new tabs when they are created

These are missing from Chrome and would be great to have in Edge.

50 Replies



Your questions and scenarios are all irrelevant. EVERY other tabbed UI (except Chrome) already does this, and they all do it consistently. It makes perfect sense. If you wonder how it works, just use IE, Firefox, Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio, Notepad++, or any other tabbed application and you can see for your self. If you hold Ctrl down while repeatedly pressing TAB, you cycle through tabs in MRU order. If you lift up the Ctrl key, and then press it down again with TAB, then you have reset the MRU order and start again. It's totally intuitive and obvious, and makes it really easy to navigate. ALT-TAB works the same way for switching apps. THIS IS KNOWN AND SOLVED FUNCTIONALITY. 


There is ZERO legitimate argument for not providing an option for MRU tab switching order with Ctrl-Tab. Period. Your arguments are pointless, and baseless, and really, the only thing left to be said is WHEN this REQUIRED functionality will be added. The fact that it's missing is, imho, either to be considered a bug, or a usability FAIL.




Like you're entering a bunch of data in a form and you're frequently switching between one tab which contains the source data and another tab which contains the form fields you're filling out.

The question of what to do once you're finished with this workflow (where you're switching back and forth between two tabs) is completely separate. 

I think you guys are absolutely right, was just teasing a bit to have better justification for the team. I enjoyed this feature with Opera. ;) I assume Edge team waits for coming Chromium Tab Groups to show up before they start thinking about tab settings.


I believe what's really needed is a Tab Control section in Settings now missing. Accounting for Tab Groups coming to Chrome, and the need to control not only tab switching, but also tab tree, grouping, closure and opening order, this is a must have section namely in Settings, and not in Flags, since Tabs handling is major and the most prominent browser feature, regularly used by everyone.

I'm not disagreeing with you, maybe that is needed. All I'm saying is that is out of scope in this discussion. This is simply - what happens when you press CTRL+TAB. Should it cycle through tabs the exact same way CTRL+PgDn already does, or should it switch in MRU order the way basically every application and the OS itself does?



Not out of scope, better look at the thread title. As to Ctrl+Tab, it should cycle by default as it is now. Anything beyond that should be user choice in Settings.



Why do you think its preferable for CTRL+Tab to cycle in a manner that


A) you can already do with CTRL+PgDN

B) is different than every other application, including the OS itself


I think that's the issue most of us have. We don't see the logic in this. We don't see the logic in having the browser work differently than the rest of the OS. And when I say rest of the OS, I'm not just referring to Windows; MacOS and every popular Linux shell also use MRU. Hell, even iOS and Android use MRU in their app switching, both their card interfaces reorder themselves in MRU order every time you switch an app and using the quick change gestures honors this after a second




As said I agree with you about MRU, and see your needs as extensions developer. But I'm a huge proponent of basic simplicity as the means to attract more users of various backgrounds, which translates into better funding for the browser team, and as a result allows to implement more user requests in a thoughtful manner. 


If someone needs this option, they should be smart enough to pick it in Settings. I can refer you to the opposite spectrum: some demanded to put pages they like as Start menu or Taskbar shortcuts, thus mixing up browser with OS.  This is the bottom line user you have to account for. :crying_face:

But the question is, why is this the default? The OS already works a certain way. The other apps on the platform work that same way. Even the user's phone works this way. How is it simpler for the user to have their browser work a completely different way for no reason at all?



Just wanted to add, since nobody has directly addressed it yet, there is a reason people don't want stuff like this to be handled by plugins (unless it was an MS developed plugin). For a plugin to control tab switching, that plugin would defacto have access to your entire browsing history.


This is probably not comforting to many users seeing as how grow market share -> sell to web marketing agency is emerging as the dominant business strategy for plugin makers looking to cash in on their plugins.


Here's an example of why people don't want core browser functionality, and more importantly core browser functionality will full access, to be a plugin;

I came here looking to see if anyone had requested this feature yet... And I stumbled into the most asinine argument about it. Like it's been mentioned, people are asking for it because high-productivity environments already have this feature. Stop arguing about the what-ifs, just look at the functionality of systems that already have it , whether it be other browsers or other Microsoft software.

Jeez people, it's not rocket science, it's not even risky. It's just matching what the other browsers already have.


Even more frustrating than the absence of this essential functionality is reading people having such inane arguments against it. Seriously people, not having this in the browser is just dumb.



  • Add option to always switch to new tabs when they are created


As log as this is an option and not default behavior as I prefer to be on the same page even though I open links in new tab. Depending on my work, I keep opening few new tabs here and there and then get back to them later. So I think being on the same page when opening links in new tab would be first preference to me.

@antlane MRU tab switching is what prevents me from switching to Edge at work. It's so important in the way that I work that I can't do without it.


I hope Microsoft devs integrate it, especially that it would give more consistency with Windows.

@antlane I would really like to see tab switching in most recent order as an option. This works just like alt+tab for open programs and makes a ton of sense. It is also necessary for switching quickly between two tabs, a common use scenario. I've always been confused as to why Chrome does not have this feature. Heck, even IE has it!

Annotation 2019-08-27 165856.jpg

@Deleted For the desperate, there is a pretty good extension called "Popup Tab Switcher" in the Chrome Web Store. I use it and change the keyboard shortcut to alt+Q instead of alt+Y.

@JordanQ Thanks for the hints. I was able to get  MRU tabs 100% working with the CTRL-TAB and CTRL-SHIFT-TAB keys by doing the following:


* Enable "Allow extension from other stores" in Edge

* Installing "Ctrl+Tab MRU" from the Chrome app store (it's very similar to what you suggested) at

* Follow the directions in the above extension URL in the section titled "IMPORTANT TO KNOW" on how to change the hotkeys to be CTRL-TAB and CTRL-SHIFT-TAB.


So now I have the tab switching to be 100% working with MRU behavior.



So you got this working? I was never able to get it working on chrome, and have had the same bad luck on Edge.


Basically, I change the shortcut in the preference file - then I re-open the browser but nothing has changed. Then I go back to the preference file and see that it has reverted to CTRL+Y and CTRL+SHIFT+Y. Seems like when the browser opens, it overwrites whatever changes I made to the preference file. 



regarding your question on why Chrome doesn't have it, if you read through some of the bug reports on it, it's basically the stubbornness of one dev (or product manager). They decided that its not intuitive, completely ignore anyone asking how having behavior that's the opposite of every OS and every other app is intuitive, and basically just bury their head in the sand. From there, the issue obviously snowballs because the longer you stick to your guns (against all logic) the worse it is when you finally change.


You can reference the main bug thread here;


It's over a decade old and marked as wontfix. 

@geoken2 I think maybe the problem is casing, I know mine reverted if I did not spell the elements perfectly as expected.


Here is how I spelled the relevant entries in my Preferences file:



Hope it helps. The fact that your file is reverting means you are editing the right one, at least. Figuring out which is the right file to edit is half the puzzle. 

@antlane I just wanted to add one tidbit to help people think about this. Imagine how frustrating it would be if alt+tab switched between your open programs, not in recently used order, but in the order in which they appear on the taskbar. Well, it's the same thing for tabs in the browser.

@Elliot Kirk Good. Show them that everyone except Chrome seems to understand this need, so Microsoft should be able to get 'er done without much trouble. See below :smile:

MRU Settings.png