Software

How to take advantage of the new Set These Tabs Aside feature in Microsoft Edge

Avoid tab overload and search the web more efficiently using Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 Creators Update.

kvkirillovistock-527219364.jpg

Image: iStockphoto.com/kvkirillov


I have to confess that I haven't really used Microsoft Edge since Windows 10 arrived on the scene. In my defense, my company's cloud product runs best in Chrome, so I've used it exclusively at work for the last couple of years. That exclusivity naturally migrated to my home and mobile web surfing habits as well.

However, since the Creators Update became available, I've been spending more and more time with Microsoft Edge and have discovered that there are some great features in this newest iteration. The feature I have found to be the most intriguing is called Set These Tabs Aside. Once you learn how to take advantage of it, you'll become more proficient when it comes to conducting internet searches. Let's take a closer look.

Overview

One of the problems all of us encounter when conducting research on today's web, with its amazing array of great sites, is tab overload. As you begin searching and finding links to sites of interest, you simply open the site in another tab. Before you know it, you have so many open tabs that it's hard to find what you want.

The new Set These Tabs Aside feature in Microsoft Edge provides an interesting solution to tab overload. When you have a group of tabs open in the browser that you want to investigate further, but you're ready to switch gears and go in a different direction with your search, you can use Set These Tabs Aside. Microsoft Edge will move the set of open tabs off to the side, giving you a clean slate. You can then launch your new search expedition without worrying about the clutter of your previous set of tabs getting in the way.

When you're ready return to your previous finds, you can use Set These Tabs Aside to swap out your current set of tabs for the previous set. Not only is this convenient, but it helps you be more organized and efficient when you are researching topics on the Web.

Now, I know that you're thinking the Set These Tabs Aside feature sounds suspiciously like another name for Favorites/Bookmarks. And in some respects it is. But unlike Favorites, which as you know can also lead to clutter, the Set These Tabs Aside feature is more of a temporary tracking system. Once you find a site that contains the information you are looking for, you can add that site to Favorites. So in a roundabout way, Set These Tabs Aside can ultimately pave the way to a more organized and efficient Favorites menu. Let's take a look at an example.

SEE: Windows 10 Creators Update: The smart person's guide

Using Set These Tabs Aside

My family has been thinking about getting a dog. I would like to get a German Shepherd. My wife and daughters would like to get a Standard Poodle. (Chances are, I'm going to lose this battle, but I have to try.)

So we set out to conduct some research on the Web using Microsoft Edge. We began by searching for information on Standard Poodles. After the first go around of searching, Microsoft Edge looked like Figure A. There's a tab containing a Google search and three tabs containing good information that we found on Standard Poodles.

Figure A

Figure A
This is the result of our first round of searching for information on Standard Poodles.

At this point, it was time to see what we could find out about German Shepherds. So I clicked the Set These Tabs Aside button, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Figure B
You'll find the Set These Tabs Aside button in the upper-left corner of the browser window.

As soon as I did so, the set of tabs containing all the sites with information about Standard Poodles disappeared and I was presented with a new window, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Figure C
Clicking Set These Tabs Aside provides you with a clean slate.

I then began searching for information to bolster my case for a German Shepherd, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Figure D
In the new window, I could conduct another search without worrying about the clutter of my previous set of tabs getting in the way.

When it was time to return to the Standard Poodle sites, I again clicked on Set These Tabs Aside. This cleared the Microsoft Edge window of all the German Shepherd tabs. Next, I clicked the Tabs You've Set Aside button. A panel displaying all the tab sets I had saved slid out. I then selected Restore Tabs over the Standard Poodle set, as shown in Figure E. (As you can see, the set of German Shepherd tabs has been saved for me to restore later.)

Figure E

Figure E
To return to a previous search, you use the Restore Tabs button.

Earlier, I mentioned that the Set These Tabs Aside feature is a temporary tracking system. After restoring the set of Standard Poodle tabs, if I click on the Tabs You've Set Aside button, the restore operation will move the tabs back into the browser. They'll no longer appear on the Tabs You've Set Aside panel, as shown in Figure F. As such, if I close those tabs or close Microsoft Edge, that set of tabs will disappear.

On the flip side, any set of tabs that appear on the Tabs You've Set Aside panel when you close Microsoft Edge will be there later when you relaunch the browser.

Figure F

Figure F
When you restore a set of tabs, they no longer appear on the Tabs You've Set Aside panel.

Other things you should know

You'll notice that adjacent to the Restore Tabs button on the Tabs You've Set Aside panel, there is a More button and a Close button. Of course, clicking the Close button will remove the tab set from the panel. When you click the More button, you'll see the menu shown in Figure G.

Figure G

Figure G
Clicking the More button reveals a small menu.

Clicking Add Tabs To Favorites, will place the tab set on the Favorites menu. Microsoft Edge will create a folder with a name that incorporates the current date, such as Tabs from 4/19/2017, and save the links in that folder. You can then rename the folder with a more intuitive name. The tab set will remain on the Tabs You've Set Aside panel.

Clicking Share Tabs will bring up a Share panel containing icons for apps that can receive the saved tab set. In my case, the Share panel showed icons for Mail and OneNote, as shown in Figure H.

Figure H

Figure H
You can share your tab set with certain apps.

More Windows how-to's

What's your take?

Have you used the Set These Tabs Aside feature? Do you find it useful? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox