Chrome engineers are planning to remove two options from Chrome that allow users to quickly close a large number of tabs with just a few clicks.
The options, named "Close other tabs" and "Close tabs to the right" reside in the menu that appears when a user right-clicks on a Chrome tab.
The menu options have existed in Chrome since its birth and were inspired by options introduced in the Firefox browser a few years back.
According to an issue on the Chromium project spotted yesterday by a Reddit user, Google engineers planned to remove to menu options for many years even before opening the Chromium issue, dated itself to July 31, 2015.
"Ben agreed years ago that we could remove these [menu options]. They are useful in occasional circumstances, but not enough to justify the menu space," wrote a Chromium developer in 2015.
After several years of inactivity and no decision, things started to move again in September 2016, when usage statistics confirmed that Chrome users rarely used the two options they initially wanted to remove.
- Duplicate: 23.21%
- Reload: 22.74%
- Pin / Unpin tab: 13.12%
- Close tab: 9.68%
- Reopen closed tab: 8.92%
- New tab: 6.63%
- Close tabs to the right: 6.06%
- Mute tab: 5.38%
- Close other tabs: 2.20%
- Unmute tab: 1.41%
- Bookmark all tabs: 0.64%
"Remember, this isn't just 6% of the actions taken in the menu. This is 6% of actions taken in a menu that is triggered very rarely (I forget the stats, we went over them in the mute/unmute discussion, but it's like 2% of users). So your 0.1% figure is actually pretty close," said another Chrome developer.
Seeing no new discussions past this point, Chromium staff assigned the issue in February, meaning engineers are getting ready to remove the two menu options it in future Chromium builds.
No timetable has been set for the removal of the two menu options, but the Chromium issue came back to life yesterday, following the bug's popularity on Reddit.
Most new commenters were against removing the two menu options, but by this point, it might be too late.
To disgruntled users, Google engineers recommended a complex set of shortcuts to reproduce the same behavior and help them close a large number of Chrome tabs in a few clicks.
Users can select the first tab they want to close by clicking on it. Then they select the last tab in a sequence by holding SHIFT and clicking the tab.
This action "selects" the tabs. To close all tabs in one go, users must press CONTROL+W.