How to Add Handy Tab Sidebars to Google Chrome

Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers available today. It has a clean and intuitive interface that makes web browsing easy and enjoyable. One handy feature that Chrome lacks compared to some other browsers is a vertical tab sidebar. A vertical tab sidebar displays all your open browser tabs in a list on the side of your browser window. This can make tab management much easier when you have a lot of tabs open.

Luckily, there are Chrome extensions available that can add handy vertical tab sidebars to Chrome. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about getting a useful vertical tab sidebar set up in Chrome through extensions.

Benefits of Vertical Tab Sidebars

Before jumping into the extensions, let’s first go over some of the key benefits of having a vertical tab sidebar in Chrome:

  • Easier tab management: With a vertical list, you can see tab titles clearly even with dozens of tabs open. Icons can also help identify pages.
  • More space: Vertical sidebars free up horizontal space that can otherwise get crowded with tab titles.
  • Grouping: Many vertical tab extensions allow grouping tabs by app, site or task. This keeps related tabs organized.
  • Search: Finding the right tab is easy when you can search the sidebar.
  • Customization: Choose sidebar location, width, themes and other settings to your liking.

So if you regularly have lots of Chrome tabs open for your work or browsing, a vertical tab sidebar can make your life a lot easier!

Top Chrome Vertical Tab Extensions

There are a few really good vertical tab sidebar extensions available. Here are some top options to consider:

1. Sidewise Tree Style Tabs

Sidewise Tree Style Tabs is a very customizable Chrome extension that offers extensive options for managing tabs.

Key Features:

  • Tree view groups tabs visually
  • Dark/light themes
  • Tab previews
  • Recently closed tabs
  • Move sidebar left/right

Sidewise Tree Style Tabs is arguably the most versatile vertical tab extension available for Chrome. The tree view helps relate parent and child tabs. Customize tab width, colors, auto-hide and many other options to your liking.

2. Tabs Outliner

Tabs Outliner provides a clean and simple vertical tab interface for Chrome.

Key Features:

  • Basic sidebar with list of tabs
  • Search tabs
  • Close tabs from list
  • Click tabs to switch
  • New tab button

If you want a no-frills vertical tab list without extra bells and whistles, Tabs Outliner is a great choice. It loads fast and focuses simply on listing your open tabs in a nice vertical format you can easily search and manage.

3. Toby for Chrome

Toby is another nice option for anyone who wants a vertical tab bar.

Key Features:

  • Simple tab list sidebar
  • Close tabs from list
  • New tab button
  • Recently closed tabs
  • Move sidebar left/right

Toby delivers a straightforward vertical tab list in a slim sidebar providing the core features most people need. Switch tabs with a click or close them directly from the Toby sidebar. Like what you see? Upgrade to Toby Pro to remove ads and limits.

How to Add a Vertical Tab Sidebar Extension

Adding a handy vertical tab sidebar to Chrome only takes a minute:

  1. Choose Extension: Decide which vertical tab extension you want to use based on your needs and preferences.
  2. Install in Chrome: Open the Chrome Web Store and search for the extension or open the extension’s page linked above. Click “Add to Chrome”.
  3. Pin Extension: Click the puzzle icon to access your Chrome extensions. Find the new tab extension and click the pin icon to pin it to your toolbar.
  4. Open Sidebar: Click the vertical tab extension’s toolbar icon to open the sidebar.
  5. Customize: Most vertical tab extensions offer customization options. Click the extension’s toolbar icon or right-click it to find options for width, style, sidebar location, etc. Set up your preferences.

And that’s all there is to it! With your new vertical tab extension installed, you’ll give yourself more room to manage lots of open tabs.

Tips for Using Your New Tab Sidebar

As you begin using your new vertical tab sidebar for the first time, keep these tips in mind:

Use search: Quickly find open tabs by searching for page titles or URLs. Search helps eliminate scrolling through your tab list.

Try grouping: If your extension supports tab grouping, take advantage by grouping related tabs or tabs from the same site. Collapse groups you aren’t actively using.

Adjust width: Make your tab sidebar wider or more narrow by dragging its left/right edge. Find a width that fits your screen and preferences.

Enable tab previews: If available in your extension, enable tab previews so you can see page previews by hovering over tab titles.

Reopen closed tabs: Look for options in your extension to reopen accidentally closed tabs that you still need.

Sync between devices: Some extensions support syncing your open tabs across devices. This takes your tab sidebar to the next level!

With some practice, your new vertical tab sidebar will become an indispensable part of your workflow. Have fun exploring all of its great tab management capabilities!


If you regularly juggle lots of open Chrome tabs, one of these handy vertical tab sidebar extensions is sure to make tab management much easier. You’ll free up horizontal space taken by crowded tab titles at the top and benefit from the vertical list view format.

Key features like tab search, previews, grouping, recently closed tabs and left/right sidebar location options let you customize your optimal tab environment.

So give your Chrome browser a productivity boost by installing a vertical tab sidebar extension today! With just a little setup time, you can benefit from much smoother tab workflow now and in the future.