In both Chrome and Firefox I have the option the close the tabs to the right, but not to the left. Why is this? This seems like a somewhat ridiculous limitation to me.

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  • 1
    I use a text editor that has the same option. Has always baffled me. Feb 1 '15 at 2:03
  • Sometimes you want to close the tabs in the middle, why isn't there an option for that? Since you can close tabs easy enough with the middle mouse button I'd say there are enough options. More would just clutter it.
    – Jonathan
    Feb 1 '15 at 11:01
  • Interesting ... So effectively "Close all but the first thing I opened." Curious though - if you're using an Arabic/Hebrew/Farsi OS, do tabs open right-to-left? Is this option localized, or does it have the opposite effect - closing all your earlier tabs & keeping only the most recent? I agree they should've stopped at "Close other tabs."
    – mc01
    Feb 1 '15 at 22:20
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    Vivaldi has a native menu item for close all to left or right.
    – Brad
    Jun 18 '19 at 14:11
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    Brad makes a good point. If the pen doesn't work any more, pick up another one. Vivaldi is a good alternative.
    – Jack Farr
    Jun 18 '19 at 23:21

It has been discussed in the google forums but it seems that there isn't any clue about it.

The only theory I can imagine of is related to the situation when someone starts googling about an specific topic and opens a lot of tabs (which will be opened on the right), then when navigating, the result might be found in the first previously open tabs, so you wouldn't need anymore all the rest and the close tabs on the right would work for that.

It's common that the first tabs you have usually open are the ones you always use and don't want to close (e.g. email's inbox), it's something I've seen everywhere with everyone. Taking that into account the close to left could be proportionally less usable.
EDIT: user @Josiah has found that this was mentioned in the 'close tabs on the right' feature creation thread for Firefox.

Also think that if you introduce the "close all tabs on the left" button, it would be placed just after or before the "close all tabs on the right one" and it would be usual just to miss the click and close just ALL the wrong windows.

It's just my theory, but maybe taking these things into account they decided to put just one of them, being the "on the right" option more usable. btw, I don't think that this is a feature frequently used by the majority of the users and there are plenty alternatives to achieve the same thing (with a little more effort though).

Btw it seems that some people fill the gap with extensions both on Chrome and Firefox.

Also you can select multiple tabs: Click in a tab -> shift+click (or ctrl+click) in other tab (which "adds" selection) and then dragging them out.

That way you can drag the ones you want to be open to a new window and close the old window or you can move them to the left and use the close all on the right.

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    Sometimes I find myself researching something, opening a bunch of tabs on the right; and at some point my old tabs become irrelevant as I become more focused on the topic at hand. I'd like to choose my search tab and erase anything opened before that, which is why I'd love a "close tabs to the left" option. Extensions on Chrome usually add a whole button or action for that and it's an overkill.
    – casraf
    Feb 1 '15 at 14:35
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    Just want to note that although you said this was a theory, it was indeed one of the main reasons it was implemented in Firefox. (bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=866880)
    – Josiah
    Feb 1 '15 at 21:10
  • Great, I'm editing and adding the link. Feb 1 '15 at 21:16
  • @ChenAsraf I know it could be useful sometimes, but I don't what the drawbacks would be for all the people that wouldn't use that feature. I've add some non-addons workarounds for your particular case at the end of my answer, I hope them to be helpful to you. Feb 1 '15 at 21:31
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    Interesting theory. However, there is one problem. Close tabs to the right is immediately next to Close other tabs. This reminds me of the many times when I saw the button for opening the doors, which would be pressed hundreds of times every day, right next to the fire alarm button... Feb 21 '18 at 14:37

I agree with @rewobs about the first tabs often being more important. It's not just a common observation, but actually a very reasonable occurrence, because new tabs open on the right. So if I open my "main" item (my inbox, my facebook feed, an article), and then it leads me to open a bunch of secondary items (through links in the original), the secondary items would be lined up to the right of the main one.

Also, browsers are actually tailored to make the closing of "later" tabs much easier than the closing of "earlier" tabs. If you position your mouse on the X button of a tab and you wish to close all the tabs to the right, you just keep your mouse in the exact same location and click away until you're done - you don't need to move the mouse at all, the tabs slide into place with their X buttons being in the exact same spot (which is a kind of magic, because their sizes change!). But if you wish to close earlier tabs, you always need to move your mouse to the left.


I agree with both previous answer but they've missed one pretty important point > Locked Tabs are always staying most to left. If you'd have a possibility to close tabs to the left you'd just simply always close your Pinned/Locked Tabs – which you for sure don't want to.

IMHO that's the main reason – personally I'm using locked tabs for most important things i.e. email, corporate website, to-do list application and project I'm currently working on so they're my main point of focus and I'm always closing all other tabs which are position on right side of them.


one interesting thing I've noticed is the speed in which close tabs to the right AKA CTTTR for brevity henceforth. I havent sat around and recorded the time taken to: A)Close the browser completely B)Close multiple tabs by clicking on the close button individually C)Close Tabs to the right

anecdotally it seems to work much faster and I use that tactic daily to close out my browser windows quickly using that function and then closing the last tab or exiting the browser via the program menu (in chrome /chromium: clicking the 3 parallel lines and hitting exit

anyone else agree? I'd like to take a look under the hood and see why this is but am unsure how I would go about that. (yes I know how to use google)

  • 1. After you define "CTTTR for brevity", you don't use it. 2. No difference for me in speed to CTTTR then close last tab vs closing browser except for the time it takes to close on the warning dialog. You could just disable the warning dialog.
    – 習約塔
    Jun 14 '19 at 4:06
  • You are right Xiota. Seems like I could have just left that whole part about CTTTR. I guess I'm just trying to get CTTTR into the vernacular. This is how acronyms are minted. thanks for trying to out and possibly proving my theory wrong. One note though, I find it works the most obviously faster in comparison when I have 20-30 plus tabs open. I also find individual tabs will get hung up upon attempting to close although CTTTR rarely if ever hangs a tab by closing FWIW.
    – RJ Tholl
    Jun 15 '19 at 5:29
  • I don't keep track, but don't think I often go above 20 tabs. Think I probably average around 15. By then, they're running off the edge of the screen, so I go ahead and "process" them. Didn't ever use CTTTR before reading this thread.
    – 習約塔
    Jun 15 '19 at 5:51

I recall an add-on I had for Firefox (FF) a few months ago (which was version 48 but worked more or less OK for my needs) that gave essentially full control over tab closing. It was right there, in the context menu, close tabs to the right, to the left, all but the current tab ... etc.

However, now I'm at the stage where FF48 will not support the structures of some websites I visit, so I can't go back to it anyway.

Having suddenly 'jumped' a few releases to a 65 version the now forced cessation of some very useful options in FF is blindingly obvious. We all know about the previously useful add-ons no longer working, and no replacements because they don't fit the ethos, the difficulty stopping FF from trying to upgrade itself, and the difficulty assigning a web page to new tabs if it's stored on the computer. This removal of the "Close Tabs to the Left" option is just one of the ones that have fallen by the wayside.

I understand what some have said about 'buttons next to each other' and the danger of hitting the wrong one, but... this is about context menus where "Close Tabs to the Right" is next to "Close Other Tabs". Don't you have a problem with those two being adjacent? I don't. Perhaps it's called "exercising control" or "taking a modicum of care"?

Additionally, there is a discussion about the sequence in which new tabs are opened, and the apparent notion that tabs to the left are usually ones you want to keep.

Regarding that, I have to point out the fact that any given tab in an instance of several tabs can be moved sideways to another position, e.g. I can move my leftmost tab to the middle or the right hand end, etc. So that "explanation" won't work either.

The problem isn't that we aren't allowed to even risk the possibility that we might sometimes be liable to perhaps make mistakes.

It seems to me that, as such as Microsoft and Adobe believe that "we know what the customer wants better than the customer knows", Firefox is joining the club.

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