How to Pin and Unpin Tabs in Chrome and Firefox with a Keyboard Shortcut

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If you tend to open a lot of tabs in your browser, it can become difficult to find the tabs with your most used websites. Pinning tabs in your browser moves those tabs to the left and shrinks the tabs to only show the favicon, and you can do it with a simple right-click.

But what if, instead of keeping a specific set of tabs pinned, you regularly pin and unpin tabs as you work? With a simple browser extension for Chrome or Firefox, you can pin and unpin tabs with a quick keyboard shortcut.

Chrome

To pin and unpin tabs using shortcuts in Chrome, we’re going to use an extension called Tab Pinner. Head to that page and click “Add to Chrome” to install it. Follow the on-screen instructions.

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To access the options for Tab Pinner, click the Chrome menu on the far right of the toolbar and go to More tools > Extensions.

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The Extensions page opens on a new tab. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and click the “Keyboard shortcuts” link on the right.

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RELATED: How to Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts For Extensions in Google Chrome

The Keyboard Shortcuts for Extensions and Apps dialog box allows you to specify shortcuts to use with certain extensions and apps. Under Tab Pinner (Keyboard Shortcuts), the “Pin or unpin the current tab” and “Unpin all pinned tabs in the current window” options have default keyboard shortcuts assigned to them, but you can change them. The “Pin all tabs in the current window” option does not initially have a keyboard shortcut assigned. To assign or change the keyboard shortcuts, simply click in the box for the option and press the keyboard combination you want to use.

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If you want to be able to use any of these shortcuts on tabs in Chrome even when Chrome is not the active window, select “Global” from the drop-down list to the right of the shortcut box. For example, this could let you unpin all of Chrome’s tabs even when Chrome is minimized with the “Unpin all pinned tabs in the current window” option. Once you’ve set up your keyboard shortcuts, click “OK” to accept your changes and close the dialog box.

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Now you can use the shortcuts to pin and unpin tabs in Chrome.

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Firefox

In Firefox, there is an add-on called Pin/Unpin Tab that allows you to use a simple keyboard shortcut to pin and unpin the current tab. Go to the Pin/Unpin Tab add-on page and click “Add to Firefox” button. The extension installs quickly and does not require you to restart Firefox.

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To access the options for Pin/Unpin Tab, click the Firefox menu (the hamburger icon on the right side of the toolbar) and click the “Add-ons” icon.

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Make sure “Extensions” is selected in the menu on the left.

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Click the “Options” button for the Pin/Unpin Tab extension.

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Select a modifier key to use (Alt, Ctrl, or Shift) from the “Modifier Key” set of option buttons and a letter from the “Normal Key” drop-down list. Make sure you don’t select a key combination that’s already in use for another action as this key combination will override the existing action. Alt+P is the default key combination.

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Now, you can press the chosen modifier key and letter you chose to pin the current tab.

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Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.