Tabs selected in a Google Chrome browser window

Closing browser tabs one by one is a pain. Chrome and Firefox let you select tabs on your address bar, and you can quickly close those tabs with a keyboard shortcut or your mouse.

How to Select Multiple Tabs and Close Them

To select individual tabs, hold down the Ctrl key and click the tabs you want to close. To select a range of tabs, click a tab, hold down the Shift key, and then click another tab. All tabs in between the two will be selected. You can then hold down the Ctrl key and click selected tabs to deselect them if you like. You can also hold down the Ctrl key to select multiple individual tabs instead of a range.

Multiple tabs selected in Chrome

To close selected tabs, either click the “x” on one of them or press Ctrl+W to close them all. You can also right-click one of the tabs and click “Close Tabs.” (On a Mac, press Command+W instead of Ctrl+W.)

Multiple tabs selected in Firefox

Chrome shows a lighter background behind each selected tab, while Firefox shows a subtle blue line above each selected tab. The moment you interact with the browser normally—for example, by interacting with a web page of clicking a tab to view it—the tabs will immediately be deselected.

This is the same trick that lets you move multiple tabs into a new window. Just select the tabs and drag them out of your Chrome or Firefox browser window to give the selected tabs their own new window.

This is a small but useful trick that changed our workflow when we found out about it. Chrome has been able to do this for quite a while, but Mozilla added it to Firefox in version 64.0. Firefox did include this option in versions 62 and 63, but only if you went out of your way to enable this setting.

Microsoft Edge and Apple’s Safari don’t have this option yet, but Edge will soon use a fork of the Chromium engine that powers Chrome, so it should get the same ability then.

How to Close Multiple Tabs Without Selecting Them

Chrome, Firefox, and other modern browsers can close multiple tabs without selecting them first. This option is easier to find.

To find it, right-click a tab in your browser’s tab bar. You can then select options like “Close Other Tabs” to close all tabs except the current one in the browser window or “Close Tabs to the Right” to close tabs to the right of the current tab. You can drag and drop tabs to rearrange them before you do this.

Tab context menu in Google Chrome

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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