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Tabs consume system memory and if they have scripts running they can also consume processor time, video and audio may play, they may even have graphic intensive plugins. So it is desirable to be able to unload them when they are not required, especially if there are a large number of them.
BarTab's load on demand feature was adopted by FireFox 8, stopping tabs from loading on startup until clicked, making startup faster. FireFox 13 made it a default enabled feature but loaded tabs can still accumulate for long sessions. BarTab allows tabs to be unloaded manually or on a timer, making long sessions with large numbers of tabs more efficient and manageable.
With tabs no longer a resource burden they can be retained and used much like bookmarks, Tree Style Tabs even gives them the same tree layout and sidebar position. As they are dynamically created and structured by normal surfing habits, no extra effort is required to manage or maintain them. Unlike bookmarks the forward/back history is maintained.
Tabs producing unwanted audio are easier to identify when there are fewer tabs loaded and they are styled differently. Manually unloading a tab is an easy way to stop media content from playing while retaining the tab.
- Automatically unload unused tabs after a specified time has elapsed.
- Manually unload tabs individually or all except current tab.
- Whitelist websites to keep them loaded.
- Don't load new background tabs.
- Switch to nearest loaded tab when closing a tab to avoid loading an unwanted tab.
- Unloaded tabs are given a greyed out style (adjustable, see FAQ).
- More compatible with Tree Style Tabs than UnloadTabs and more features than Suspend Tab.
CAUTION: The last tab session can be lost, install a session manager extension to keep a backup. (eg Session Manager).
All tab unloader extensions (eg BarTab, UnloadTabs & Suspend Tab) can potentially lose the last tab session, especially after clearing browsing history. Clearing browsing history also stops unloaded tabs from loading when clicked, refreshing doesn't work so the only way to load the page is manually through the URL bar. This can be fixed by restarting the browser as long as you have a session manager to reliably restore tabs.
Original BarTab FAQ
BarTab development graph.
- Whitelisted sites cannot be removed from the options menu. Use the tab context menu instead.
- Option to unload all other tabs in the current active tab group doesn't work.
- Missing some translations.
- UnloadTabs 0.24.5 - same features, also has option to load from cache instead of doing full refresh, many incompatibilities with Tree Style Tab including loss of greyed style, incompatible with TabMixPlus.
- Suspend Tab 0.1.2013053101 - less features, unloaded tabs aren't greyed, compatible with Tree Style Tab (same developer), closing tab moves to next tab and not nearest loaded tab.
Source code: https://github.com/inverseparadox/BarTab