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Mozilla confirms it will add Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, Profile Management to Firefox

Mozilla has officially announced a roadmap that outlines some important features which will be added to Firefox. Notable additions will include support for Tab Groups, Vertical Tabs, and a better Profile Management system.

Vertical Tabs are coming to Firefox

Mozilla's Tweet poked fun at itself, saying that it heard users who had been asking for a vertical tab bar in the browser. The feature is already available in the Larch channel of Firefox, which Martin tested last month.

Vertical tabs aren't new, Brave browser has the feature, as do Vivaldi, and Microsoft Edge. Firefox users have relied on extensions like Tree Style Tab and Sidebery for a similar experience. Waterfox collaborated with Tree Style Tab to add Vertical Tabs by default. It is easier to scroll a list of tabs listed vertically on a sidebar than to scroll the tab bar horizontally. Vertical tabs can be particularly useful on multi-monitor setups, and ultrawide screens.  You can test the vertical tab bar in Firefox in the latest larch version, which is available on Mozilla's FTP portal. The feature is still in a pretty bare-bones state, but it's a start.

Vertical Tabs are coming to Firefox

I would prefer having a vertical tab bar that doesn't take up space on the edge of the screen, i.e. if the bar is hidden automatically, and reappears when you hover the mouse over the edge, or perhaps with a hotkey. A search bar to filter the list of tabs would be cool, but I'm not sure if Mozilla plans to add one.

Tab Groups in Firefox

Another feature that Mozilla is working on is Tab Groups. Once again, this is already available in all Chromium browsers. The feature lets you stack tabs together, sort of like putting tabs in a folder. It is very useful to organize tabs based on your usage. This is a feature that many users who have switched over from Chrome miss in Firefox. So it is good to see that it will be officially added to the browser. I have a number of pinned tabs in Firefox for work/personal use, grouping them together would not only save some space, but also help keep it tidy.

New Profile Management System in Firefox

Firefox is getting a new Profile Management System that will allow you to keep your school, work, and personal browsing separate. Google Chrome (and Chromium based browsers), and Apple Safari already have a similar Profile Switcher, all you need to do is click on a profile name, and the browser opens a new window dedicated to that profile. The data from each profile is saved separately. The new system will allow users to switch between different profiles quickly.

Firefox does support Containers, which allows you to isolate sites, but I think the proposed Profiles Management System will be even more useful, especially if you use multiple accounts with a service provider (e.g. multiple Google or Microsoft accounts).

Tab Wallpapers, Streamlined Menus

Users who wish to personalize their browser will love this news. Firefox will add support for tab wallpapers that are customizable. It appears that Mozilla will offer a catalog of backgrounds such as photography, colors, and abstract images.  The menus in Firefox are also getting a makeover. Mozilla says it will streamline the menus to reduce clutter. The new design will prioritize top user actions to allow them to be accessed quickly. If I'm understanding it correctly, it sounds like users would be able to add/remove items from the right-click menu, or at least rearrange them.

The announcement on Mozilla Connect also mentions some intuitive privacy settings that will help users enable anti-tracking technologies in a more simplified, easy-to-understand way.

AI in Firefox

As we have previously reported, Mozilla is working on bringing AI features to Firefox which will use local, on-device AI models for privacy. One of these features will allow the AI to generate alt-text for images inserted into PDFs, to make them more to visually impaired users and people with learning disabilities. The browser will process the content on your device, instead of using cloud services.

Mozilla says it will add Vertical Tabs, Tab Groups, and the other features in the coming year. Which feature are you most excited for?

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