Do you use tabs in Chrome to browse multiple websites at once? Of course you do, but how do you switch from one tab to another on an Android phone or tablet? There are two ways and you should use the fastest.

The big question is, which is the fastest way to switch tabs? There are two simple methods and some people will prefer one way and others will prefer the alternate method. You should try switching tabs both ways and see which one works the best for you.

I will be using the latest version of Chrome and Android 5 (Lollipop) for this and old versions of Chrome and Android may be different. Start Chrome and go to a website like Tap the three dots menu in the top right corner and select New tab. Go to another website like on the new tab. OK, so how do you switch back to the first tab?

Switch Chrome tabs – method 1

Start Chrome on your Android phone or tablet and press the three dots menu in the top right corner of the browser. Select Settings on the menu and look for an item called Merge tabs and apps. If this set to On, then use the following method to switch from one tab to another.

Chrome tabs on Android

Use the app switcher. On some Android devices you tap the app switcher button, which is the square one on the right on my Google Nexus 7 for example. My Samsung Galaxy S4 phone is slightly different and you hold down the home button for a few seconds. In both cases the apps that are open appear as tiles or cards on the screen, including the two Chrome tabs. All tabs appear in the app switcher like they were different apps. You can switch tabs the same way you switch apps – just tap the tile/card you want.

Chrome tabs on Android

To close a Chrome tab you would show the app switcher and then swipe away the tab you don’t want.

Switch Chrome tabs – method 2

In Chrome, go to the three dots menu, select Settings, and if Merge tabs and apps is set to Off, the number of tabs is displayed in the address bar at the top of the browser window, just to the right of the URL. Tap the number and the tabs are shown within Chrome. You can then tap the one you want to go to.

Chrome tabs on Android

You can see Google at the top and the Bing tab below in the screen shot above. You can also see the number 2 at the top, indicating that there are two tabs.

Try both tab switching methods and see which is faster and more convenient for you. I like to see the number of tabs in the toolbar at the right of the address box and it is convenient to tap. You may prefer the other method though.



-1 # Dan Björklund 2016-10-08 15:35
Well, on my tablet with Andoid 6 method 2 (my prefered) is replaced by the much less valuable method of showing the tabs site by side horizontaly á la desktop; having dussins of open tabs renders that method useless. I would love to also be able choose to use methode 2 on a tablet.
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