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Microsoft Edge’s latest AI feature assists users in organizing open tabs into groups

Image Credit: monticello / shutterstock

Microsoft Edge’s latest AI feature assists users in organizing open tabs into groups for better management. Tab Groups, introduced in Microsoft Edge in 2021, is a helpful feature for enhancing tab organization in the browser.

Most modern web browsers support tab groups, where users previously had to create tab groups manually. For example, Microsoft Edge users needed to right-click on a tab and select the “add tab to new group” option from the context menu to create one. Tab groups could have custom names and colors for better identification.

Dragging and dropping other tabs onto the newly created tab group adds them to it. The system is straightforward and highly effective, allowing users to expand and collapse tab groups in the browser.

Vivaldi users enjoy a wide range of tab-related features, such as two-level tab stacks that significantly enhance management by displaying all tabs of a stack (group) in a second tab row.

Group Similar Tabs in Edge and privacy

Group Similar Tabs is a new AI feature in Edge Stable that Microsoft tested in development versions of the browser.

The main concept is to automate the creation of tab groups for users, removing the need to manually create and organize tabs into groups. To use the feature, users can select the tab actions menu in Microsoft Edge’s toolbar and then select Group Similar Tabs (Preview).

Edge sends information about all open websites to a Microsoft server when the option is selected. The AI processes the request on the server and returns its suggestions after a moment.

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Clicking on the group tabs button creates the tab groups, with options provided to customize individual tab groups. Users can also ungroup a suggested group to skip the creation of a specific group.

The option to group tabs automatically is useful, especially when many tabs are opened in the browser. It is important to note that this feature requires an active Internet connection and communication with Microsoft servers. When the Internet connection is turned off, Group Similar Tabs returns “We were unable to group your tabs,” indicating that the processing occurs on Microsoft servers and not locally.

This is similar to how Google Chrome’s Tab Organizer communicates with Google servers to suggest tab groups and submits all URLs and titles of websites of the browser window to Google.

Microsoft announced the feature last year on the Windows Experience Blog, stating, “Productivity and organization go hand in hand. Yesterday, we announced Tab Auto-grouping in Edge, which uses AI to group your tabs based on specific topics or categories. Simply navigate to the tab icon on the top left, and click on group similar tabs, and Copilot will group your tabs, leaving your browser window, and mind, less cluttered.” No details on data processing or privacy were provided in the announcement, and the feature in Edge also lacks information on how the data is stored, processed, and used.

Image Credit: monticello / shutterstock

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