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The Browser Problem

Admit it. As a writer/ researcher/ marketer, you probably fall prey to the Too Many Tabs Open Syndrome on your Web browser. Occasionally, it causes you some computer memory problems.

If you have been using Google’s Chrome Web browser on a Mac computer lately, you might have noticed that if you have too many tabs open all at once (quite possible, if you are a writer or researcher), Macs sometimes crash — something that only started happening to me since the day after I installed Mac OS X Yosemite. (Though it happens on Windows and Linux computers, too, in Chrome.)

However, since Yosemite, Mac OS X has a nice feature in that all apps that were open are recovered, after a reboot. Sometimes. Occasionally, Chrome does not recover, and if you were doing some research with a lot of tabs — what put you in this situation in the first place — then you have to manually go through Chrome’s browsing history and reopen tabs. Except that, if you’re like me, that means tabs that might have originally been opened weeks ago. In which case, you are likely to forget some tab. Of course, if you need a particular Web page, you can just visit the URL in question. Unless you were deep in a site or Web app and just don’t know where you were.

Confused yet? Yeah, that’s sort of what it feels like when trying to recover tabs after a browser crash.

The Browser Extension Solution

The only solution I’ve found to date to resolve this situation is the Session Buddy extension for Chrome. Once installed, it will track all browser windows and tabs, and give you a handy structured list of them all, as seen in the image at top of this post. (Apologies for the poor quality screen snap, which is due to the page colors. Click on the snap to see a larger, more legible image.)

The extension can autosave browser sessions, as well have custom-named, manually triggered snapshots, amongst other features. It’s also an easy way to find a specific tab, if you have a few browser windows open.

Unfortunately, it’s only for Chrome, but it’s immensely useful. This has saved me countless hours in not having to track down all the URLs I had open before a crash. This extension is full of a feature set that Google really needs to add to Chrome, but until it does, I highly recommend Session Buddy for your online researcher’s toolkit. Keep an eye out on this site for other tools to help keep browser sessions manageable for research efforts.

Why You Need the Session Buddy Extension for Chrome Web Browser

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