Am I the only idiot getting himself muddled up between Alt-Tab and Ctrl-Tab? Where was that thing I was just looking at? Was it a native windows app, or a web app hiding inside one of my browser windows?

I just spent two hours looking for a windows-compatible task switcher/launcher that lists my Firefox, Chrome & Opera tabs alongside my currently running Windows applications, with a simple find-as-you-type keyboard lookup/search facility to switch to the relevant tab or window. Obviously, if you just promoted all the browser tabs to become windows in their own rights, you'd need some kind of search smarts to filter through the list, because it would be considerably larger than what you see in your regular Alt+Tab or Win+Tab (win-tab).

I've looked at most of the alternatives such as Launchy, FARR, Switcheroo, Wox, Keypirinha, Contexts, Hain and Listary, but none of these are able to dig inside my browsers and pull out the list of tabs (apart from FARR, which only does so for Firefox).

Before I give up and offer a bounty for someone to code a plugin for one of these typing window/tab switchers, I'd very much like to know if any you fine folk have already found a solution.


I have a setup that does this that I use every day.

I see the problem as MRU or spatial are not going to work once the windows+tabs get above around 10. At that point you need symbolic.

The real key is: get your tabs out of the browser. Once you do that any window based task switcher becomes a window+tab switcher. For chrome I use the "New Tab, New Window" plugin You could do it with any sort of setup. It explodes the number of windows, and you soon need a better way to find them.

All in all my setup is strange, I'll admit that, but it works great for me:

  • plugin to chrome that forces every tab to be in its own window
  • plugin to chrome that puts $URL $TITLE in title of chrome window
  • Emacs helm based task switcher with filter-while-type etc
  • hot key that brings emacs forward and starts helm-taskswitcher


  • The OP hasn't been seen since the day that he posted this question, so don't expect this to be accepted as the answer. However, it seems to me that it should be accepted as the answer (+1). I certainly don't know of any app to do this, and your solution seems elegant. My only slight worry would be whether opening each new tab in a separate window causes the browser to consume more memory - but I don't know the answer to that. If it works - it works :-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 8 '18 at 8:10
  • 1
    Ya, I'm not sure about the memory. I have a lot of memory on my laptop so it works out fine. I have 23 chrome windows open right now (super easy to count how many due to helm-taskswitch). And thanks. – Brian C. Jan 8 '18 at 21:49
  • Do you have a URL for the plugin to chrome that puts $URL $TITLE in title of chrome window ? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 9 '18 at 7:32
  • The chrome plug in for the the title one is called "Url in title" and is here: chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/url-in-title/… – Brian C. Jan 9 '18 at 16:47
  • The I also use a plugin for chrome called "New tab, new window" from here: chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/new-tab-new-window/… – Brian C. Jan 9 '18 at 16:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.