Google, recently, kicked out The Great Suspender Chrome extension from the Chrome Web store. And, it was even disabled remotely on the user’s Chrome browsers. That was one step too far from Google.
But, considering the extension was alleged for grabbing passwords from user’s computers, this is the right approach. So, if you are looking out for filling the void, here are The Great Suspender alternative for Google Chrome.
The Great Suspender Fiasco
Before we move on to the Great Suspender alternative, here’s a quick rundown of the whole fiasco. As you might know, The Great Suspender is a popular open-source Chrome extension. It is well known for limiting Google Chrome’s notorious RAM usage.
Now recently, in early January 2021, the owner of the extension sold it to newer developers. After the purchase, changes were made to the extension code on GitHub which were later pointed as malicious. The new code was allegedly trying to grab passwords and other information from the users. All of this raised concerns and Google had to finally pull the plug and remove The Great Suspender from the Chrome Web Store.
How to Get Back your Tabs?
If the extension was removed while you had tabs suspended, there’s a simple way to recover them. Head over to the tabs, and select the URL. The end of the URL is suffixed by URI following the original URL of the page. You just have to copy-paste the latter part of the URL on Chrome’s Omnibox. Hit Enter to retrieve the suspended page.
For instance, if the following is the suspended tab URL, then the URL following it will be the restoring URL.
Suspended Tab URL:
Alternatively, you can also find the tab URL in your Chrome History. With that aside, let’s move to the list.
The Great Suspender Alternative
1. The Great Suspender No Tracking
If you want the old “The Great Suspender” back, well you are in luck. There’s a couple of forks of The Great Suspender extension on GitHub which has all the malware code stripped off. However, the no tracking forks aren’t available on the Chrome Web Store and you would have to sideload the extension. It’s pretty easy though.
How to sideload Chrome extension?
1. Download the “zip” file from The Great Suspender fork GitHub repo and extract it.
2. Once done, head over to the Chrome extensions page by typing “chrome://extensions” in the Omnibar. Next, turn on the toggle beside the “Developer mode”.
3. When the Developer mode is turned on, you will see an extended menu just below the Omnibar. Click on the “Load Unpacked” button.
On the file upload dialog box, navigate to the “src” folder within the extracted zip folder. Next, select the src folder and click on the “Select Folder” button.
That’s it. The Great Suspender fork is installed. Google Chrome doesn’t flag the extension and you can use it flawlessly.
Download The Great Suspender Fork
In case you are on the lookout for a proper suspender alternative, let’s start with Tabby. It is a minimal Chrome tab suspender extension. It just suspends and closes the older tabs when you continue opening newer ones in Chrome.
Tabby has 3 different modes: Focus, Relax, and Customize. So, basically, these modes denote Chrome tab count. Focus only allows you to have 5 tabs whereas Relax allows you to have 12 tabs before Tabby starts suspending older tabs. On the other hand, Customize is the default selected mode and it allows 8 tabs.
All the closed tabs appear under the Tabby chrome extension popup and you can click on them to restore them back to the original state. Apart from this, there’s not much option to customize within Tabby. You cannot set URL exceptions, shortcuts, or manually suspend a tab. It works automatically in the background which is also cool.
- Auto suspend older tabs when you cross the specified limit
- Option to customize the allowed tab limit
- Maintains the tab state like scroll location, form data, etc
Download Tabby for Google Chrome
3. The Great Discarder
Similar to Tabby, The Great Discarder is also a minimal tab suspender extension. Comparatively, there are 2 main differences between Tabby and The Great Discarder. Instead of closing a tab after a certain number, The Great Discarder closes any tab you haven’t used for an hour.
Moreover, unlike Tabby, The Great Discarder doesn’t provide a list of the closed tabs. You would have to restore them back from the Chrome history page instead. In case you don’t want tabs to be discarded, pin it.
- Automatically closes the tabs if you haven’t used it for an hour
- Option to manually suspend the tabs
- No option to restore the discarded tabs
4. Tiny Suspender
Tiny Suspender is exactly similar to The Great Discarder with just 1 major difference. It provides you the option to use Chrome’s native Tab Discard API. Now, this option brings 1 major change.
Whenever you suspend the tab, the state of the tab is maintained. This means the scroll position, form data, etc. will be maintained when you restore the tab. There are few Chrome extensions that do this. Additionally, if Chrome crashes or the tab is forced closed, all the suspended tabs are restored safely.
- Option to suspend tabs after a specific amount of time
- Uses Chrome’s native API
- Option to whitelist URLs
Download Tiny Suspender for Google Chrome
5. Auto Tab Discard
The closest alternative to The Great Suspender is Auto Tab Discard. Auto Tab Discard discards a tab if you haven’t used it for a specific amount of time. The time is customizable and the default value is 600 seconds or 10 minutes.
The suspended tab isn’t minimized and is denoted by a faded website icon with a grey dot. You can restore the tab by clicking on it. Auto Tab Discard also uses Chrome’s native “Tab Discard” feature. Hence, scroll position and form data are maintained sites are restored.
- Auto Tab Discard after a specified time
- Maintains the state of discarded tabs
- Option to set up 7 different keyboard shortcuts
- Setup URL exceptions from being suspended
Download Auto Tab Discard for Google Chrome
6. Workona Tab Manager
Unlike other extensions, Workona Tab Manager is a more productive take on tab suspenders. The aim of Workona Tab Manager is to restrict you from opening more tabs in a window. So, if your tab count increases, 25 to be precise, Workona suspends the entire Chrome window instead of just a tab. It even minimizes them.
So, Workona stresses more on categorizing your important tabs in one place. I like this approach because it forces you to keep work and entertainment in separate windows. Additionally, Workona also lets you organize bookmarks and create tab groups. It’s more of like a bookmark manager. You can also setup Workona on the new tab page. So, you can open all your important tabs with a click.
- Automatically suspends the entire window when you are not using it
- Maintains tab state like Form data and scroll position
- Categorize tabs into separate workspaces
- Option to create own workspace and organize bookmarks
- Option to add 6 shortcuts
OneTab functions in quite a different way from all the above-mentioned extensions. In One Tab, if you feel a window is taking up much more tabs, you can click on the OneTab extension and it will collapse all the tabs into a list. You can restore the collapsed tabs individually or all of them at once.
If you have used Firefox, Duster is a popular extension that does the same. I liked OneTab’s simple approach. Having said that, there’s one caveat with OneTab. It doesn’t use Chrome’s native tab discard API. So, the state of the discarded tab isn’t maintained.
- One-click collapse and restore all tabs
- Option to export and import collapsed tab
- Cannot maintain the state of forms
Download OneTab for Google Chrome
Closing Words: Great Suspender Alternative
Auto Tab Discard is an ideal The Great Suspender alternative. If you have a minimal use case, Tabby is a better option. Workona Tab Manager is also a good option.