[Updated] Google Chrome Tab Groups or Grid-view keeps re-enabling on Android? You’re not alone, and here’s what you need to do to disable
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on April 24, 2021) follows:
Google has been working on adding tab groups and grid-view in Chrome on Android for over a year now. The feature has been making scattered appearances for some users for quite some time especially on the beta channels.
However, the company rolled out tab groups for all of the Chrome userbase on Android in late January seemingly through a server-side update. Since then, the feature has been riddled with controversy.
Users have been demanding the return of the previous view that displayed tabs as vertical cascading cards. This is mostly because of two reasons.
Firstly, one-handed reachability has become slightly harder as tabs are now placed at the top of the screen rather than being aligned to the center. There are also many that simply do not like how the grid layout looks and feels.
Thankfully, Chrome was kind enough to include an option in Chrome Flags allowing users to disable the new changes. This could be done by entering “chrome://flags” into the Chrome address bar.
The next step was entering the words “tab grid” in the search bar on the Chrome Flags page and disabling the flags associated with it. You can check out more details regarding this procedure from here.
The above method is still effective and will probably continue to work as long as the flag for tab groups/grid-view is present.
However, users are lately bumping into a fresh issue. The tab groups/grid-view keeps returning despite keeping the flag for it disabled.
I can’t turn off tab grouping? Both my mom and I have had trouble turning off the tab grouping on our chrome. We go to the correct web address, we turn EVERYTHING that even uses the words “tab grouping” to “disabled”, and we have both restarted chrome multiple times.
@Google Chrome flags that i have disabled on android keep re-enabling themselves, any way to permanently disable these features? (Namely the horrid group/grid tab nuisance).
What to do if Google Chrome Tab Groups/Grid-view keeps re-enabling on Android
Thankfully, there are a few workarounds available for you to try that may help with this annoying issue:
1. Disable ALL related flags: Make sure that you disable all flags related to tab groups as shown in the image below:
This can be done by entering ‘chrome://flags’ into your Chrome address bar and searching ‘tab’ via the search bar. Make sure that you restart Chrome twice following this.
2. Try a different flag combination: If the above didn’t help, then you can try a different combo of flags. One user shared that keeping ‘Tab Grid Layout’ and ‘Tab Groups’ flags to Disabled and ‘Conditional Tab Strip’ to Enabled did the trick for them.
3. Revert to older Chrome version through Flags: Going by reports, the latest update (version 90) may be to blame for re-enabling tab groups despite it being disabled in the flags.
Therefore, you might want to virtually ‘revert’ to an older version of Chrome by enabling the ‘chrome://flags/#temporary-unexpire-flags-m89’ and ‘chrome://flags/#temporary-unexpire-flags-m88’ flags. Just enter these into the address bar, enable them, and restart Chrome twice.
4. Actually revert to an older Chrome version: This can be done by heading over to the ‘App info’ page for Chrome and uninstalling all updates for it. Keep in mind though that you may lose other important stuff like dark mode then.
That said, it is worth mentioning here that Google seems adamant about keeping the new Chrome tab groups and grid-view on Android. Therefore, it won’t be long before these temporary measures stop working.
After all, Chrome Flags is basically just a collection of experimental features that can be disabled if something goes wrong or enabled for testing purposes.
And as tab groups get more and more stable, the flags associated with them will inevitably get removed. Heck, a Product Expert recently speculated that Chrome may have already done away with the flags in question:
In such a hopeless case, your best bet would be to send feedback to Google as indicated above.
Update 1 (April 26)
Going by what a product expert has shared at the community, it appears the Tab groups/grid-view feature is going to make way to the stable build. And once that happens, disabling the feature may not be an option anymore. More details here.
Update 2 (May 20)
Google may have permanently enabled the Chrom Tab Group and Grid view feature as those on Android 12 beta 1 can not seem to find the disabling flags. Find the detailed coverage here.
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