Unlike other browsers, Google Chrome does not offer thumbnail previews in the Windows taskbar by default. But, you can enable them using some manual methods. This post will take you through some such methods which will help you to add tab thumbnails to Chrome.
What are Thumbnail Previews?
Thumbnail previews are just like book covers. They are what give you an idea about the content. For example, a video thumbnail is a still image that gives you a sneak peek into the content. This is what you see when you scroll in youtube before playing a video.
In browsers and software, this thumbnail preview is what you see when you hold your cursor over the icon of the relevant software in the taskbar. You can see a preview image of the software.
Thumbnail previews for software that are minimized to the taskbar were introduced in Windows Vista by Microsoft. Since then, the taskbar thumbnail preview has always been a part of all the versions of Windows ever released.
In addition to thumbnail previews of software, some browsers introduced a similar feature for open page tabs, These thumbnail previews allow users to get a glimpse of the content of the pages without even selecting the relevant tabs, just by placing the cursor on them.
Unfortunately, Google Chrome does not offer this feature by default. But, you can manually customize your browser settings to add tab thumbnails in Chrome and thereby enable this feature.
How to Add Tab Thumbnails to Chrome Tabs
Google Chrome is a browser that has many hidden features that allow experimenting. But most of these features are turned off by default. These features can be enabled by going to the Experimental tab in Chrome which also contains the flag settings of Chrome.
You can find the Tab Hover Card Images setting among many settings on the Experimental tab. By enabling this setting you can add tab thumbnails in Chrome. When enabled, this setting shows a preview image of the open tabs in Chrome.
You can follow these steps to enable the Tab Hover Card Images flag setting, thereby adding tab thumbnails to your Chrome browser:
- Open Google Chrome.
- Enter chrome://flags/ in the Chrome URL address bar and press Enter.
- Search the Tab Hover Card keyword in the Search Flags search box.
4. From the drop-down menu, click and select the Enabled option.
5. After enabling, you will find that a Relaunch button appears at the bottom.
6. Click the Relaunch button to restart the browser.
Open some webpages in Google Chrome and try the latest feature you’ve added to your browser. Place the cursor over the tabs for a few minutes without clicking and you will be able to view the thumbnail preview of the open tab. This thumbnail will display a small preview image of the content of the tab even before you click the tab.
If you find the tab thumbnail preview feature to be unnecessary, then you can also disable it by going back to the Tab Hover Card Images flag in the Experimental tab. Then disable the Tab Hover Card Images flag and restart the browser.
If you can’t find the Tab Hover Card Images flag, then you might have to update the browser to the latest Chrome 99 version. You can also follow these steps to update Google Chrome:
- Click Chrome’s Customize button. (The three-dot button on the upper right corner).
- Select Help
- Select the About Google Chrome option.
- Then, Chrome will automatically check for the latest available updates and install it.
- Then press Relaunch to restart the browser.
How to Add a Tab Thumbnail Switcher to Google Chrome
In addition to the above method, there are other ways you can follow to add tab thumbnails in chrome. you can choose from several extensions that add thumbnails to Chrome.
In this manner, you can add Tab Thumbnails Switcher which adds the Alt + Tab Switcher of Windows to Google Chrome. The Tab Thumbnails Switcher works similarly to the Task Switcher in Windows 10/11. When you add this extension to Chrome, a tab switcher opens in the browser when you press Ctrl + Tab. This tab switcher displays the thumbnail previews of all the pages that you have opened in your browser.
You can follow the following steps to add the Tab Thumbnails Switcher extension to Chrome.
- Open the Tab Thumbnails Switcher page in Google Chrome. You can get it from here.
- Then, click the Add to Chrome button.
3. Click the Add Extension button.
4. Click the Install Native Component button which is present in the tab that newly opens after the previous step.
5. Click the Native-Component.exe file which then appears at the bottom-left corner of the window.
6. Press OK. Then the following page tab will automatically open in Google Chrome. You do not need to change any default options on that page.
All you have to do is just open some new tabs with different content. Then press the Ctrl + Tab keys in Chrome to open the tab switcher as shown below.
You can hold the Ctrl key and press the Tab key to navigate through the thumbnail previews of the open tabs. Then you can open a selected page by releasing the Ctrl key from the selected tab thumbnail among the open tabs.
Download: Tab Thumbnails Switcher for Google Chrome (Free)
Developing the Chrome browser by Adding Tab Thumbnails
Tab Thumbnail Previews are a good and easy way to identify open webpages in Chrome. This is especially useful if you are working on a bigger project and have many web pages open.
You can either hover the cursor over the tabs after enabling the Hover Card Images flag from the Experimental tab This will allow you to have a glimpse of the web page before you click on the specific tab.
In addition to adding the Hover Card Images tab, you can follow a different method. If you want more well-organized tab thumbnail previews you can add the Tab Thumbnail Switcher extension to your browser. This will enable you to move between the tab thumbnails and quickly switch and select between the open web pages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the benefit of Thumbnails?
Among various advantages of thumbnails, one of the greatest benefits is the smaller file size of thumbnail images than the actual images. This allows faster loading speed of the website when the images and videos are initially displayed in thumbnails.
Will deleting thumbnails delete pictures?
If you find that thumbnail images have flooded the storage of your device, you can delete them by going to the file manager. You need not worry, as deleting thumbnail images will not delete photos from your gallery. But deleting the thumbnail cache repeatedly may cause your gallery to become slow as thumbnail cache is responsible for the smooth opening of media.
Why do I need thumbnails in my Android?
Having a thumbnail folder on your android device can make it work faster when you deal with media like photos and videos. The thumbnail folder creates thumbnail images when you look at photos and videos, which helps you to go through them faster the next time you open them. This increases the speed as well as the efficiency.