How to Manage Chrome Tabs on Android Lollipop

Quite a few changes occur when upgrading your operating system from Android KitKat to Android Lollipop 5.1. One thing you might notice is the way Google Chrome manages different website tabs. Previously, you could just tap a little square at the top of your browser window to open a new tab, or browse through the ones you already have open. You can still do this with Chrome on Lollipop, but it isn’t immediately apparent. Instead, Lollipop defaults open Chrome website tabs to show up in your overview screen. You can get to the overview screen by tapping the square on the bottom right of your phone screen. This will show you everything running in the background on your phone. But, if you’d like to switch website tabs back to the way they were, you can do that too. We’ll show you how you can keep your tabs stored with in the Chrome app itself with these quick tips.



Open your Chrome app, and tap the three dots in the top right corner of the screen. This will give you a drop down menu. on the right side.


Select “Settings” from the drop down list. You will see a list of Chrome settings options. Tap “Merge tabs and apps.”

Chrome options are located under the three dots in the top right of the screen.



The “Merge tabs and apps” setting will be defaulted to On. Toggle this Off by tapping the switch, and a dialogue box will appear. Tap “OK.” You can always adjust this setting if you prefer having tabs appear in your app tray.


Open Chrome again, and you’ll notice there is now a square with a number on the top right, next to the URL bar. This is the number of tabs you have open. Tap the box to see all of your tabs within Chrome.

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8 thoughts on “How to Manage Chrome Tabs on Android Lollipop”

  1. Thanks, saw that on my wife’s phone and it would drive me crazy, but I hadn’t looked into it. Good to know it can be disabled as I don’t want tabs mixed with apps.

    1. I agree, and especially for those who keep many tabs running (I use them as a reading list and typically keep 10-20 open at any time). That creates a lot of clutter and makes switching between apps more difficult. Big thanks for the simple tutorial on the fix from RW!

  2. Thanks! Good to know. Google is probably the worst for making changes here and there and providing no info, no help, no guide to using them.

  3. Minor editing note: the last sentence of the intro paragraph reads, “…keep your tabs stored withing the Chrome…” Remove the ‘g’ on “withing.” Feel free to delete this post thereafter.

    1. Minor editing note LOL nice catch…. only problem, in the process, they made another mistake
      you can keep your tabs stored with in the Chrome app
      they made within 2 words. Feel free to delete this post thereafter.

  4. So far I am detesting the “upgrade” so having this kind of information helps…. question (and this may be off topic… sorry if that is the case)… how do I get to the “do not disturb” setting. I have a number of varied times I want to only have the phone buzz if that, and the prior version/app was useful…. any help on making the phone silent automatically when I need it to be would be appreciated…

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