I often work with anywhere from 10 to 30 tabs open in my browser. I also use multiple browsers, so I can often have multiple tabs open in multiple browsers. I also use tab management features that allow me to create tab groups and sometimes I’ll forget about a tab group which means any tabs open in that group might languish, unused.
If I don’t need those tabs, why would I leave them open, only to possibly use precious system resources that could be taken up by tabs I’m actually working with? The answer to that question is, of course, that I shouldn’t leave those tabs open. But memory is a tricky thing and sometimes we simply forget a tab is even open.
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Thankfully, Apple has added a feature to its Safari browser (v17 in Sonoma) that makes it possible for you to have the browser automatically close tabs manually, after one day, after one week, or after a month.
At first blush, you might think this is an all-or-none proposition. When you read the description of the setting (of which there is much), you might be so inclined to think that, if you configure Safari to automatically close tabs (regardless of the timeframe), it will close all tabs. Fortunately, the description is a bit misleading.
What Safari will do (when you configure it to close tabs automatically) is close tabs based on the last time you used those tabs.
Say, for example, you have two tabs open: ZDNET and Amazon. You visit the ZDNET tab daily but it’s been a week since you last looked at the Amazon tab. If you’ve configured Safari to automatically close tabs after one week, it will close the Amazon tab and leave the ZDNET tab open. Why? Because you’ve used the ZDNET tab within the time frame but not the Amazon tab.
Essentially, this feature closes unused tabs based on the given time frame.
In other words, this is a great way to automatically close all of the tabs you haven’t used, based on a specified elapsed time.
So, how do you make this configuration? It’s quite simple. Let me show you.
How to configure Safari tabs to automatically close
What you’ll need: The only thing you’ll need for this is MacOS Sonoma (which includes Safari v17). That’s it. Let’s get this configuration taken care of.
With this feature set, Safari will automatically close tabs based on the last time you used them. This is a great way to prevent Safari from keeping unused tabs open, save system resources, and preventing unwanted eyes from viewing something they probably shouldn’t.