How to Close All Tabs on Your Computer or Android Browsers

Just because you close a browser doesn't mean the tabs close

White browser with one tab, an address bar, a search bar, and a black window menu bar on top, set against a sky-blue background.
A minimalist representation of a basic browser UI layout.

 Getty Images/pop_jop

Browser tabs may have revolutionized the web experience, but whether you're a neat freak or like all your tabs within easy reach, eventually you may want to clear them away and start fresh. Luckily, most browsers, whether by default or via extensions, give you a few options to accomplish this.

How to Close Tabs Using Browser Settings

Practically every modern browser gives you the choice to close all your tabs by selecting the X/close in the top-right of the browser to quit, though this may or may not be the default behavior depending on your browser. The catch with this setup is that, if enabled, your browser will wipe out your tabs every time you quit it, so it's not suitable if you only occasionally want to clear out your tabs.

How to Close Tabs in Chrome

A screenshot of the Chrome browser settings page with a highlight on the
  1. Select the three vertical dot icon in the upper right.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. From the Settings page, scroll down to the On startup section and select the Open the New Tab page option.

Now, when you close the browser, you will be presented with a single empty tab when you start it back up.

Close Tabs in Firefox

A screenshot of the Firefox browser with the General tab of Preferences and the
  1. Access your settings by selecting the gear icon on a new tab page,
    1. Note: Alternatively, select the hamburger menu in the top right corner and select Preferences.
  2. Under the General section, uncheck the Restore previous session option.
  3. Close the Firefox browser and your tabs will be cleared.

Tip: Desktop Firefox is unique in that, even if you set it to start fresh each time, you can still restore the tabs that were open just before exiting Firefox last time. To take advantage of this, open the aforementioned hamburger menu and select Restore Previous Session; you’ll be right back where you left off.

Close Tabs in Opera

A screenshot of the Opera browser with an arrow pointing to the Settings icon
  1. From a new tab page, select the settings button in the upper-right corner of the browser to slide out a panel.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Go to browser settings.
  3. On the Settings screen, go to the On startup heading, then select Open the start page.
  4. Your tabs will be dismissed every time Opera closes. 
A screenshot of the Opera browser settings page with a highlight of the

Close Tabs in Microsoft Edge

Unlike other desktop browsers, Microsoft Edge (and Internet Explorer) let you choose to leave your tabs intact or close them all.

A screenshot of the Microsoft Edge browser with a highlight on the

If you want all your tabs gone:

  1. Select the X in the top-right
  2. Select Close all.
  3. If you want to lock in that functionality, tick the Always close all tabs box before Close all.

Alternatively, you can alter tab closing behavior in the settings by selecting the three horizontal dot icon, then scroll down to Open Microsoft Edge with and select New tab page in the drop-down menu. 

Close Tabs in Internet Explorer 11

A screenshot of the Internet Explorer browser with a highlight on the

Just as with Edge, you can close all your tabs by selecting the X and choosing Close all tabs in the popup menu. You also have the option to select the Always close all tabs box.

To configure this setting directly:

  1. Select the gear icon in the upper-right corner.
  2. Select Internet options.
  3. Beneath the Startup heading, select Start with home page

How to Close Tabs on Android

Android browsers also provide ways to close all your tabs at once, which thankfully don’t make you dig through the settings. Even better, these browsers keep your tabs between sessions except when you explicitly close them, letting you choose when to clear them completely.

Chrome and Firefox on Android

A screenshot of the Chrome browser for Android with a highlight on the tab menu icon
  1. In the top-right corner, tap the tab icon, represented by a square with a number in it.
  2. Select the three vertical dot icon on the tab view screen.
  3. In the menu that's presented, select the option to Close all tabs.

Opera on Android

A screenshot of the Opera browser for Android with a highlight on the
  1. Tap the tab icon, which for Opera is in the lower right.
  2. Tap the Close all tabs option that appears, followed by a confirmation box.
  3. Tap Close to confirm and your tabs will clear.

How to Close All Tabs Using Extensions

For browsers that allow plugins, extensions which close all tabs when the extension button is selected are available in many cases, as is the case with Chrome and Firefox. If you only want to clear your tabs once in a while and don’t mind installing an extension, this approach is probably more your style.

Follow the instructions below to configure your browser accordingly. Here are some examples for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Chrome + Close All Tabs

A screenshot of the Chrome browser with an arrow pointing to the
  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for “close all tabs” using the search box.
  2. This will produce a results page. Select the Add to Chrome button for the Close All Tabs extension.
  3. A new button will appear to the right of the browser’s address bar. Simply select this button and every tab except the currently displayed one will be cleared.

Firefox + Close All Tabs

A screenshot of the Firefox browser with a highlight on the extension to install

To install a tab-closing extension:

  1. Visit the Firefox Add-ons page and search for “close all tabs” using the search box.
  2. From the results, select the Close All Tabs Button extension.
  3. Select Add to Firefox.
  4. To finalize the installation, select Add in the popup under the address bar.
  5. You should now see the Close All Tabs Button to the right of the address bar, which you can select to close all open tabs and open a single new tab page.