The Great Suspender, an extension used by more than 2 million people, has been removed from the Chrome Web Store for containing malware. Don’t worry: Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge now have built-in tools to hibernate old tabs and extend battery life, eliminating The Great Suspender and similar extensions.
These built-in tab suspenders are enabled by default, limiting background tabs after a few minutes of inactivity. When you open a paused tab, it refreshes and puts you where you left off, just like it works with The Great Suspender. In Microsoft Edge, you can also right-click on a tab and press “Snooze” to manually suspend it, a feature missing from Chrome and Safari.
You can exclude websites from tabbing in Edge by typing edge: // system / settings in your search bar. Unfortunately, Chrome has no customization options, although you can turn off tab freezing after typing ‘chrome: // flags’ in your address bar and searching for ‘freeze’. Safari doesn’t have debugging options for the tab freeze feature, but you can disable tab freezing from the terminal if you wish.
But what if you’re not satisfied with the standard tab pinning tools in your browser? We still recommend avoiding browser extensions as they can see everything you are doing and can often contain malware. The Great Suspender is just another reminder that even the most popular and useful extensions can be abused, usually after trading hands from one developer to another.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened to The Great Suspender! Dean Oemcke, the long-term developer of the extension, sold The Great Suspender to an unknown party late last year. Since then, the new developer has shoved trackers into The Great Suspender, leading to its removal from the Edge store in November 2020 and, months later, its removal from the Chrome Web Store.
Some websites suggest you install The Marvelous Suspender, a fork of The Great Suspender that was made before it fell out of favor. But you no longer need an extension to pin tabs, because your browser already has built-in tools to restrict background tabs. Plus, extensions can change hands and become rogue at any time, and since The Great Suspender is dead, you can bet bad actors will target similar tab-managed extensions in the future.