Web browsing, even with all the ad blocking and pop-up blocking extensions available, can be a little bit “messy” sometimes. Not all pop-up ads get blocked, and sometimes clicking on a link brings up another page from that same website in its own window. Add to that the fact that you might intentionally open a new window and suddenly you’ll have dozens of tabs, pop-up advertisements and windows all cluttering up your desktop. There’s no perfect solution for this, of course. As soon as one type of pop-up or pop-under advertisement is “solved,” another type takes its place. Still, for Google Chrome users, a nice extension called One Window can at the very least clean up the mess.
One Window has a single, simple purpose. It aims to keep all of your web browser pages in a single window. And it works very well. Just install it – there’s no icon or interface to speak of – and whenever a website opens a page in a new window, One Window immediately “moves” it so that it’s a new tab in your original window.
What’s nice about this is that One Window doesn’t mess with any websites that try to create new windows. I’ve had it happen before that clicking a link produced a new window, and my pop-up blocking software “caught” the new window and suppressed it. Of course, that meant I never saw the window I wanted to see. One Window allows the new page to create its own window, but just as quickly places it back where you want it: in the same window as before.
As you’re using One Window, one behavior to keep in mind is that when you manually create a new window, it too is placed back in the original window, and as far as I can tell, there’s no way to modify this behavior. The only real way to get a second window is to drag a tab into empty space, which then spawns a new window from that tab. Of course, if you don’t even want that, One Window can stop that as well!
One Window currently only has four options, but they’re probably enough. As you can see from the screenshot, One Window’s first preference is the one just alluded to. If you want, it can take windows created by dragging out tabs, and immediately replace them as they were. You can also have it join pop-ups with the original window, as well as taking two tabs with the same URL and page title, and merging them together. This is useful when you forget you already have a window open. One Window will catch this, and will leave you with only one. The fourth option is to use this behavior, but to ask if you really want to merge the two sites. This is also helpful, as sometimes websites with frames will always use the same URL and address, so on occasion you may want a second tab, even though it appears to One Window as if that page is already open.
And that’s pretty much what One Window is all about. It’s a simple tool, but one that would definitely be useful as a default option in Google Chrome. There is no interface, the settings are intelligent and easy to use, and in all my testing, it worked very well. If you find yourself faced with dozens of open windows and want a little order in your web browsing life, One Window is a good first step.