In Android 5.0 (code-named Lollipop) Google introduced a new feature with which, apps can have multiple instances in recent apps “Overview” screen. For example if you have a Google Inbox compose window open, Recent Apps list will show both compose window and Inbox app. This features adds ability to access all open instances of an app individually from Recent App menu without affecting other instances of the app.

Stop Chrome tabs displaying in Android 5.0 recent apps

This feature is mostly noticeable if “Marge tabs and apps” option is turned on in Chrome browser. When you open into Chrome on Android 5.0 or later, it will notify you about it with a splash screen. With this enabled, if you have more than one tab open in Chrome, they will be shown individually in recent app switcher screen (Overview screen) just like other apps. In short, every tab will look like a standalone app there.

For many, this feature might be annoying. Because if you have thousands of tabs open in Chrome, they will show up in Overview screen and your other running apps will be hard to find. This also may bring confusion to some users. However as this is an opt-in feature in Chrome, you can easily turn it off and prevent Chrome tabs from appearing in Recent Apps menu.

Guide to Stop Chrome Tabs from Displaying in Recent Apps in Android

  1. Enter into Chrome and open Options screen by tapping on three vertical dots beside address bar. On some devices, you may need to use hardware Options button. Tap on Settings.
    Access Chrome for Android settings
  2. In settings page, tap Marge tabs and apps.
    Chrome Merge tabs and apps settings
  3. Turn it off by hitting on switch button. Tap OK in confirmation dialog.
    Switch of Chrome open tabs from running apps menu
  4. Now tap on Chrome’s tab switcher to check and you will find all your open tabs appearing in tab switcher menu inside chrome as old style.
    Chrome tabs appearing in Chrome tab switcher
  5. That’s it!

You can always enable this setting again using same procedure. However, to me, this feature is innovating but not much useful always.


Jaber is a Programmer and Tech Enthusiast Geek from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.