The problem is that Google’s “nuke everything” shortcut sits just next to a better browser shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Tab. This redirects you to the previous tab in your browser. If you slip your fingers it, you may be left in a blank desktop instead of just one tab on the left. This is a mistake. Chrome won’t let you disable this feature, however it is possible to assign the shortcut an extension to disable it.
This advice can be yours. It’s kind of. It’s actually connected to Chrome to Windows. However, if you have an Android phone, and you also have an Windows PC — whether at the office or at homeyou’re likely to find you’re using Chrome on your desktop too.
I use it — and I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve accidentally closed all of my active Chrome tabs when I press Ctrl-Shift-Q in error. Ctrl-Shift Q, if you’re not familiar is an official Chrome shortcut that shuts down every tab and window that you open, without warning. It’s akin to Ctrl-Shift Tab which shifts attention back towards the tab that’s open in the current window. This is exactly what I’m looking to accomplish when I press “Q” instead of “Tab” in error.
Man Is that annoying. and I’m certainly not the only person to have been baffled by how simple to use the nuclear option.
Many threads in the Chromium issue tracker publically discuss the difficulties of using an option on the keyboard that closes whatever you’re working on quickly. According to one of them, that was created in the year 2010 which is currently marked “closed,” the Chrome development team came to the conclusion of incorporating any kind of warning or confirmation into the shortcut.
The current focus seems to be on making changes to the shortcut to make it so that you need be able to hold Ctrl-Shift for a specific duration before the closing of the tab is completed which makes the command less likely to get accidentally activated. A thread that is still active on the subject has been going on for over four years but it’s not been addressed.
One Chromium Team member said in February of 2016:
It’s marked as high priority, however, it’s been operational since 2003. … It seems that almost no one is fighting the current situation, however we’ve been stuck because nobody has taken a decision on whether or how we can deal with this.
Right. There you go.
It’s a debate that could last for days about whether there’s a legitimate justification to use an option that shuts down all your Chrome tabs in one go (seriously is anyone actually make use of this feature intentionally?) But for the moment at least, the fact is that it’s there. It’s also all too easy to miss by accident.
The good news, however the bad news is that even though Google isn’t trying to find a solution however, there are a few simple steps you can make to prevent yourself from chopping your brain.
All you’ve gotta do is:
Enter Chrome:extensions into the address bar of your browser. This will bring up your Chrome Extensions webpage.
Scroll down to the at the bottom of the page. click on the link that says “Keyboard shortcuts.”
Select an extension, or any extension, then click the box beside it. (Don’t have any extensions that are available on your list? (Really?!) Install something simple and harmless such as this Saving on Google Drive extension, and then return to step 1 and begin from scratch.)
If the box is active and is ready to input data the box will change color and then say “Type a shortcut.” Make sure that you read that message prior to moving onto the next stage, else, you’ll accidentally trigger the Ctrl-Shift-Q command, which will make all your tabs close during this.
If you’re confident that you’ve got the box active Press Ctrl-Shift and Q on your keyboard. Then select “OK” at the bottom of the screen.
That’s it! What you’ve actually accomplished is to override Chrome’s native Ctrl-Shift Q shortcut by creating a custom Ctrl Shift-Q shortcut you’ve created for yourself. If you accidentally press the dreaded key combination the only thing that will happen is it’s likely that whatever extension you selected will be opened. No tossed-away tabs, no cursing, no furious desk-pounding.
It’s definitely more of a workaround than a proper fix, but it’s the best we’ve got for now — and all it takes is one accidental complete-tab-shutdown to know that it’s much better than the alternative.