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How to Run Multiple Apps in Your Browser


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 22 Feb, 2024


When you hear the word “app”, chances are you automatically think of your phone or your device. However, many apps can be used on a desktop or on another device using your desktop. Rather than hindering performance, this often helps you to see and do things better and faster. However - as always when using a browser - dealing with too many tabs will impact your productivity and could even lead to mistakes. If you do want to take full advantage of running apps in your browser, make sure to follow our tips for managing multiple apps.

The Good and Bad of Using Multiple Apps in a Browser

There are pros and cons to using multiple apps in your browser. A lot of your app performance will depend on which browser you’re using, which apps you are using at the same time, and other factors. In general, though, there are some benefits and a few challenges to be aware of. We’ll start with the great things about using multiple apps in your browser.

The Advantages:

  • Convenience - So many of our decisions online come down to what is easiest. Having multiple apps in one browser will allow you to access and manage them from a single platform, reducing the need to switch between different applications or windows.
  • Productivity - Of course you want to be productive and efficient online, especially if you’re using the browser for work activities. When using multiple apps in one browser, you can multitask efficiently by switching between different apps without interrupting your workflow.
  • Organization - Browsers often provide features like tabs, bookmarks, and extensions that help you categorize and customize your workspace, making it easier to navigate between different apps and keep them organized.
  • Integrations - Some browsers offer integration features that allow apps to communicate and share data with each other, facilitating a more seamless workflow and enhancing productivity.
  • Centralized updates - When using multiple apps in one browser, you can benefit from centralized updates. Browser updates often include security enhancements and performance improvements, meant to improve the overall experience for all the apps you use. When automatic updates occur, all of the apps in that browser will benefit without you having to do anything.
  • Platform compatibility - Browsers are available on various operating systems. This means it's easier to access and use your apps across different devices without the need for additional installations or configurations.
  • Personalization options - You’re more likely to enjoy your time online if you can customize your environment. Browsers often provide a range of options to tailor your experience, such as themes, extensions, and settings, allowing you to personalize your browsing activity and tailor it to your specific needs and preferences
  • Collaboration - One of the biggest reasons to use multiple apps is to facilitate working together - either with other people, or using different tools at the same time. Some browser-based apps offer collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work together on the same project or document in real-time, enhancing teamwork and efficiency.
  • Accessibility - By using multiple apps in one browser, you can access your apps from any device with an internet connection, making it convenient for remote work or on-the-go access.

The Challenges:

  • Memory and resource usage - Running multiple apps simultaneously can consume a significant amount of memory and system resources, leading to slower performance or even crashes. Make sure you’re not going overboard with tabs or using too many platforms in one browser. Keep reading to learn how Shift can help with that!
  • Compatibility issues - Though most apps are compatible with multiple browsers, some are not. Compatibility is actually an advantage in many cases, but a few apps may not be fully compatible with certain browsers. This could lead to functionality limitations or errors.
  • User interface conflicts - Different apps may have conflicting user interface elements or controls, making it difficult to navigate or use them efficiently.
  • Security risks - Running multiple apps increases the surface area for potential security vulnerabilities, which could enhance the risk of data breaches or malware attacks. It’s important to be especially careful of your sensitive data when using multiple apps at once.
  • Data loss or corruption - Depending how many apps you’re using, it may be a strain on your system resources. If an app crashes or freezes, there is a possibility of losing unsaved data or experiencing data corruption.
  • Cross-app communication - Though apps working symbiotically is often a benefit, Some apps may not be designed to communicate with each other seamlessly.  This can lead to difficulties in sharing data or integrating workflows.
  • Performance degradation - Again due to possible excessive system resources, overall system performance could degrade over time.
  • Update compatibility - Updates can cause unpredictable effects on your browser performance. Though automatic updates are usually a good thing, as browsers and apps receive updates, compatibility issues could arise. Pay special attention to updates and adjustments to maintain smooth operation.
  • Version control - If different apps require different versions of plugins or software dependencies, managing and updating these versions can be challenging.

While managing multiple apps in a browser can offer convenience and productivity, it's important to be aware of these potential challenges and take measures to mitigate them for a smoother user experience. Using Shift as your browser can really help to mitigate many of these issues. Shift was designed to be used with multiple platforms and customized to your workspace, which greatly reduces the potential of these hurdles slowing you down.

Related Post: Simple Hacks for Managing All of Your Apps


How to Run Multiple Apps in Your Average Browser

There are some key steps to follow to effectively manage multiple apps in your browser. Here is where to start:

  1. Begin by opening your preferred web browser (e.g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari).
  2. Choose the first app and launch it by typing its URL or selecting it from your bookmarks.
  3. Once the first app is open, you can open another app in a separate tab by either clicking on the "+" button next to the currently open tab or using the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+T" (Windows) or "Command+T" (Mac).
  4. In the new tab, type the URL or select the bookmark of the second app you want to open.
  5. Next, you can open additional apps in separate tabs by repeating step 3 and step 4.
  6. To switch between the open apps, click on the respective tab at the top of the browser window.
  7. You can also change the order of the tabs by dragging them left or right, and close them as needed.
  8. If you want to view multiple apps side by side, you can use the split screen feature on some browsers. To activate this feature, click and hold on the tab you want to move, then drag it to the left or right side of the browser window until a blue outline appears. Release the tab, and it will occupy one half of the screen. Repeat this process with other tabs to split the screen further.
  9. To close an app, click on the "x" button on the tab or use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+W" (Windows) or "Command+W" (Mac) while the tab is active.

By following these steps, you can run multiple apps simultaneously within your browser and easily switch between them as needed.

Improve the Process with Shift

As we mentioned, not all browsers are the same. The steps we just listed are generally helpful no matter which browser you use, but you can simplify and streamline all of your browser activities by using Shift first. f you use Shift as your browser, running multiple apps can be made easier with the following steps:

  1. Make sure you have Shift downloaded. You can do so here if you aren’t already a Shift user.
  2. Launch Shift by opening the application on your computer.
  3. Once Shift is open, you'll see a sidebar on the left side of the window.
  4. Click on the "+" button at the top of the sidebar to add the first app.
  5. In the search bar that appears, enter the name or URL of the app you want to add.
  6. Select the app from the search results and click on it to open it in a new tab within Shift.
  7. To add another app, click on the "+" button again and repeat steps 4 and 5.
  8. You can continue adding more apps in the same way, and each app will open in a separate tab within Shift.
  9. To switch between the open apps, simply click on the respective tab within the Shift window.
  10. If you want to rearrange the order of the tabs, you can click and drag them to the desired position.
  11. Shift also provides a workspace feature where you can organize your apps into different workspaces for better productivity. To create a workspace, click on the "Workspaces" tab in the sidebar and then click on the "+" button to add a new workspace. You can then drag and drop the apps into the desired workspace.
  12. To close an app, click on the "x" button on the tab within the Shift window.

By using Shift as your browser, you can streamline the process of running multiple apps by having them all in one place within the Shift window. This allows for easy access, organization, and switching between apps, enhancing your productivity and workflow. One of the best features of Shift is the ability to move back and forth between various platforms and accounts without logging in and out. This is a huge time-saver and particularly important if you’re going to run multiple apps at once. Many errors and data issues can be avoided by keeping proper separation of your apps even when using the same browser, and Shift is the perfect tool for helping with that.

Related Post: Integrating Apps Into Your Browser


There’s More to Shift

No matter what browser you’ve been using, implementing Shift will streamline your entire desktop to improve focus and efficiency.

It’s a powerful desktop app that works seamlessly across multiple email accounts, calendars, apps, and workflows. You can access all of your email and app accounts - no matter how many you have - along with sorting tabs and more, without logging in and out. Say goodbye to logging in and out of accounts or getting lost in multiple browser tabs. Instead, use Shift to bring together all of your work and personal needs on one desktop.

Plus, Shift works great across Mac or Windows independent of a browser and grouped by account. Additionally, you can customize your notifications to make them work for you. That means snoozing them when you want to focus or muting them entirely. With Shift, you can sync all of your notifications with your calendar to avoid annoying pop-ups in meetings or other inconvenient times. Users love that Shift conveniently integrates their most-used applications, from Slack to Trello to WhatsApp and so much more.

If you spend a lot of time in your browser and are looking for ways to be more efficient and get more done in an average day, it’s time to give Shift a try. You’ll find a lot of value in streamlining your browser experience and taking advantage of the innovative features that modern browsers offer. A better browser experience enables a smarter digital life and Shift can help.

Other Tips for Managing Apps in Your Browser

Manage tabs effectively

Tabs are the foundation of any web browser, allowing us to multitask and access multiple websites simultaneously. It’s nearly impossible to optimize the time you spend online if you’re not leveraging tabs efficiently. Everyone has a different tolerance for tabs, but if you find yourself annoyed, that means you have too many open.

Use bookmarks better

Bookmarks enable us to quickly access our favorite websites, saving valuable time. While tabs are the first place that people usually start when organizing their digital experience, many people overlook the versatility of online bookmarks. Optimizing  your bookmarks will significantly increase the things you can do online in a short time.

Leverage browser extensions sparingly

Browser extensions are powerful tools that can enhance functionality and productivity. You’ll want to address your specific needs and see which ones will be most helpful. What are your goals? Do you want help with time management, collaboration, task tracking? Or, do you just want to block ads? Regardless, there are a number of extensions offered for each browser; there’s something for everyone. On the other hand, going nuts with ad blockers can slow down your browsing experience and take up space on your computer.

Optimize search engine use

Effective search is one of the most impactful areas of browser performance. After all, finding information is one of the main functions of your browser. In addition to the basic search functionality, browsers offer advanced search features to help you find relevant information more efficiently.

Use keyboard shortcuts

We already mentioned our previous article that covers an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts, but if you don’t have time to memorize a lot, just keep a few of the most helpful ones in your back pocket. These shortcuts can really reduce the amount of typing and moving between tabs that you need to do. You might be surprised how much time can be saved by mastering keyboard shortcuts like:

  • Ctrl/Command + L: Highlights the URL bar, allowing you to quickly type in a new website address.
  • Ctrl/Command + D: Bookmark the current page.
  • Ctrl/Command + F: Opens the find function, enabling you to search for specific words or phrases on a webpage.
  • Ctrl/Command + Shift + T: Reopens the most recently closed tab(s).
  • Ctrl/Command + Shift + N: Opens a new incognito/private browsing window.

Try reading mode or reading lists

Reader mode is a feature that isn’t used as much as many others, but it can really be helpful. And, for people with certain disabilities, it can be more than helpful and actually transform their browsing experience. In case you’re not familiar with reading mode, it’s a mode that most browsers have, and it strips away non-essential content offering a simpler, text-based version of web pages. When in reader mode, you can usually avoid ads, formatting, and other distracting elements. It can really speed up page load times, reduce network usage, and offer more control over content. Plus, accessibility issues like poor color contrast are reduced.

Optimize memory

One of the biggest reasons that browsers operate slowly is because there are an excessive number of tabs open. In these cases, it’s a good idea to utilize tab suspension or memory optimization extensions. These tools help reduce memory consumption by suspending inactive tabs, allowing you to maintain a smoother browsing experience. A tab suspender is a browser extension that “suspends” tabs in order to save your RAM. That means that it removes the browser’s current active working memory. According to Google, the Tab Suspender extension can save up to 80% of your computer’s memory. These extensions are part of a larger group of techniques called memory optimization. These methods improve overall computer memory to increase performance and application usability. All of these features are important because as performance degrades, everything runs slower - which encourages the opposite of productivity. It’s too easy to deal with slow browser performance because you aren’t even sure why things are slow. But doing so can add minutes to each task you do online, which adds up substantially over time.

Related Post: The Best Browsers for Overall Productivity


Accessing multiple apps in your browser is worth exploring if you have certain ones that you use often, or use simultaneously. Keep these tips in mind to optimize your performance, and begin with Shift for maximum efficiency. For more insights about modern browsers and how to use them for more impact in your day, make sure to follow our blog.