Google is apparently working on a feature that would let you instantly reopen a closed tab on Chrome. In its current state, tabs you close are cleared from the memory and the browser reloads the entire webpage when you reopen them.
The feature in question is called Closed Tab Cache. As first reported by Chrome Story, Closed Tab Cache will temporarily cache the contents in a tab. This way, users can instantly reopen the tabs they might have accidentally closed.
“We are currently (June 2020) actively working on delivering the Back-Forward Cache for Chrome. This cache will make back and forward navigation instant…We expect to get a big UX win by being able to restore such tabs instantly with their entire state,” reads the public documentation of the feature.
Closed Tab Cache is similar to the Back-forward cache (bfcache) flag that is currently available in Chrome Canary. The development team plans to have a functional prototype for closed tab cache by the time bfcache gets rolled out to the stable channel.
Going by the documentation, the team plans to keep the tabs in memory for at least 15 seconds. The time-limit may be altered later on based on usage patterns.
Closed Tab Cache is in the works for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. The team, however, acknowledges that Android already has a similar implementation, although it is not as advanced as Closed Tab Cache.
To begin with, Closed Tab Cache will exist behind a Chrome flag. The flag is said to go live in 52 days, which roughly translates to almost two months. Whenever it becomes available, it will first be enabled in the Canary channel of Chrome.