Restore previous session - Configure when Firefox shows your most recent tabs and windows

Firefox can restore all windows and tabs that were open when it was last closed or terminated unexpectedly. This article describes the circumstances under which Firefox will restore your previous session and how you can configure it.

Note: Session Restore may keep you logged in to sites that you were logged in to before you closed Firefox. For more information, see Privacy issues.

When session restore occurs

When you select Restore Previous Session from the default home page

If you had tabs and windows open when you last closed Firefox, the default Firefox home page will have a Restore Previous Session button on it. To get your tabs and windows back, just click it.

Restore1 29 - Win Restore1 29 - Mac Restore1 29 - Lin
Note: If you've set your home page to something other than the default Firefox home page, you can restore the default home page.

When you select Restore Previous Session from the History menu

Here's how to get your tabs and windows from a previous session back using the Firefox History menu:

  1. Click on the menu button new fx menu on the right side of your toolbar.
  2. Click on History.
  3. Select Restore Previous Session.
    Restore2 29 - Win Restore2 29 - Mac Restore2 29 - Lin

When you select Restore Previous Session from the Firefox menu

Here's how to get your tabs and windows from a previous session back using the Firefox menu:

  1. Click the menu button Fx57menu on the right side of your toolbar.
  2. Select Restore Previous Session.
    Fx57RestorePreviousSession

After installing an add-on

When a new extension or theme is installed, you may need to restart Firefox to enable the new add-on. To restart, click Restart Now. All windows and tabs are re-opened when Firefox restarts and installs the new add-on.

Session1 29 - Win Session1 29 - Mac Session1 29 - Lin

After a software update

To apply any updates to the Firefox application that have been downloaded, you must restart Firefox. To restart, click Restart Firefox to UpdateRestart to update Firefox.

Update Win2 Fx34 Fx55AboutFirefox-restartWin

After restarting with add-ons disabled

When you restart with add-ons disabled to troubleshoot Firefox problems, your tabs and windows will be reopened.

After a crash

Due to unexpected issues such as problems with a website, software errors, or an accidental loss of power, Firefox may unexpectedly close. In these situations, Firefox can restore the pages that you were visiting when it is restarted. Firefox will automatically restore your previous session, the first time you launch it after a crash.

If Firefox crashes a second time, the Restore Session page will appear when you next launch Firefox.

RestoreSession-fx45 session restore 57
  • To restore your previous session, select the windows or tabs you want to restore and click RestoreRestore Session.
  • If Firefox continues to experience errors when windows and tabs are re-opened, you can launch Firefox without restoring these items. To start a new session, click CloseStart New Session.

When you've set Firefox to show your windows and tabs from last time

You can set Firefox to always show your windows and tabs from your previous session each time you start Firefox. To change your Firefox startup settings, see Configuring session restore, below.

Configuring session restore

By default, when Firefox starts, a single window is opened, displaying your specified home page. If you wish, you can configure Firefox to open all windows and tabs from your previous session:

Fx56General-WhenFirefoxStarts-Show-windows-and-tabs
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the General panel.
  3. In the When Firefox starts drop-down menu, select Show my windows and tabs from last timeShow your windows and tabs from last time.
  4. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

Privacy issues

Session Restore may keep you logged in to sites that you were logged in to before you closed Firefox. If someone else used your computer after you, they could access your account on these sites. If this is a concern then you should not configure Firefox to open all windows and tabs from your previous session.

You may also wish to disable the Session Restore crash recovery feature which is enabled by default. This will prevent restoring a previous session when Firefox is opened after an unexpected close or software crash:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the Search box at the top, type browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash.
  3. In the resulting grid, double-click on browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash to set it to false.

Troubleshooting

Previous session not correctly closed

To get your tabs and windows back from a previous session, you should close Firefox from the menu:

Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29 .

Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu , then click Exit. Click the Firefox menu at the top of the screen, then click Quit Firefox.Click the Firefox menu Fx57Menu , then click Quit.

If you close each window or tab, only the tabs in the final window that you close are available when you restart Firefox.

Settings may be incorrect

For other session restore problems, you may need to make corrections to your Firefox settings:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the PrivacyPrivacy & Security panel.
  3. In the History section, make sure that the Firefox will drop-down menu is set to either Remember history or Use custom settings for history.
    • If Firefox will is set to Use custom settings for history then make sure that Always use Private Browsing mode is not selected.
    • If Firefox will is set to Use custom settings for history and Clear history when Firefox closes is selected, then click the Settings button and make sure that Browsing & Download History is not selected.
  4. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.



Based on information from Session Restore (mozillaZine KB)

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