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All of my tabs and groups have disappeared with ff update

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  • 20 have this problem
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  • Last reply by meljarvis

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Hi I'd love some help if possible, I'm panicking right now as I've just turned my PC on after a few days being in bed sick, and every one of my firefox tabs and tab groups have disappeared from the browser. These tabs and groups are really important to me, and have never disappeared like this before. My bookmarks toolbar is still there and all of my other bookmarks, just no tabs and I can't find those tabs bookmarked anywhere.

I have the latest version of firefox as of today, and I'm pretty sure it updated recently and that's what has caused this change. Thunderbird also seems to be missing all my account info.

I'd LOVE some advice on whether this can be fixed. Thankyou!

Chosen solution

Thankyou SO much for your detailed and quick help! I actually came back to this post to update and then saw your response, but my update is that I managed to get everything back already! I was messing around with settings, history, bookmarks etc, I had tried restoring tabs etc, but somewhere I got the option restore closed windows, so I gave it a go, and there was my original window with all my tabs and tab groups! I hadn't thought much about windows because I don't generally use any more than one, I only use tabs. So for some reason, perhaps via an update, my old window had gone and all I had showing was a new, empty one.

So I'm happy now although I still don't know why Thunderbird is empty too, will have to investigate that now. I'll note down your response for any future issues! Thanks so much again for your time and help, I really appreciate it :)

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First: Do not exit Firefox. Please back up your session history files to a safe location for potential recovery/salvage operations.

You can open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Show Folder" button.

In the window that launches, scroll down:

(1) Double-click into the sessionstore-backups folder. Save all files here to a safe location, such as your Documents folder. If not too much time has passed, we may be able to use them to recover your lost tabs.

(2) Back at the main level, copy all sessionstore files to the same location.


The kinds of files you may find among your sessionstore files are:

  • recovery.js: the windows and tabs in your currently live Firefox session (or, if Firefox is closed, your last session); sessionstore.js for pre-33 versions of Firefox
  • recovery.bak: a backup copy of recovery.js
  • previous.js: the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session; sessionstore.bak for pre-33 versions of Firefox
  • upgrade.js-build_id: the windows and tabs in the Firefox session that was live at the time of your last update; sessionstore.bak-datetime for pre-33 versions of Firefox

You might also find files Firefox created if it could not update recovery.js (but since Firefox 33 is so new, I don't know what they would be named).

Could you take a look at what you have and the date/time of the various files to see whether you think any of them would have the missing tabs?

Note: By default, Windows hides the .js extension. To ensure that you are looking at the files I mentioned, you may want to turn off that feature. This article has the steps: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/show-hide-file-name-extensions

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Chosen Solution

Thankyou SO much for your detailed and quick help! I actually came back to this post to update and then saw your response, but my update is that I managed to get everything back already! I was messing around with settings, history, bookmarks etc, I had tried restoring tabs etc, but somewhere I got the option restore closed windows, so I gave it a go, and there was my original window with all my tabs and tab groups! I hadn't thought much about windows because I don't generally use any more than one, I only use tabs. So for some reason, perhaps via an update, my old window had gone and all I had showing was a new, empty one.

So I'm happy now although I still don't know why Thunderbird is empty too, will have to investigate that now. I'll note down your response for any future issues! Thanks so much again for your time and help, I really appreciate it :)