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Is there anyway of recovering lost tabs when they weren't part of the previous session?

  • 13 replies
  • 5 have this problem
  • 9786 views
  • Last reply by cor-el

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Basically I close firefox with all my tabs open, and then hadn't realised that a popup was open. I closed the popup without thinking about it and now when I click 'restore previous session' it just restores the one pop up.

Chosen solution

The usual method is as follows:

(1) Exit Firefox normally, and these changes should occur:

  • recovery.js is moved from the sessionstore-backups folder to the main level of the profile folder and renamed to sessionstore.js
  • recovery.bak is deleted from sessionstore-backups

(2) Once Firefox has stopped updating things, rename sessionstore.js to sessionstore.old

(3) Copy in the file you want to restore and rename it to sessionstore.js

(4) Start Firefox and it should read sessionstore.js and move it to the sessionstore-backups folder as previous.js

Does that work for you -- are the old tabs restore-able?

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If it helps session backups folder there is a file that does seem to the previous session in, just with a lot of bumf, but it definitely has the first lost tap on the first line.

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Hopefully you already backed up your session history files to a safe location for potential recovery/salvage operations so they don't get overwritted by the next startup/exit cycle.

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

  • sessionstore.js: created by Firefox when it exits normally, contains the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session (this is the only file not in the sessionstore-backups folder)
  • recovery.js: the windows and tabs in your currently live Firefox session (or, if Firefox crashed instead of closing normally, your last session)
  • recovery.bak: a backup copy of recovery.js
  • previous.js: the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session
  • upgrade.js-build_id: the windows and tabs in the Firefox session that was live at the time of your last update

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

Which file looks promising?

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Whan Firefox is closed, it records what was open when it closed. That pop-up was the only thing up, so that was recorded.

When you get your tabs back, use this to record them. Send Tab URLs {web link} Send a list of browser tab URLs to email, Web mail, or the clipboard

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jscher2000 said

Hopefully you already backed up your session history files to a safe location for potential recovery/salvage operations so they don't get overwritted by the next startup/exit cycle. The kinds of files you may find among your sessionstore files are:
  • sessionstore.js: created by Firefox when it exits normally, contains the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session (this is the only file not in the sessionstore-backups folder)
  • recovery.js: the windows and tabs in your currently live Firefox session (or, if Firefox crashed instead of closing normally, your last session)
  • recovery.bak: a backup copy of recovery.js
  • previous.js: the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session
  • upgrade.js-build_id: the windows and tabs in the Firefox session that was live at the time of your last update
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 Which file looks promising?

The file is in session store backups and it's called upgrade.js

Having opened that one up in word pad and I can see some of the urls, along with a heap of other information.

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Chosen Solution

The usual method is as follows:

(1) Exit Firefox normally, and these changes should occur:

  • recovery.js is moved from the sessionstore-backups folder to the main level of the profile folder and renamed to sessionstore.js
  • recovery.bak is deleted from sessionstore-backups

(2) Once Firefox has stopped updating things, rename sessionstore.js to sessionstore.old

(3) Copy in the file you want to restore and rename it to sessionstore.js

(4) Start Firefox and it should read sessionstore.js and move it to the sessionstore-backups folder as previous.js

Does that work for you -- are the old tabs restore-able?

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By the way, some of the heaps of information are probably cookies so that the sites looks as much as possible like it did at the time that file was created/updated. If you just want the addresses, some scripts have been mentioned in past threads for extracting a list of those. (I'd have to search.)

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I can't seem to find the file that needs to be replaced to get my old tabs back.

There is a sessionstore file, but when I bring the old update file I want to put in it's place, firefox just seems to ignore it and make a new sessionstore file.

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Did you turn on viewing of file extensions? Because the names need to be exact when you are renaming sessionstore.js to sessionstore.old and renaming your update.whatever to sessionstore.js -- all at the main level of the profile folder.

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Right, if you don't have that turned on, typing in file extensions doesn't seem to work.

Right, I changed folder setting, did it this time and it's worked a treat. Thank you.

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Best is to use one of these to close Firefox if you are currently doing that by clicking the close X on the Firefox title bar. That way you close Firefox with all open windows at once.

  • "3-bar" menu button > Exit (Power button)
  • Windows: File > Exit
  • Mac: Firefox > Quit Firefox
  • Linux: File > Quit
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HI SOS running firefox version 44 and AdAware updated the other night had to uninstall the old and put in a new version and NOW....NO TABS.....and I got BING as a home page....it was firefox and the search engine set up was all messed up!

I got the home page and search engine fixed thru options BUT going thru the sessionsstore backups relabeled the newest one to sessionstore.js and put it in "6dOqdwza.default" folder case the main PROFILES folder only has that default folder in it and I DIDN"T GET MY TABS BACK and I even tried putting it in the PROFILES folder and STILL NO TABS

Does this new version of firefox go hiding the sessions store in some other area???

OH SOMEONE!!! PLEASE HELP ME

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OH YA in either the profiles folder and .default one there was NO SESSIONSSTORE.JS FILE!!

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You did close Firefox before placing sessionstore.js in the main Firefox profile folder?

Did you create a backup of all files in the sessionstore-backups folder?

Did Firefox crash or did you have to restart Firefox?


Firefox uses the sessionstore.js file in the profile folder to store session data, but this file is only present when Firefox is closed. The sessionstore.js file is created from recovery.js when you close Firefox and is removed and copied to previous.js when you start Firefox to make is possible to restore the session at any time.

You will normally find these files in the sessionstore-backups folder:

previous.js (cleanBackup: copy of sessionstore.js from previous session that was loaded successfully)
recovery.js (latest version of the sessionstore written during runtime)
recovery.bak (previous version of the sessionstore written during runtime)
upgrade.js-<build_id> (backup created during an upgrade of Firefox)

You can copy a file from the sessionstore-backups folder to the main profile and rename the file to sessionstore.js to replace the current file (make a backup copy of the current sessionstore.js).

See also: