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I lost my tabs and can't undersdtand the mozilla support help; I am elderly and not computer savvy. Please help. Did not crash.

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I've lost all my tabs. I don't understand the Mozilla Support suggestions. I've tried several things and probably made things even worse. I'm elderly, not computer savvy at all and really need simplified help.

I've lost all my tabs. I don't understand the Mozilla Support suggestions. I've tried several things and probably made things even worse. I'm elderly, not computer savvy at all and really need simplified help.

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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

Helpful Reply

I think the first step is to clarify exactly what you lost.

(1) Many users keep a set of pages open, each in a separate tab, for weeks and weeks. When Firefox fails to re-open these same pages, they post that they lost their tabs. These tabs usually appear ABOVE the address bar. Is that what happened to you?

(2) Other users may not be able to see the Bookmarks Toolbar. They sometimes refer to those buttons as tabs. These buttons usually appear BELOW the address bar. Is this missing for you?

If you need to turn the Bookmarks Toolbar back on, here are a couple ways to do it:

  • on the menu bar, use View > Toolbars and click Bookmarks Toolbar
  • right-click (or Ctrl+click) a blank spot on the tab bar (or the "+" button), then click Bookmarks Toolbar

Does any of that address the problem?

I think the first step is to clarify exactly what you lost. (1) Many users keep a set of pages open, each in a separate tab, for weeks and weeks. When Firefox fails to re-open these same pages, they post that they lost their tabs. These tabs usually appear ABOVE the address bar. Is that what happened to you? (2) Other users may not be able to see the Bookmarks Toolbar. They sometimes refer to those buttons as tabs. These buttons usually appear BELOW the address bar. Is this missing for you? If you need to turn the Bookmarks Toolbar back on, here are a couple ways to do it: * on the menu bar, use View > Toolbars and click Bookmarks Toolbar * right-click (or Ctrl+click) a blank spot on the tab bar (or the "+" button), then click Bookmarks Toolbar Does any of that address the problem?

Helpful Reply

The answer is (1), the tabs ABOVE the address bar.

The answer is (1), the tabs ABOVE the address bar.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

Please check the History menu for "Restore Previous Session". If that is not "grayed out" you may be able to restore earlier session tabs by clicking that.

If you need to restore tabs from an earlier session, unfortunately, this can be a rather involved process.

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/Return

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

In the window that launches, scroll down and double-click into the sessionstore-backups folder. Save all files here to a safe location, such as your Desktop folder.


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 crashed and you haven't opened it yet, 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

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?

Please check the History menu for "Restore Previous Session". If that is not "grayed out" you may be able to restore earlier session tabs by clicking that. If you need to restore tabs from an ''earlier'' session, unfortunately, this can be a rather involved process. 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/Return In the first table on the page, click the "Show in Finder" button. In the window that launches, scroll down and double-click into the '''sessionstore-backups''' folder. Save all files here to a safe location, such as your Desktop folder. ---- 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 crashed and you haven't opened it yet, 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 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?

Question owner

"Restore Previous Session" is "grayed out". I used Help>Troubleshooting information, clicked "Show in Finder". There is no "sessionstore-backup" folder. There is something called 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550. It has "sessionCheckpoints.json" yesterday 9:59 pm, "sessionstore.bak" from 1/7/15, and "sessionstore.bak-201091115125" from 11/22/14. In my "Documents" I have "session store" from yesterday 10:07 pm. This has a FULL page for text starting with: . It looks like a lot of information which is not deciferable to a layman. Also when you say backup your session history files to a safe place, where do I find those files? Are they the websites I visited in the past in the History or are they something else.

"Restore Previous Session" is "grayed out". I used Help>Troubleshooting information, clicked "Show in Finder". There is no "sessionstore-backup" folder. There is something called 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550. It has "sessionCheckpoints.json" yesterday 9:59 pm, "sessionstore.bak" from 1/7/15, and "sessionstore.bak-201091115125" from 11/22/14. In my "Documents" I have "session store" from yesterday 10:07 pm. This has a FULL page for text starting with: <html><head>. It looks like a lot of information which is not deciferable to a layman. Also when you say backup your session history files to a safe place, where do I find those files? Are they the websites I visited in the past in the History or are they something else.

Question owner

I also found "previous.js" from yesterday at 9:56 pm. It has a FULL page of text starting with: " open curly bracket" version:"open square bracket" "sessionrestore",1 "closed square bracket", "windows": Looks like it could be important.

I also found "previous.js" from yesterday at 9:56 pm. It has a FULL page of text starting with: " open curly bracket" version:"open square bracket" "sessionrestore",1 "closed square bracket", "windows": Looks like it could be important.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

vfranco8 said

I used Help>Troubleshooting information, clicked "Show in Finder". There is no "sessionstore-backup" folder. There is something called 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550. It has "sessionCheckpoints.json" yesterday 9:59 pm, "sessionstore.bak" from 1/7/15, and "sessionstore.bak-201091115125" from 11/22/14.

I'm a Windows person, so Finder may work differently, but somewhere in the list of the contents of the profile folder, Finder should show a folder named sessionstore-backups which will have more current files.

In my "Documents" I have "session store" from yesterday 10:07 pm. This has a FULL page for text starting with: . It looks like a lot of information which is not deciferable to a layman.
The storage format for windows and tabs is not meant to be understood by humans, but if you use the Find feature to search for '''http''' in the code, you can jump from one web address to the next and see whether it looks like the list includes the missing tabs.
''vfranco8 [[#answer-846175|said]]'' <blockquote> I used Help>Troubleshooting information, clicked "Show in Finder". There is no "sessionstore-backup" folder. There is something called 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550. It has "sessionCheckpoints.json" yesterday 9:59 pm, "sessionstore.bak" from 1/7/15, and "sessionstore.bak-201091115125" from 11/22/14.</blockquote> I'm a Windows person, so Finder may work differently, but somewhere in the list of the contents of the profile folder, Finder should show a folder named sessionstore-backups which will have more current files. <blockquote>In my "Documents" I have "session store" from yesterday 10:07 pm. This has a FULL page for text starting with: <html><head>. It looks like a lot of information which is not deciferable to a layman.</blockquote> The storage format for windows and tabs is not meant to be understood by humans, but if you use the Find feature to search for '''http''' in the code, you can jump from one web address to the next and see whether it looks like the list includes the missing tabs.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

vfranco8 said

I also found "previous.js" from yesterday at 9:56 pm. It has a FULL page of text starting with: " open curly bracket" version:"open square bracket" "sessionrestore",1 "closed square bracket", "windows": Looks like it could be important.

After copying that file to a safe place, try using a text editor to view the file and the Find feature to look for the web addresses in the document, you can search for http which usually starts each address. Are these the tabs you're looking for?

''vfranco8 [[#answer-846177|said]]'' <blockquote> I also found "previous.js" from yesterday at 9:56 pm. It has a FULL page of text starting with: " open curly bracket" version:"open square bracket" "sessionrestore",1 "closed square bracket", "windows": Looks like it could be important. </blockquote> After copying that file to a safe place, try using a text editor to view the file and the Find feature to look for the web addresses in the document, you can search for '''http''' which usually starts each address. Are these the tabs you're looking for?

Question owner

In the profile folder there are only 2 items: One I've already mentioned (called "1r1e..." described previously). The other is "upgrade.js" from yesterday 7:23 pm. When I try to open it I get a pop-up stating "There is no application set to open the document "upgrade.js" ". I used "Find" for "http" in "sessionstore" and "previous.js" Also "https". None of my tabs are there. I think it has the addresses or tabs from after I lost the ones I had had. I'm totally lost right now.

In the profile folder there are only 2 items: One I've already mentioned (called "1r1e..." described previously). The other is "upgrade.js" from yesterday 7:23 pm. When I try to open it I get a pop-up stating "There is no application set to open the document "upgrade.js" ". I used "Find" for "http" in "sessionstore" and "previous.js" Also "https". None of my tabs are there. I think it has the addresses or tabs from after I lost the ones I had had. I'm totally lost right now.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

I think you are describing the contents of the Profiles (plural) folder, so go ahead and click into the actual profile folder (1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550), which is the one with the semi-random name and check in there for the sessionstore-backups folder. Nothing?

Could you check the Mac Desktop for a folder named Old Firefox Data? The long number on 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550 indicates that Firefox performed a Refresh at some point, and during that process, the original 1r1e4kpo.default folder would have been moved into an Old Firefox Data folder on your desktop.

If you have that folder, click down into the old profile folder and look for sessionstore-backups in there.

I think you are describing the contents of the Profiles (plural) folder, so go ahead and click into the actual profile folder (1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550), which is the one with the semi-random name and check in there for the sessionstore-backups folder. Nothing? Could you check the Mac Desktop for a folder named '''Old Firefox Data'''? The long number on 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550 indicates that Firefox performed a Refresh at some point, and during that process, the original 1r1e4kpo.default folder would have been moved into an Old Firefox Data folder on your desktop. If you have that folder, click down into the old profile folder and look for sessionstore-backups in there.

Question owner

No sessionsstore-backup folders in the 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550 folder. I did find a search.json from 2/17 at 9:18 with many, many pages of text, all non-recognizable. I have a folder "Old Firefox Data" on the Mac Desktop. I opened it. (Does that what "click down" means?) It only has 5mdjf3vs.default from yesterday 8:19 pm Folder. That has many things from 5/17/14 and one from 7/6/15. I don't see any sessiostore-backup there.

No sessionsstore-backup folders in the 1r1e4kpo.default-1400329492550 folder. I did find a search.json from 2/17 at 9:18 with many, many pages of text, all non-recognizable. I have a folder "Old Firefox Data" on the Mac Desktop. I opened it. (Does that what "click down" means?) It only has 5mdjf3vs.default from yesterday 8:19 pm Folder. That has many things from 5/17/14 and one from 7/6/15. I don't see any sessiostore-backup there.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

I'm running out of ideas for where else to look.

Does Firefox still have your browsing history? You may need to comb through that to find the pages you were viewing before you lost your tabs.

I'm running out of ideas for where else to look. Does Firefox still have your browsing history? You may need to comb through that to find the pages you were viewing before you lost your tabs.

Question owner

I may have said this already. Sorry if I'm repeating myself. I my Documents I have "Sessionstore.bak" and "sessionstore.bak-20140212131424", both from 5/17/14 and I can't open them because I get a pop-up saying "There is no application to open the document sessionstore.bak"

I may have said this already. Sorry if I'm repeating myself. I my Documents I have "Sessionstore.bak" and "sessionstore.bak-20140212131424", both from 5/17/14 and I can't open them because I get a pop-up saying "There is no application to open the document sessionstore.bak"

Question owner

I do have my History. What do I do when I find the pages I was viewing before I lost my tabs?

I do have my History. What do I do when I find the pages I was viewing before I lost my tabs?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

vfranco8 said

I my Documents I have "Sessionstore.bak" and "sessionstore.bak-20140212131424", both from 5/17/14 and I can't open them because I get a pop-up saying "There is no application to open the document sessionstore.bak"

They aren't intended to be opened that way, they are data files meant to be read by Firefox. Their contents would be similar to previous.js but much older. (Firefox hasn't used sessionstore.bak files since around Firefox 32.)

I do have my History. What do I do when I find the pages I was viewing before I lost my tabs?

You can go ahead and re-open those pages and view them now. You can right-click or Ctrl+click on a history entry to get options such as opening in a new tab or new window (otherwise, the page will open in the last active tab replacing whatever page is there.

''vfranco8 [[#answer-846245|said]]'' <blockquote> I my Documents I have "Sessionstore.bak" and "sessionstore.bak-20140212131424", both from 5/17/14 and I can't open them because I get a pop-up saying "There is no application to open the document sessionstore.bak"</blockquote> They aren't intended to be opened that way, they are data files meant to be read by Firefox. Their contents would be similar to previous.js but much older. (Firefox hasn't used sessionstore.bak files since around Firefox 32.) <blockquote> I do have my History. What do I do when I find the pages I was viewing before I lost my tabs?</blockquote> You can go ahead and re-open those pages and view them now. You can right-click or Ctrl+click on a history entry to get options such as opening in a new tab or new window (otherwise, the page will open in the last active tab replacing whatever page is there.

Question owner

ok. So go through my History and find an entry corresponding to a lost tab. Ctrl+click and open a new tab. (I suppose I should bookmark it for safety?) Do this for as many entries in my History that correspond to my lost tabs. Hopefully I will find all of them. Is that what you're suggesting? And is there anything I should do to help avoiding losing my tabs in the future?

ok. So go through my History and find an entry corresponding to a lost tab. Ctrl+click and open a new tab. (I suppose I should bookmark it for safety?) Do this for as many entries in my History that correspond to my lost tabs. Hopefully I will find all of them. Is that what you're suggesting? And is there anything I should do to help avoiding losing my tabs in the future?
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

If you have Firefox set to start up with your previous session windows and tabs automatically, then usually you wouldn't lose them. I'm not sure what happened in this case.

If you set up a backup of your Firefox profile folder, for example, using Time Machine, you then could use that as an additional source for recovery if this happens again.

There is an add-on which is designed to save multiple sessions so you could fall back on an older one if needed. I haven't tried it myself, and I can see from the reviews that it isn't 100% reliable, but perhaps it's better than nothing: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/session-manager/

If you have Firefox set to start up with your previous session windows and tabs automatically, then usually you wouldn't lose them. I'm not sure what happened in this case. If you set up a backup of your Firefox profile folder, for example, using Time Machine, you then could use that as an additional source for recovery if this happens again. There is an add-on which is designed to save multiple sessions so you could fall back on an older one if needed. I haven't tried it myself, and I can see from the reviews that it isn't 100% reliable, but perhaps it's better than nothing: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/session-manager/

Question owner

I'm not sure if Firefox was set to start up with my previous session windows and tabs, but it always had, until this time when everything was lost. As I implied in the very beginning, I'm a computer idiot. What is Time Machine and how do I get and use it to set up a backup of my Firefox profile folder? (I'm sorry to be asking questions that most computer users probably know the answers to.) And thanks for your help!

I'm not sure if Firefox was set to start up with my previous session windows and tabs, but it always had, until this time when everything was lost. As I implied in the very beginning, I'm a computer idiot. What is Time Machine and how do I get and use it to set up a backup of my Firefox profile folder? (I'm sorry to be asking questions that most computer users probably know the answers to.) And thanks for your help!
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8789 solutions 71880 answers

You can double-check your startup setting using the steps in this article:

Startup, home page, tabs, and download settings

Time Machine is a backup program that comes with Mac. That's pretty much all I know about it.

You can double-check your startup setting using the steps in this article: [[Startup, home page, tabs, and download settings]] Time Machine is a backup program that comes with Mac. That's pretty much all I know about it.
cor-el
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  • Moderator
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Note that on Mac you need to quit the Firefox application to ensure that all open windows are closed. If you would first close all open windows and still have the menu bar visible and then close (quit) Firefox you will lose the open tabs on the next start. In that case you can check "History > Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" to see if you can reopen a closed windows.

Note that on Mac you need to quit the Firefox application to ensure that all open windows are closed. If you would first close all open windows and still have the menu bar visible and then close (quit) Firefox you will lose the open tabs on the next start. In that case you can check "History > Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" to see if you can reopen a closed windows.

Question owner

My startup setting did have "Show my windows and tabs from last time". I will look for Time Machine in my computer. Many thanks.

My startup setting did have "Show my windows and tabs from last time". I will look for Time Machine in my computer. Many thanks.