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Firefox doesn't save closed tabs of non-private window if a private window is opened as well

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Situation: I have a private and a non-private window (with multiple tabs) and want to close the non-private window (and thereby store the session of it, as it is my last non-private window)

I configured Firefox to store the session on close but this doesn't work if a private window is opened somewhere. Instead of saving the session of the last non-private window and closing, I get asked whether I want to close this many tabs, as it would ask me If another non-private Window were opened.

Can I configure my Firefox (Im on Desktop Windows/Linux) to store this session and "ignore" the fact that a private windows is still opened (as I'm not able to store the private window's session anyways)?

Thanks :)

Situation: I have a private and a non-private window (with multiple tabs) and want to close the non-private window (and thereby store the session of it, as it is my last non-private window) I configured Firefox to store the session on close but this doesn't work if a private window is opened somewhere. Instead of saving the session of the last non-private window and closing, I get asked whether I want to close this many tabs, as it would ask me If another non-private Window were opened. Can I configure my Firefox (Im on Desktop Windows/Linux) to store this session and "ignore" the fact that a private windows is still opened (as I'm not able to store the private window's session anyways)? Thanks :)

Modified by Merlin

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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8773 solutions 71719 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi Merlin, I'm trying to fully understand your scenario/configuration.

In Nightly on Windows (20191020094538):

  • I enabled Restore Previous Session + Warn you when quitting the browser on about:preferences#general
  • I opened three tabs in a regular window
  • I launched a private window and opened a couple of tabs

Test #1:

  • I closed the regular window: there was no warning about closing tabs or quitting
  • I closed the private window
  • At the next startup, the regular window restored

Test #2:

  • I used menu > Exit in the private window: there was no warning
  • At the next startup, the regular window restored

Test #3:

  • I used menu > Exit in the regular window: there was no warning
  • At the next startup, the regular window restored

It's strange that I never get a warning, but it's comforting that the session is restored.

How is my test different from your scenario?

Hi Merlin, I'm trying to fully understand your scenario/configuration. In Nightly on Windows (20191020094538): * I enabled Restore Previous Session + Warn you when quitting the browser on about:preferences#general * I opened three tabs in a regular window * I launched a private window and opened a couple of tabs Test #1: * I closed the '''regular''' window: there was no warning about closing tabs or quitting * I closed the '''private''' window * At the next startup, the regular window restored Test #2: * I used menu > Exit in the '''private''' window: there was no warning * At the next startup, the regular window restored Test #3: * I used menu > Exit in the '''regular''' window: there was no warning * At the next startup, the regular window restored It's strange that I never get a warning, but it's comforting that the session is restored. How is my test different from your scenario?
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Question owner

Hi and thanks for the fast response :)

Actually I Restore Previous Session enabled and I don't have "Warn you when quitting the browser" enabled but I have the option "Warn you if multiple tabs are about to be closed" enabled, which I can only find when closing multiple tabs at once.

Regarding the testcases:

Test #1: - Works as you describe for me so long as I close the private window (session gets restored), but if I do not close the private Tabs and reopen a regular window, the tabs are not restored.

Test #2 and #3: - Work as you described (in both cases both windows close without a warning and the regular window gets restored afterwards)

My Firefox is a 71.0b2 (64-Bit) Developer Edition

Hi and thanks for the fast response :) Actually I Restore Previous Session enabled and I don't have "Warn you when quitting the browser" enabled but I have the option "Warn you if multiple tabs are about to be closed" enabled, which I can only find when closing multiple tabs at once. Regarding the testcases: Test #1: - Works as you describe for me so long as I close the private window (session gets restored), but if I do not close the private Tabs and reopen a regular window, the tabs are not restored. Test #2 and #3: - Work as you described (in both cases both windows close without a warning and the regular window gets restored afterwards) My Firefox is a 71.0b2 (64-Bit) Developer Edition
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cor-el
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17536 solutions 158573 answers

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You need to exit/quit Firefox with the non private window still open. If you first close this non private window, but still have a PB mode window open and cklose this as the last window then Firefox won't restore this non private window. In such a case you can still check "History -> Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" after the restart.

You need to exit/quit Firefox with the non private window still open. If you first close this non private window, but still have a PB mode window open and cklose this as the last window then Firefox won't restore this non private window. In such a case you can still check "History -> Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" after the restart.
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8773 solutions 71719 answers

Merlin said

Test #1:
- Works as you describe for me so long as I close the private window (session gets restored), but if I do not close the private Tabs and reopen a regular window, the tabs are not restored.

How are you reopening the regular window without closing the private window? For example:

  • "3-bar" menu button > Library > History > Recently Closed Windows
  • Library toolbar button > History > Recently Closed Windows
  • (menu bar) History > Recently Closed Windows
  • Ctrl+Shift+n

Do you get:

  • Menu is grayed out
  • Closed window is not listed on the menu
  • Closed window is listed and can be restored, but some tabs are missing
  • Closed window is listed and can be restored with all tabs, but some tabs are unloaded (only load when you activate the tab)
''Merlin [[#answer-1259789|said]]'' <blockquote> Test #1: <br> - Works as you describe for me so long as I close the private window (session gets restored), but if I do not close the private Tabs and reopen a regular window, the tabs are not restored. </blockquote> How are you reopening the regular window without closing the private window? For example: * "3-bar" menu button > Library > History > Recently Closed Windows * Library toolbar button > History > Recently Closed Windows * (menu bar) History > Recently Closed Windows * Ctrl+Shift+n Do you get: * Menu is grayed out * Closed window is not listed on the menu * Closed window is listed and can be restored, but some tabs are missing * Closed window is listed and can be restored with all tabs, but some tabs are unloaded (only load when you activate the tab)
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Question owner

Thanks for your answers :)

@cor-el said

You need to exit/quit Firefox with the non private window still open. If you first close this non private window, but still have a PB mode window open and cklose this as the last window then Firefox won't restore this non private window.

Interestingly, if I close the (remaining) private window after I closed the regular window, it automatically restores my session when reopening a regular window (even though it warned me before). This is not the case if I reopen the regular window (via the taskbar) without closing the private window beforehand.

cor-el said

In such a case you can still check "History -> Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" after the restart.

That's usually true, but in rare cases I've lost my session (it didn't show up in the history menu, especially when some downtime is between the closing and the re-opening). But never the less thanks for this advice, it already helped me :)


@jscher2000 My window reopening method is via the taskbar (just opening a new window). Reopening the regular window via the 4 ways you described works without problems (as long as the window is in the list), but opening a new window doesn't pick up the recently closed window as it would if the private window were not present.

I remember losing the window history after some downtime (e.g., after system shutdown) though, which happened to me a couple of times in the past but wasn't able to replicate this behavior (maybe an old problem that was fixed...)

Thanks for your answers :) @''cor-el [[#answer-1259790|said]]'' <blockquote> You need to exit/quit Firefox with the non private window still open. If you first close this non private window, but still have a PB mode window open and cklose this as the last window then Firefox won't restore this non private window. </blockquote> Interestingly, if I close the (remaining) private window after I closed the regular window, it automatically restores my session when reopening a regular window (even though it warned me before). This is not the case if I reopen the regular window (via the taskbar) without closing the private window beforehand. ''cor-el [[#answer-1259790|said]]'' <blockquote> In such a case you can still check "History -> Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" after the restart. </blockquote> That's usually true, but in rare cases I've lost my session (it didn't show up in the history menu, especially when some downtime is between the closing and the re-opening). But never the less thanks for this advice, it already helped me :) @jscher2000 My window reopening method is via the taskbar (just opening a new window). Reopening the regular window via the 4 ways you described works without problems (as long as the window is in the list), but opening a new window doesn't pick up the recently closed window as it would if the private window were not present. I remember losing the window history after some downtime (e.g., after system shutdown) though, which happened to me a couple of times in the past but wasn't able to replicate this behavior (maybe an old problem that was fixed...)
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8773 solutions 71719 answers

Merlin said

@jscher2000 My window reopening method is via the taskbar (just opening a new window). Reopening the regular window via the 4 ways you described works without problems (as long as the window is in the list), but opening a new window doesn't pick up the recently closed window as it would if the private window were not present.

Hmm, it sounds as though Firefox is still running (at least one window open). So launching a new window through the Taskbar Jump List simply adds a window to the same session rather than starting a new session. I don't think there's any trick to make Firefox re-run a session restore without starting a new session, which would mean closing/losing your private window. So I think you'll have to use the Recently Closed Windows list or Ctrl+Shift+n, or find an add-on to do it, if one exists for that.

''Merlin [[#answer-1259920|said]]'' <blockquote>@jscher2000 My window reopening method is via the taskbar (just opening a new window). Reopening the regular window via the 4 ways you described works without problems (as long as the window is in the list), but opening a new window doesn't pick up the recently closed window as it would if the private window were not present. </blockquote> Hmm, it sounds as though Firefox is still running (at least one window open). So launching a new window through the Taskbar Jump List simply adds a window to the same session rather than starting a new session. I don't think there's any trick to make Firefox re-run a session restore without starting a new session, which would mean closing/losing your private window. So I think you'll have to use the Recently Closed Windows list or Ctrl+Shift+n, or find an add-on to do it, if one exists for that.
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