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Pinned app tabs dissapeared

  • 59 replies
  • 936 have this problem
  • Last reply by jeffoz1

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After the latest update to Firefox 4.0 (after RC) all my pinned app tabs completely disappeared. Where did they go? How do I bring them back?

P.S> Every time I try to re-add the app tabs and restart the browser, they disappear again.

Chosen solution

Are you using Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox to clear any items if you exit?

Are tabs restored if you select this?

  • Tools > Options > General > Startup: "When Firefox Starts": "Show my windows and tabs from last time"
Read this answer in context 👍 25

All Replies (20)

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I used CCleaner this morning and I suspect that is what cleared out my App Tabs.

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Be sure not to clear the Firefox Session data if you use CCleaner as that will remove the file sessionstore.js with the App Tabs and Tab Groups.

CCleaner: Application tab - Firefox/Mozilla -> [] "Session"

Modified by cor-el

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Having the exact same problem as roddyp. Compounded by having two screens, each with a Firefox window open. One with tabs, the other without. This scenario really confounds Firefox. C'mon!

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I have created an extension that allows you to have your preferred set of App Tabs open when Firefox start. Intended for users that don’t use “Show my Windows and tabs from last time”. Does not depend on sessionstore or history.

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@fmadsendk Nice start with the extension

I noticed that if firefox loads the app tabs, the extension loads them again therefore increasing their number every time you open a new window.

Thank you for your effort!

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Your answer is technically correct, but functionally wrong. I fully agree with Invaluable and PainterArt (and some others on various forums) : App tabs should NOT be linked to navigation history, but to more stable parameters, such as favorites. In fact, an App tab is something like a "super" favorite. When you pin a page, this is deliberately on purpose, and you wish to find it again each time you open Firefox (otherwise, it is so easy to unpin it !). This is (or should be) part of the many ergonomic facilities that make Firefox so pleasant to each of us. Not doing so tastes to me as pure mess. Please forgive my emphatic tone (and my awkward English), but I'm really upset.


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OOOPS, in my former post, I just forgot to mention the addressee : Cor-el, in response to his answers to Invaluable and PainterArt.


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I agree with LPRDR that App Tabs are effectively just "super" favorites. Their functionality is simply that of a bookmark with an option selected to "auto-open as an App Tab".

The argument that App Tabs should be cleared as part of the browsing history is miss directed. Because App Tabs are just a special form of bookmark they should only be cleared if all other bookmarks are erased.

Another special option on bookmarks could be used to pre-populate the Tab Groups. Perhaps an "Auto-open in Tab Group" with a text field to specify the group name is called for.

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My problem with this fix is that the "Show my windows and tabs from last time" is greyed out and cannot be selected. How do I overcome this?

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  • You enter Private Browsing mode if you select: Tools > Options > Privacy > History: Firefox will: "Never Remember History"
  • To see all History and Cookie settings, choose: Tools > Options > Privacy, choose the setting Firefox will: Use custom settings for history
  • Uncheck: [ ] "Automatically start Firefox in a private browsing session"
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Cor-el, What if I want it to remember my App Tabs, but not all the tabs from my session? I changed the settings and now it's remembering the App Tabs, but it's also remembering every tab I have open and I don't want all of those to open up. Isn't the purpose of the App Tabs to reload pages you use often? I don't always end a session with just my App Tabs and Home Page. I usually have open a page or two that I may never want to look at again.

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You can try this extension:

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The problem here is not just the app tab itself, but the help guide actually lies:

It actually states, "All of the App Tabs you have set when you close Firefox will open as App Tabs when you start Firefox again."

It doesn't state, "All of the App Tabs you have set when you close Firefox will open as App Tabs when you start Firefox again IF you do this and you do that and you reset this..."

I can't believe this ever got past beta. Clearly this "feature" is no feature at all. The idea is a good one, but it doesn't work. We'd be better off with an extension that will do it for us.

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There is should be nothing controversial about this - if nothing else, look at the number of different times users have asked why their App Tabs disappeared on start up. Clearly us ordinary users expect App Tabs to remain on start up and be able to set options/privacy/history however we choose.

I shouldn't have to be searching thru add-ons to find version 0.1 type solutions.

1. App Tabs should remain regardless of delete history settings.

2. Groups should remain regardless of delete history settings.

3. Groups should be accessible as an App Tab

4. If Firefox developers want to give users the ability to delete App Tabs and Groups on shutdown or not have them temporarily appear on restart, then add a check box under some logical place like option/general or options/privacy/history.

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Also have the same problem with FF4 on my Mac using Snow Leopard. I have tried all suggestions here but to no avail. My setup:

  • Private browsing has not been selected.
  • Clear history when FF closes is also off.
  • Remember my browsing history/ accept cookies has been selected.
  • Remember my download history also selected.
  • Show my windows and tabs from last time is activated.
  • I do not have any program like CCleaner running in the background.

Pinned tabs disappear when I close down my computer and switch it on again.

Ideally I would like a fix, whereby I can clear browser history at the end of my web session and still retain all my pinned apps, the next time I log in.

I really hope a solution can be found, as it is a very exciting new feature.


Modified by Tigerbright

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It is possible that there is a problem with the files sessionstore.js and sessionstore.bak in the Profile Folder

Delete sessionstore.js and sessionstore.bak in the Profile Folder

  • Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Open Containing Folder

If you see files sessionstore-##.js with a number in the left part of the name like sessionstore-1.js then delete those as well.

Deleting sessionstore.js will cause App Tabs and Tab Groups to get lost, so you will have to create them again (make a note).


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Thanks for the suggestion cor-el but it didn't work.

Man this is very, very frustrating. Can't believe that after X amount of years, I am actually considering switching over to the dark side and trying Chrome.

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Create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problems.


There may be extensions and plugins installed by default in a new profile, so check that in "Tools > Add-ons > Extensions & Plugins"

If that new profile works then you can transfer some files from the old profile to that new profile (be careful not to copy corrupted files)


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Have tried your latest suggestion with a new profile, but still no luck.

Tabs remain in place after I shut down firefox, so that is good. They disappear completely, however, when I log out and then log back in, or restart my computer.

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Hmmm...very odd! Now under the new profile, when I do a restart of the MAC they do RE-APPEAR! Just not when I log out and log back into the SAME account.

I step in the right direction anyway. Thanks Cor-el.

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