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Restore sessions within another "restore session" window

  • 10 replies
  • 6 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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SOS!!! Yesterday I opened firefox through a link in my email. The window opened with two tabs: one is the new link I opened and the other one is for restoring my previous sessions from earlier time. Since firefox was working a bit strangely so I tried to open the new link several times. Now problem happened. When I try to restore sessions, it only restores to the last one I had with just two tabs. Even though I kept clicking on "restore session" within the restore session window, it won't show all my previous tabs information but stuck with the two tabs lastly seen. And it continue to repeat these two tabs no matter how I choose (even by deactivating the new tab window, it still doesn't restore to original status). I thought by shutting down my computer completely, maybe firefox will go back to my previous settings, but this morning when I turned it back on, it still stick with the last two tabs opened yesterday. Where can I find all the old tabs I used to saved? SOS!!!

All Replies (10)

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You would probably do better f as a general principle you saved your tabs as bookmarks and groups of bookmarks in folders, rather than trying always to rely on the restore session, that is especially true if you have a lot of tabs open.

Note depending on your settings you may have many of those tabs store in your Bookmarks Library under History, and that is searchable, and may be ordered by various methods.

If you do want to try to restore the tabs as they were, then it may be possible with some effort, although using the History info methods mentioned above may be quicker and easier.
You will need to locate any sessinstore files you have, and there may be multiple copies,

  1. to find them read this but do NOT delete the files you find. (The instruction is: open the Firefox profile folder, check for multiple sessionstore.js files ... )
    • Noting that in firefox 3.6 & 4 you can open the profile folder easilly by keying in about:support in the location bar and hitting the return key, then click the open containing folder.
  2. copy them all somewhere safe, such as into a folder on your Windows XP desktop.
  3. disable all the originals by renaming them, maybe by appending .old1 .old 2 etc to the end of the file name.

Once you have done the above you should be able to resatrt normally, and if you wish with further steps you may well be able to restore the tabs you are looking for.

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Is the History > Recently Closed Windows (or Tabs) item available ?

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Thank you very much for the help, John99. This has helped my session restore get back to normal. Now when i close firefox with tabs, they re-open as they should, rather than showing a session restore window with old tabs that i can't even get to open. I would like to know more on how to access the tabs in previous sessions and if there are any plugins that would allow me to easily manage previous restored sessions. I had many sessions stored one inside the other, essentially, because often , firefox would crash with the previous restore session tab still present. Any ideas on how to restore those previous sessions and how I can manage sessions in the future more effectively?

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As I mentioned above, try to make more use of history and bookmarks, rather than the restore tabs function. I do not think it is intended that restore tabs sessions are kept one within another.

Note that you may keep groups of bookmarks within a folder, and open all of those at once if it helps. Someone else may give better advice, there are probably add-ons available that help with use of tabs, or storing web pages, try searching from your add-on manager window

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I guess I like the session restore thing because when I'm doing research, I can see the progression of pages rather than the most recent page, which is why the bookmarks thing was unhelpful to me in the past. I will see what i can find regarding add ons that help with the session management.

My question now is, how do I re-open the sessions which I copy-pasted to a new location on my computer so that I can retrieve those tabs?

Thank you for your time, and I'll try to maximize my use of bookmarks and minimize my use of session within session saving. :P

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The easiest method is to copy them back into the original location, but remember that overwrites whatever is there now. If you are just after a few of the old tabs it may be worth a try,deselect the ones you do not need.

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Wouldn't that recreate the problem though if moving them to a new location fixed the original problem? Would you suggest I do one session at a time, take what i need from it and then delete all that data? Do I double click on the file now that firefox is working or will the tabs simply appear if they are the only sessionstore file in that folder? Sorry to bombard you with so many questions, but you have been incredibly helpful.

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It is likely to recreate problems. There are possibilities of editing the files. Normally unless the information was very important and otherwise unobtainable it is not really worth doing anything with the files that were saved. If you have been working and relying on these restore files, without bookmarking items you may wish to try to recover some tabs to bookmark them.

It will be worth looking through your history, that is probably the simplest method of finding the information/tabs as long as that is not corrupted.

  • use Keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + H or the History dropdown menu
  • note in the library you may search, sort by column, choose column headings to display, in much the same way as you may with bookmarks
  • note also the option to backup bookmarks/history, to an external file; it would be a good idea to take advantage of that

Yes copying back one file at a time is a much better idea than copying back the whole lot.

If you close firefox normally, (use file -> exit ) then delete/move rename the existing files and put in one of the old ones, with its original name, (afaik) firefox will try to restore the session and offer the restore session screen when it restarts.

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If we renamed the sessionstore files to disable them, will copy pasting one session into the original location overwrite all of those ones that have ".old" in their name?

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As long as you have made copies of all the files you are interested in you can experiment with them. The key points to remember are

  • that you make the changes whilst Firefox is not running.
  • that you exit from Firefox using File -> Exit

Note also that you may key about:sessionrestore into the location bar even if you initially dismissed the option to use session restore.