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12 Beta does not save tabs even when configured correctly

  • 20 replies
  • 26 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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I've upgraded to FF4 12 Beta and there seems to be no way to save a session or tabs from previous session. I have changed or confirmed all the correct settings set to true in about:config for warnOnQuit, warnOnClose, etc, as well as edit>preferences to warn when closing multiple tabs. Still FF opens to a blank page though I set it to default and no tabs are saved. 11 Beta works fine. any ideas?

All Replies (20)

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Either use the History option.

  • History -> Restore Previous session

Or make sure you are using

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As I wrote I have it set to the default homepage and instead get a blank page and the History>Restore Previous Session is greyed out and I cannot click it. setting to open previous tabs only gets a blank page when restarted. Sorry but it just doesn't work....

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  • Do not use "Clear history when Firefox closes" to clear the "Browsing History".
  • Edit > Preferences > Privacy: History: [X] Clear history when Firefox closes > Settings

(edited to change the menu path for Linux)

Modified by cor-el

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Now FF is opening to a Welcome page that says "you are running an unknown version of firefox". Still no way to restore previous session though there is the recent history listed so that's an improvement.

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Maybe try to reset all preferences.

Clear the cache and the cookies from sites that cause problems.

"Clear the Cache":

  • Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Network > Offline Storage (Cache): "Clear Now"

"Remove Cookies" from sites causing problems:

  • Edit > Preferences > Privacy > Cookies: "Show Cookies"

Is there a sessionstore.js file created in the Firefox profile folder?


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I have FF 12 Beta installed in /opt/firefox and so I can run it separately from FF 11 Beta. 11 Beta runs fine, warns on quitting, saves tabs, etc. so I don't want to mess with my cache, etc. as 11 Beta does what I need it to do. All of the other updates worked fine up to 12 and now these issues. I may just stay with 11 Beta for a while and see if newer versions solve the problems.

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You say you do not want to mess with the cache, but note

  • the cache is for temporary files
  • the cache for your FF11 Beta and FF12 Beta are totally separate
    or at least they should be!

The cache will be within the profile and each version should be using a different profile. The easiest method of locating the profile is to use a working version of Firefox

  • Help -> Troubleshooting information -> profile [open containing folder]
    • note this will include the cache folder

To locate the cache use

  • about:cache <- key it in to the location bar
    • note it should agree with the location of the profile, as found above.
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The browsing cache doesn't have anything to do with saving and reopening tabs.
That is done via session restore and the sessionstore.js file.

You can try a new profile if the current profile isn't working properly.

See "Basic Troubleshooting: Make a new profile":

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I'll try making a new profile. BTW, the cache directory is the same for both 11 and 12 Beta

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I made a new profile and FF 12 Beta works as it should. However when I copied my 11 Beta profile into the new profile the issues returned so it's obviously something in my profile. The profile directory is 500 MB so I can't even begin to imagine what piece is causing the problem and I don't think I can spend the time looking really.

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OK, so I couldn't resist and it turned out to be my prefs.js file. Now I get a warning when closing multiple tabs. However, I cannot restore a previous session and I did read the Help on that possibly being sessionstore.js and sessionstore.bak files so I removed all of them and still History>Restore previous session is greyed out. Absent a "Save and Quit" option, like 11 Beta has, this doesn't work well for me. Any ideas?


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Additionally FF 12 Beta did not regenerate those sessionstore files I deleted so I added the old ones back in and there is no difference-still no session restore option

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Now 11 Beta is not offering to save tabs or warn me though it does automatically restore the session when I restart it. I have changed nothing in that profile. 12 Beta warns me but doesn't restore the session in the new profile. 12 Beta quits without tabs warning and doesn't restore session on restart with old profile. Some strange stuff going on.....

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You need to make sure that the two versions have separate profiles. Remember sessionstore files are kept within the profiles.

If you try to run two different Firefox versions from the same profile you will almost certainly encounter problems.

You may need to take care with

  • backing up existing profiles & existing bookmarks
  • creating new profiles only in empty folders
  • not deleting or renaming any existing profiles

Currently using the profile manager is the easiest method of setting up the additional profile needed. If you wish you may even run the two versions separately but simultaneously.

For more information you may be interested in reading the following, and the articles linked from them: For detailed info follow the links from

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Did you check the startup setting?

  • Edit > Preferences > General > Startup: "When Firefox Starts": "Show my windows and tabs from last time"
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thanks for the replies. Yes, I have startup settings as you wrote. I do have separate profiles that I created using the profile manager. I guess did error in starting 12 Beta from my old profile but I was trying to find the culprit. I will soldier on here and get used to the new set up I think. Thanks for all the good advice!

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Also, I have never had to have separate profiles for different versions, I just updated as FF prompted and cruised along.

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Glad you seem to have sorted it out. Thanks for posting back.

It is not because of the update that you need a new profile. The profile will change as required with updates and revised extensions or bookmarks etc.

The new 2nd profile is needed because you have a new 2nd installation, so you have a separate Firefox 11 and 12 and are using both of them. The ordinary method of managing this would be to use separate installs and separate channels, choosing from

  • Release (FF 11)
  • Beta (FF12)
  • Aurora (FF13)
  • Nightly (FF14)

Obtain any of these from

So in your case you may wish to use

  1. standard release channel and have Firefox 11,
  2. and the Beta channel and have Firefox 12.
  3. If you want to use Firefox 13 now, that is on the Aurora channel.

(edit) Of course you may well be using Ubuntu versions of Firefox, and the dates may vary slightly from the above calendar.

Modified by John99

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I think then that what I'd like to do is make sure that FF11 doesn't prompt for an update as it has in the past. How do I make sure that FF11 is in the release channel and not the beta?

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Sorry I am new to Ubuntu.

An important point to remember is that Firefox now naturally updates every six weeks. If you do not allow this then your system and personal data may be at increased risk as your Firefox becomes out of date.

If you you use a pre-release version/channel you take certain minor risks and if risk averse you to stay on the Release channel.