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Firefox will not open with my previous session


[I am posting this question using IE.]

Last night when I quit Firefox I closed the browser without noticing an ad in a new browser window had opened. Thus, my last browser open was the ad page.

So when I open the browser now, it tells me "Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs. This is usually caused by a recently opened web page." The only option is to restore "Advertisement".

I have done a complete search on my computer. The only other sessionstore files (sessionstore-nn.js) are located in a differently named profile folder dating back to May, 2012.

In my current profile folder I have sessionstore.js and sessionstore.bak.

The sessionstore.js file represents Firefox opening with NO old tabs; it is 1 KB in size.

The sessionstore.bak file represents my "last" browsing session; it is 11,952 KB.

I close Firefox (Mozilla home page) by clicking on File, Exit.

In the Profile folder I rename sessionstore.js (1 KB) to sessionstore.js.bak. In other attempts I have rename it sessionstore.tmp, sessionstore.old, etc.

I then rename sessionstore.bak (11,952 KB) to sessionstore.js.

When I restart Firefox (V 24.0) I get the same error message, "Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs. This is usually caused by a recently opened web page." The only option is to restore "Advertisement".

Restore Previous Session is grayed out; there is no button on the home page to restore a previous session.

So, is the sessionstore.bak (11,952 KB) *really* just the advertising page? If so, where is the sessionstore file that contains my actual previous browsing session? (More tabs that you can imagine.)

What should I try next to get Firefox to open with my "lost" browsing session?

Additional System Details


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/5.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C; MS-RTC LM 8; .NET CLR 3.0.30729)

More Information

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Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

Helpful Reply

To try and stop this Ad webpage from opening itself in future here's something you can try.

Tools - Options - Security Then click on 'Exceptions' next to 'Warn me when sites try to install ad-ons'.

I found two 'exceptions' that Mozilla had put in itself, that seemed to relate to ads. I removed them and since then - no ad webpages opening up by themselves.

Hope this helps

Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

To recover your 'lost' tabs, simply go to History - recently closed tabs ;)

Question owner

This was not a Mozilla ad that popped up.

Question owner

As with "Restore previous session", "Recently closed tabs" and "Recently closed windows" are all greyed out.

Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

Mine weren't promoting Mozilla ads either, when I had this problem, but clearly they were promoted through Mozilla - just like you find with Google or Yahoo. Once I removed the exceptions I mentioned above, the ad webpages stopped opening.

Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

Seems like your settings are removing all history when you close your browser window.

Check Tools - Options - Privacy - First check the settings for history on that page as well as 'Clear History when Firefox closes - Exceptions

Modified by Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

If they are regular webpages that you open each day, you can make these your homepage, and set Firefox to open these instead of restore last tabs.

Tools - Options - General

Modified by Teddy Bear

Helpful Reply

When I click on Tools - Options - Privacy, Firefox will Remember History.

I do not see an option to 'Clear History when Firefox closes - Exceptions'.

There i* a line below History which states: 'You may want to *clear your recent history* or *remove individual cookies*'. The text enclosed within the asterisks indicates a link.

I have not clicked on 'clear your recent history'. Please see the attached image.

Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

I couldn't see any image you included.

Sorry for any confusion, because I'm using Firefox to write to you, I couldn;t look at the actual Options window while I was writing.

I've included an image for you to see what I mean - provided the 'Clear History When Firefox Closes' tab is ticked, you will see settings on the side which you can adjust to your preferences.

If it's not ticked then it won't be relevant.

Hope this helps.

Question owner

I have reattached my image. There are significant differences in the two Privacy tabs.

My guess there has been some changes between V24 and previous versions.

Come to think of it, that may be why I am having such a difficult time restore my previous browser session.

Perhaps someone from Mozilla will eventually read this thread ...

Teddy Bear 0 solutions 9 answers

Yes I see. I'm glad I haven't updated mine yet - still on v23.

Perhaps a system restore is called for?

Question owner

Somehow a setting got changed and Mozilla upgraded automatically. I normally wait a release before upgrading.

Regarding a system restore, I will hold off on that until I get a response from Mozilla.

  • Top 10 Contributor
2375 solutions 21032 answers

Did you restore the session with the ad? Once you restore that window, the Recently Closed Windows should become available.

If that doesn't work, there are some other threads here on how to "mine" your sessionstore.bak file to extract the URLs.

Question owner


I restored the session with the ad. It opens as a smaller window, without any menus displayed, thus preventing me from accessing Recently Open Windows. See attached image.

I will try your other suggestions and report back. Brad

Question owner


OK, here is the result from your second suggestion:

Using Firefox developer tool "Scratchpad": http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=622036&start=60&p=12098147#p12098147


1. open about:config 2. set devtools.chrome.enabled to true 3. tools > web developer > scratchpad 4. environment > browser 5. edit > paste (i.e. copy and paste code below) 6. execute > run

I selected the sessionstore.bak file. It extracted one link, that of the ad window:

Session Store Link Extractor

^ window 1 tab 1 entries 1

Advertisement http://axp.zedo.com/asw/pfr/305/1530143/4/o.html?cdm=xads.zedo.com&a=1530143&x=3853&g=172&c1=305009764&c2=305009764&i=0&n=305&s=2065&1=7&2=1&tg=1381382732&vr=4&m=203&w=19&os=2&p=6&h=747871&f=988415&b=30&o=20&y=3&v=1&t=i&u=1p3a0EVIT0qjF3a-8JUqmA**~071213&z=0.0034901015139280345&mb=13&dm=.zedo.com&pt=Advertisement&q=&sk=&l=&cd=&adm=c5.zedo.com&ldm=l1.zedo.com&exp=0&cm=&tt=0&wm=Transparent&dnt=0&tsad=0&p1=&p2=&p3=&p4=&p5=&prfl=&ct=0&awd=axp.zedo.com&cl4=false

I then tried the third suggestion:

Using a third party website: https://firefox-session-restore.herokuapp.com/

I used notepad to open the sessionstore.bak file. It *looks* like many (if not all) of my tabs are displayed. Apparently I can only attach an image, otherwise I would attach the sessionstore.bak file..

I copy and paste the contents into the app window. The CPU immediately pegs out. Mozilla operates intermittently (Not Responding). When I click in Submit, eventually the app comes back with an error message, "An error occurred. Please reload the page and try again."

Needless to say, no matter how many times I try the error reoccurs.

Now I'll go try your first recommended solution and report back.

Question owner


Here is the result from your first suggestion:

Using Firefox's Browser Console (formerly known as Error Console): https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/969046#answer-471950

As with suggestion #2, it returns just the one tab, for the advertisement in the 2nd window.

session contents Window 1 Tab 1

Advertisement http://axp.zedo.com/asw/pfr/305/1530143/4/o.html?cdm=xads.zedo.com&a=1530143&x=3853&g=172&c1=305009764&c2=305009764&i=0&n=305&s=2065&1=7&2=1&tg=1381382732&vr=4&m=203&w=19&os=2&p=6&h=747871&f=988415&b=30&o=20&y=3&v=1&t=i&u=1p3a0EVIT0qjF3a-8JUqmA**~071213&z=0.0034901015139280345&mb=13&dm=.zedo.com&pt=Advertisement&q=&sk=&l=&cd=&adm=c5.zedo.com&ldm=l1.zedo.com&exp=0&cm=&tt=0&wm=Transparent&dnt=0&tsad=0&p1=&p2=&p3=&p4=&p5=&prfl=&ct=0&awd=axp.zedo.com&cl4=false

So, I don't know what to think at this point. I am going to paste the contents of my sessionstore.bak file in the next message, in the hopes that is will illuminate more information is in the file that the tab info for the advertisement.

  • Top 10 Contributor
2375 solutions 21032 answers

To open a normal window with full menu when you're viewing the ad, press Ctrl+n.

If the "closed" windows and tabs aren't discovered in the huge file, the script probably needs updating. I can't work on that right now, but I should be able to look at it tonight.

  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10776 solutions 96959 answers

See also this post in the mozillaZine forum thread.