All Pinned And Open Tabs Lost ☹
I got an error on one of my open or pinned tabs (do not recall which it was). I do not recall what the error was and did not screenshot it because I was sure that closing Firefox and restarting it would fix the issue. I did just that, closed Firefox and reopened it to find that ALL of my pinned and open tabs were GONE. This also happens if another instance of Firefox is opened and I close my main one first by accident and then close the other Firefox instance - ALL TABS LOST.
This is what I have done: • I started to restore the pinned tabs as I could remember what they were but I was not able to remember the open tabs that were not pinned • I searched for lost tabs on the web and on the Mozilla support site but was not able to find any useful help - most of it seems outdated or no long compatible with my version of Firefox. • I looked for the sessionrestore files on my local PC but could not find them - this must have changed in some version of Firefox between version 42 and version 82 that I have. • I looked in the AddOn store to find something that would help restore and prevent this issue - but found nothing. A very old post, from 2012, indicated one that did this but it is no longer available. • All of the Options in Firefox to restore previous session, reopen previous tabs and all that were blank.
This is VERY frustrating in that it results in lots of down time to recreate what was open and is equivalent to working on a document for days or weeks only to find out that the Microsoft file got corrupt or did not save properly.
I am using Firefox version 82.0.2 (64-bit).
Two questions: 1/ Is there any way I can get the pinned and open tabs back from the previous session? 2/ What can I do to avoid this issue EVER happening again.
All Replies (7)
During a Firefox session Firefox stores session data for tabs in the sessionstore-backups folder. When you close Firefox then Firefox creates sessionstore.jsonlz4 in the main profile folder. The sessionstore file includes open tabs and closed tabs and pinned tabs and other data like cookies used by pages loaded in tabs.
You will normally find these files in the sessionstore-backups folder:
- previous.jsonlz4 (cleanBackup: copy of sessionstore.jsonlz4 from previous session that was loaded successfully)
- recovery.jsonlz4 (latest version of sessionstore.jsonlz4 written during runtime)
- recovery.baklz4 (previous version of sessionstore.jsonlz4 written during runtime)
- upgrade.jsonlz4-<build_id> (backup created during an upgrade of Firefox)
You can copy a file from the sessionstore-backups folder to the main profile and rename the file to sessionstore.jsonlz4 to replace the current file (make sure to backup the current sessionstore.jsonlz4).
You can try to find a shadow copy of sessionstore.jsonlz4. You can look at a utility to browse System Restore points.
You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.
- Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Folder/Directory:
Windows: Open Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder
Thanks for the detailed instructions and information!!!! Unfortunately, the previous and recovery files in sessionstore-backups folder were not helpful as they were from after I started a manual restore of my tabs. The upgrade file was from 10/23/20, 9 days ago, so it was better than nothing but not recent enough to get everything. Perhaps it would have been better if I had not started the manual restore.
Is there any way to force Firefox to do automated periodic backups of all the open tabs or perhaps will trigger when a new tab is opened or closed and will leave the previous backup files there? I want something automated so I don’t have to remember to do the backup.
You can search the Add-ons website for session related extensions for more control.
FF Version 84.0, Ubuntu Linux: FF was not running. I clicked on a link in a trusted e-mail and it opened a new window as expected BUT it did not restore any of my tabs or pinned tabs. After closing that window and restarting FF from the desktop icon the tabs are still not restored. There doesn't seem to be any way to recover them.
There should be a way to prevent them from being over-written or at least keep an archive of several sessions that could be selected from the 'restore tabs' menu. Not happy :-(
You can possible modify this pref on the about:config page to open external links in a new tab in the same window.
- browser.link.open_newwindow.override.external = 3
The default value of '-1' means using the same behavior as for opening normal links.
1:current tab; 2:new window; 3:new tab;
0:divert always; 1:divert never; 2:divert no features;
All of my pinned and open tabs disappearance overnight. They were there yesterday, gone today. I have tried the above actions from cor-el, but there is no existing 'sessionstore.jsonlz4' to replace, and when I copy the most recent from the backup folder (upgrade.jsonlz4-202110118153634) and try to paste it into the current directory root folder, the file does not save... Granted, I know just enough about this to be dangerous, but I wouldn't be here stumbling around if FF hadn't dissapeared all my tabs, so please help!!!
You would have to place the upgrade.jsonlz4-202110118153634 as sessionstore.jsonlz4 at the main level in the profile folder with Firefox closed to make Firefox use this file.
You can look at this tool to inspect a compressed sessionstore file.