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How to avoid losing windows and tabs when you clear history?

  • 2 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • 10 views
  • Last reply by kgd7

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Firefox was running slow so I selected Firefox -Clear History in an attempt to speed it up. After clearing all history and restarting, Firefox returned to a normal speed, but all open tabs had disappeared… even though my setting was: Firefox - Preferences - When Firefox starts: “Show my window and tabs from last time.” How is it possible to lose open windows and tabs when “Show my window and tabs from last time.” has been selected? Is there another option that needs to be selected to avoid losing windows and tabs when you clear history?

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This would only happen if the use "Clear history when Firefox closes" to clear the browsing history. Clearing the history that way will prevent Firefox from opening the previous session to protect your privacy. You will have to clear the history manually to avoid this. Clearing history on close down shouldn't be necessary to fix issues. You can do that once.

Did you check "History -> Recently Closed Tabs/Windows"?

You would have to restore a copy of sessionstore.js from the Time Machine or other available backup to recover these lost tabs.

You can use this button to go to the current Firefox profile folder:


Make sure to close the Firefox application with all windows still open.

  • Mac: Firefox -> Quit Firefox
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Thank you for providing this service! I did not use "Clear history when Firefox closes" to clear the browsing history. I do not see that option on my version of Firefox at all. There must be some other reason why the tabs were cleared from the history. I used “Clear all History” and as I mentioned before my setting is: Firefox - Preferences - When Firefox starts: “Show my window and tabs from last time.” I am not trying to recover the lost tabs. I followed your suggestion and checked "History -> Recently Closed Tabs/Windows" and they are not backed up. I just want to know how to set up Firefox to prevent this from happening again. Is there another menu selection or box that I need to check or uncheck so that Firefox will “Show my window and tabs from last time” after I choose “Clear all history”?