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Lost closed browser window (probs. History problem)

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Hi.

I love Firefox specifically because it lets me use Ctrl+Shift+N, i.e. reopen a closed window. I have this one window with several pinned tabs (Facebook etc.) and a few other open tabs (some reseach, YouTube etc.) where I keep things that I need to return to. I essentially NEVER close this window without reopening it, because it has the most important things I need. Sometimes I open a second/third window to work in (I had an online exam the other day, so I opened that and my materials in a separate window, so I can cycle through them more easily).

When I open this second window, sometimes I close my main window (it has quite a few tabs so it slows Firefox down). I then always reopen it using Ctrl+Shift+N and never had a problem. Well, I closed it now (then opened one or two other new windows), but when I wanted to reopen my main window back up, it just refused to. It's gone from "recently closed windows". Interestingly enough, at least two other windows I closed BEFORE it (one from yesterday, that I did unrelated googling in; the other was closed a couple minutes before the main window, it was an emoticon set that pops up from one forum) were possible to reopen, but not my main window. Now I can reopen just 3 windows, and I don't understand where they are (there used to be up to ~10 or so).

I want to know why I was able to reopen windows I closed long ago, but not the most recent one, and whether there is a way to fix this and get the main window back. I have effectively lost ~40 tabs that I had open (some research articles, pinned social media, some stuff I wanted to read etc.) that I can't even reopen unless I find them through my History (and hoo boy, that'd take a while).

Thanks for any info. Have a nice day.


SOLVED - EDIT: The amount of windows that can be reopened can be fixed as mentioned below. Lost window probably cannot be restored, sadly. EDIT 2: Actually it can be restored! See the answer to find out how. Both these lovely people gave me answers to my questions, kudos to both of them.

Modified by janmichaelkormanik

Chosen solution

Old tabs, emergency rescue operations, here we go.

Firefox creates numerous session history files and keeps some older ones. Could you start by making a backup of your existing session history files? Here's how:

Do not exit Firefox, or if you closed it, don't re-open it.

(1) To open your profile folder...

If Firefox is still running:

You can open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Open Folder" button.

If Firefox is closed:

Type or paste the following into the Windows Run dialog or the system search box and press Enter to launch Windows Explorer:

%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

In that folder, do you see a semi-randomly-named folder? If so, click into it. If you find multiple such folders, find the one that was most recently updated.

(2) Copy out session history files

In your profile folder, double-click into the sessionstore-backups folder. Save all files here to a safe location such as your Documents folder.

(3) What files did you find?

The kinds of files you may find among your sessionstore files are:

  • recovery.jsonlz4: the windows and tabs in your currently live Firefox session (or, if Firefox crashed at the last shutdown and is still closed, your last session)
  • recovery.baklz4: a backup copy of recovery.jsonlz4
  • previous.jsonlz4: the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session
  • upgrade.jsonlz4-build_id: the windows and tabs in the Firefox session that was live at the time of your last update

Could you take a look at what you have and the date/time of the various files to see whether you think any of them would have the missing window?

To preview the contents of a file, you can drag and drop it onto this page, then click Scrounge URLs: https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/scrounger.html

That tool is on my site, so please let me know if it doesn't work for you.

Skaityti atsakymą kartu su kontekstu 👍 2

All Replies (4)

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Please ignore the spam reply about third-party support you may have received earlier.


There is are pref that you can find on the about:config page that set how many tabs and how many windows you can undo.
The default for tabs has been increased some releases ago to 25, but the default for windows is only 3 and you can increase its value to something that works for you.

  • browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo 25
  • browser.sessionstore.max_windows_undo 3

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I accept the risk!" to continue.

Modified by cor-el

Helpful?

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This should fix the issue for future should a similar situation be repeated. I've set it to 10 for now just to be sure, haha. Unfortunately, that will not give me back my lost window, but thank you very much for your reply. I hope you have a lovely day.

PS. Wanted to reply the spam message but thanks for dealing with that.

Helpful?

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Chosen Solution

Old tabs, emergency rescue operations, here we go.

Firefox creates numerous session history files and keeps some older ones. Could you start by making a backup of your existing session history files? Here's how:

Do not exit Firefox, or if you closed it, don't re-open it.

(1) To open your profile folder...

If Firefox is still running:

You can open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Open Folder" button.

If Firefox is closed:

Type or paste the following into the Windows Run dialog or the system search box and press Enter to launch Windows Explorer:

%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

In that folder, do you see a semi-randomly-named folder? If so, click into it. If you find multiple such folders, find the one that was most recently updated.

(2) Copy out session history files

In your profile folder, double-click into the sessionstore-backups folder. Save all files here to a safe location such as your Documents folder.

(3) What files did you find?

The kinds of files you may find among your sessionstore files are:

  • recovery.jsonlz4: the windows and tabs in your currently live Firefox session (or, if Firefox crashed at the last shutdown and is still closed, your last session)
  • recovery.baklz4: a backup copy of recovery.jsonlz4
  • previous.jsonlz4: the windows and tabs in your last Firefox session
  • upgrade.jsonlz4-build_id: the windows and tabs in the Firefox session that was live at the time of your last update

Could you take a look at what you have and the date/time of the various files to see whether you think any of them would have the missing window?

To preview the contents of a file, you can drag and drop it onto this page, then click Scrounge URLs: https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/scrounger.html

That tool is on my site, so please let me know if it doesn't work for you.

Helpful?

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Hi Mr. Scher,

thank you very much! Excatly what I needed. Could have thought Firefox would store it somewhere. Unfortunately, the previous.jsonlz4 is about 2 hours old at this point (i.e. created after the question was asked), but the newest upgrade.jsonlz4-build_id (from May 9th) has most of the tabs I needed. Thank you very much, your page is also great, the tool is easy to use and has a nice and clean output for the data that is easy to read. I am really happy you decided to respond to this even though I already picked the answer. Thank you very much again for taking the time out of your day to help.

I hope you do well and have a lovely day too! Wish you only the best.

PS. If there is a way to mark both of your answers as best solutions, let me know, because each answered a part of my problem and I wanna give you both something nice because you deserve it.

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