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How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

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New Contributor

How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

HI, I've been struggling the last few days to get back all the opened tabs I had in my Firefox window. My deault setting was to resume the Firefox session from where it was when I last exited Firefox. But some weird toolbar got somehow installed in my PC and when I uninstalled it all my browsing history was deleted (from all my browsers, IE, FF and chrome) and my precious Firefox tabs were gone.

These tabs are really priceless, I collected them through some months of research and it would be impossible to redo all my work. Although I managed to find some of these sites in my browing history when I restored all of it via the "restore" function in places.sqlite file properties (in the "previous versions" tab), it's impossible to find the other sites I need by checking every visited site in my browsing history, there are thousands of them and it would be the same as starting all over from scratch.

I know too that it was unbelievably stupid of me to not bookmark these sites before, but please, isn't there any way of retrieving those lost tabs? What irks me the most is the fact that the tabs weren't loaded when I opened Firefox, but only when I clicked on them, which means that I have no clue on which dates to find the tabs, since they were only visited at the time I found them, and never loaded again.

I'd be most grateful to any hint that might solve this problem. Thank you for your attention.

PS: I should mention I've already tried Window's "System Restore" but to no avail; when I open Firefox, after having a previous session restored, it will display the same tabs I left recently (as opposed to my previous tabs, that remain lost). My OS is a win7 64 bit Ultimate

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27 REPLIES
Grand Master Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

New Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

Thanks a lot for your answer! By coincidence, I'd just ran into this link http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox and found out that the file I should be looking for was that "sessionstore.js" one, and not the "places.sqlite". But since I've been aprox. 2 days fiddling through Firefox config, do you know if it is possible to recover an old sessionstore.js (the current sessionstore.js is useless)? So I can recover my desired session tabs. Thank you!

EDIT: Scratch that last part! (except for thank you) *PROBLEM SOLVED* Here's how to solve it: if you're using windows (I think 7, 8 or Vista, I don't know if XP has this feature.. mine is a 7 ultimate 64 bit) and have System Restore enabled, copy and paste this: %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ into your adress bar in windows explorer. It will bring you to your Firefox profile folder. Enter it, and search for a file called "sessionrestore.js", then right-click it and go to properties. The last tab in the 'properties' window is called "previous versions", click on it, and restore your file to a previous date saved on a System Restore storepoint. That's it! When you open Firefox again all your previous tabs will be there.

Thanks for the suggestion nevertheless Waka_Flocka_Flame !

New Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

my boyfriend thinks he knows what's best for my computer, so he went into f.f. options and clicked "never remember history" so of course, when i open f.f. nothing from the previous session opens. Even when I press new tab, no pinned windows open. I am confused, can someone please enlighten me as to what I am doing wrong. Thank You.

New Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

Oh, yeah, one more thing: I understand why he did that to my computer, and I know that all I need to do is go in to options, select General, and change the setting to remember history. The only thing is, won't I be giving up my privacy? Well, on second thought, Google/NSA have pretty much done that, already, so what's your suggestion?

Site Moderator

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

Hi veryzen1

If you select "never remember history" then you enter permanent Private Browsing mode and that means that you do not keep history.

Tabs, including pinned tab, from the previous session are considered as history and thus get lost when you are in Private Browsing mode.
So you will have to switch to remember history and also make sure that you do not use "Clear history when Firefox closes" to clear the history.

To see all History and Cookie settings, choose:

  • Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history"
New Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

I have the same problem - except with WinXP...(Cleared my history - lost all the tabs I had opened and want them back).

Would a system restore to a previous day work?

Thanks!

Legendary Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

Hi Artist2u, I recommend making a backup before trying System Restore. In my opinion, that feature was extremely flaky on Windows XP and it could well leave everything in shambles. This support article has suggestions on backing up your Firefox settings: Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles.

New Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

Cor-el:

Is there a way to get tabs back after I have selected "Clear history when Firefox closes" or are the tabs lost forever?

Richard

New Contributor

Re: How can I recover my previously opened tabs / restore session?

edvardgrieg put me on the right track so thanks. Though my solution was different.

sessionrestore.js is indeed where your tabs are saved, and as you may have found out, if you lose your tabs this information is overwritten in the sessionrestore.js file.

I am using Windows XP and so I did not have the Previous versions option described by edvardgrieg. What I did have was a couple of backups of the sessionrestore.js file. One was called sessionrestore.bak and the other sessionstore.bak-20131112160018 (the long number being the date it was made). So I merely removed sessionrestore.js and renamed my sessionstore.bak-20131112160018 backup to sessionrestore.js. Remember to close your browser before you do this otherwise your newly restored backup will be overwritten and your tabs lost forever, so back up the backup like I did before you do this.

I also had a few months worth of tabs (approx 150). Glad to get them back.