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How do I backup a session (all the open tabs) so that it can be reloaded after a computer factory reset?

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I need to do a factory reset on my Windows 10 computer, but I don't want to lose the web session I currently have open, so I need to know how I can restore the session after reinstalling Firefox again. Is there a temporary internet files or cookies folder where I can just backup all the files from and put them in there again later, or what?

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Hi markfleener, during your session, Firefox constantly updates a pair of session history files named recovery.jsonlz4 and recovery.baklz4 which you can back up as follows:

Open your current 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" (or "Show in Finder") button.

In your profile folder, double-click into the sessionstore-backups folder. Save the two files I mentioned to a location that will survive your reset, such as external storage or email. These files contain session cookies, so they should be protected from access by others.

Note: These files are removed when you do a normal Firefox shutdown, and at the main level of the profile folder, a file named sessionstore.jsonlz4 will be created that contains the tabs at shutdown.


Now, why not back up your entire profile folder, so your settings, bookmarks, history, and add-ons also come along for the ride? See: Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles


Then the trick will be getting Firefox to use the backed up files. The steps will vary based on whether you want to transplant your old profile folder in toto or just sneak an old session into a newly set up Firefox.

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Hi markfleener, during your session, Firefox constantly updates a pair of session history files named recovery.jsonlz4 and recovery.baklz4 which you can back up as follows:

Open your current 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" (or "Show in Finder") button.

In your profile folder, double-click into the sessionstore-backups folder. Save the two files I mentioned to a location that will survive your reset, such as external storage or email. These files contain session cookies, so they should be protected from access by others.

Note: These files are removed when you do a normal Firefox shutdown, and at the main level of the profile folder, a file named sessionstore.jsonlz4 will be created that contains the tabs at shutdown.


Now, why not back up your entire profile folder, so your settings, bookmarks, history, and add-ons also come along for the ride? See: Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles


Then the trick will be getting Firefox to use the backed up files. The steps will vary based on whether you want to transplant your old profile folder in toto or just sneak an old session into a newly set up Firefox.

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By the way, if you are not formatting your hard drive, the Windows 10 "Refresh" gives you some options for preserving your data. See: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415

If you are running something from a recovery partition or CD/DVD, that probably isn't an option.

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Note that if you would restore the full profile folder that you also need to profiles.ini file that registers profiles, otherwise Firefox won't find the profile and displays an error message.

It is usually not recommended to restore full profile folder content in another profile, because there are files that contain absolute paths to files and folders that can cause this profile to malfunction. Best is to only restore important personal data you need.

You also may have to check the permissions and ownership of restored files.