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How do I restore my session and recover my open tabs, after a crash, using backed-up files?

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After Firefox crashed today I restarted it and I got a session and tabs that I last used over a month ago, and none of the simple fixes worked. But not to worry, I thought, because important folders (including Firefox's Profiles folder) get backed up automatically every night, and just yesterday I reset my "homepage" to include all the currently open tabs. So I thought restoring my session and recovering my open tabs would be a simple matter of replacing current files with backed-up versions of those files. But I can't figure out which files to use or if that strategy is even possible. For example, some of the support materials state that recovery.jsonlz4 in the sessionstore-backups folder gets updated continuously with session and tabs information, but on my system that file abruptly stopped being updated in July. Similarly, previous.jsonlz4 and upgrade.jsonlz4-*** stopped being updated in May. (FYI, sessionstore.jsonlz4 gets created when I close Firefox, just like it's supposed to, but I don't have any backed-up versions of it because it only exists when Firefox is closed.) And the tabs currently listed in the "homepage" are also from a month ago, and I can't figure out what file those tabs are stored in. Help!

After Firefox crashed today I restarted it and I got a session and tabs that I last used over a month ago, and none of the simple fixes worked. But not to worry, I thought, because important folders (including Firefox's Profiles folder) get backed up automatically every night, and just yesterday I reset my "homepage" to include all the currently open tabs. So I thought restoring my session and recovering my open tabs would be a simple matter of replacing current files with backed-up versions of those files. But I can't figure out which files to use or if that strategy is even possible. For example, some of the support materials state that recovery.jsonlz4 in the sessionstore-backups folder gets updated continuously with session and tabs information, but on my system that file abruptly stopped being updated in July. Similarly, previous.jsonlz4 and upgrade.jsonlz4-*** stopped being updated in May. (FYI, sessionstore.jsonlz4 gets created when I close Firefox, just like it's supposed to, but I don't have any backed-up versions of it because it only exists when Firefox is closed.) And the tabs currently listed in the "homepage" are also from a month ago, and I can't figure out what file those tabs are stored in. Help!

All Replies (4)

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Is it possible that you have used another profile in the mean time ?

Were the bookmarks updated regularly if you check the backups in the bookmarkbackups folder ?

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Thanks for the quick reply, cor-el. Unfortunately, the only other profile listed in about:profiles is empty and (before I launched it in a new browser) had not been changed in several years. And the bookmarks in the bookmarkbackups folder have been updating regularly since July. (But, oddly, the bookmarks in the bookmarkbackups folder were not updated at all before July. I would have expected the bookmark updates to stretch back several years to when I first bought this computer and installed Firefox.)

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Not all profiles might be listed on about:profiles, you need to check this on the hard drive. Location used for the main profile that keeps your personal data (Root Directory on about:profiles).

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>

You can also check for profiles in the "Old Firefox Data" folder on the desktop in case you have used the Firefox refresh feature. You can look a utility to browse System Restore points.


Helpful?

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I found one old profile, but its folder contents have not been updated for several years, so it probably doesn't contain anything useful. I don't have an "Old Firefox Data" folder on my desktop. And unfortunately I don't have any recent System Restore points. But I do have recent backups, from right before the crash, of every file in the active Firefox Profile folder. And I did save all the then-current tabs as the "homepage" right before the most recent backup, so if you know where the homepage data is kept I may be able to recover the tabs using that file.

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