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Windows 7: Firefox - Restore Previous Browsing Session

Firefox - Restore Previous Browsing Session

How to Restore Previous Browsing Session in Firefox
Published by Brink
16 Jan 2013
Published by

How to Restore Previous Browsing Session in Firefox

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to reopen the previous browsing session in Firefox from when it was last closed.

To "Restore Previous Session" On Demand in Firefox
1. While in Firefox, do step 2 or 3 below depending on if you have the Menu bar on or off.

2. Click/tap on the Firefox button, History, and Restore Previous Session. (see screenshot below)

3. Click/tap on History (Menu bar) and Restore Previous Session. (see screenshot below)

To "Restore Previous Session" Automatically when Firefox Starts
1. While in Firefox, click/tap on Tools (menu bar) and Options. (see screenshot below)
2. Click/tap on the General icon, under Startup select Show my windows and tabs from last time to the right of When Firefox starts, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: The default setting is Show my home page.
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That's it,

17 Jan 2013   #1

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
If FF crashes during close

On my PC, I run multiple profiles and use most of them on a daily basis (often several times per day).
Sometimes FF would crash during close (at least once/fortnight).

I suspect that a Flash Player vs NoScript interaction was the culprit.
I had Process Explorer open and I noticed that when I closed FF, Flash Player tried to start.
I think that maybe NoScript closed too early, which gave Flash a chance to start up (I often leave up to 100 tabs open).

When this happened, it was impossible to use the built-in Session Restore function.

I haven't seen this since FF 17 came out.
I'm using FF 18 now (fingers crossed).

If you notice that your previous session has been lost when you start FF and the tutorial instructions won't work, you may be able to save your previous session using Option 1 below.

Profile Information

Default Profile Location: "C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile name>"
Default Profile Name: "<8 characters>.default"
My default profile name is "rz7xuytc.default". Yours will be different.
Option 1 - Replace sessionstore.js with sessionstore.bak

You can replace sessionstore.js file with the sessionstore.bak file (you will lose any tabs that weren't Bookmarked).
  1. Go to the FF Profile folder
  2. Copy the sessionstore.js file and the sessionstore.bak to a new location (i.e. make a backup of those files)
  3. Close FF
  4. Delete the sessionstore.js file
  5. Change the name of the sessionstore.bak file to sessionstore.js
When you restart Firefox, your previous browsing session should be restored (not the session that just crashed, but the one prior to that).

Option 2 - Edit sessionstore.js

If you have opened lots of tabs (that you didn't bookmark) you can edit the sessionstore.js file to try and save your current session.


This option will only work if you notice that FF has crashed during close.

I run a script which allows me to choose which FF profile I want to run (I have multiple profiles) and when FF closes it runs CCleaner (to purge any leftover nasties) and then returns to my FF Profile menu.
I can tell when FF crashes, because the CCleaner notification doesn't appear.
  1. Go to the FF Profile folder
  2. Copy the sessionstore.js file and the sessionstore.bak to a new location (i.e. make a backup of those files)
  3. Close FF (most likely from the Task Manager)
  4. Edit the sessionstore.js file (see Editing below)
When you restart Firefox, your previous browsing session should be restored (the session that just crashed).

Be aware that this doesn't always work for me (50% success rate).
It's possible that I added syntax errors during the editing.

I discovered (through experimentation) that I could edit the sessionstore.js file to restore the lost session.

At the very end of the sessionstore.js file you will see something like this:
"session":{"state":"running", <data/text to end of file>
For example:
"session":{"state":"running","lastUpdate":1358472611761,"startTime":1352630698661,"recentCrashes":0} ,"scratchpads":[]}

You need to replace the above with this data from the sessionstore.bak file:
"session":{"state":"stopped", <data/text to end of file>
For example:
"session":{"state":"stopped","lastUpdate":1358349460055,"startTime":1352630698661,"recentCrashes":0} ,"scratchpads":[]}

You should use an editor that can highlight JavaScript syntax (Notepad++, Dreamweaver, etc.).
That will allow you to see if you accidentally added any syntax errors (e.g. deleted a bracket).

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Firefox - Restore Previous Browsing Session

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