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How to Always Open Tabs from Your Last Browsing Session in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and IE

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Do you always have a lot of tabs open in your browser? If your browser has crashed on you causing you to lose your open tabs, or you’ve accidentally closed the browser, don’t panic. There is a solution.

We’ll show you how to have each of the five major browsers open the last used tab session when you open the browser.

Firefox

To show the windows and tabs that were open the last time you had Firefox open, select Options from the Firefox menu.

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Make sure the General screen is active on the Options dialog box. In the Startup section, select Show my windows and tabs from last time from the When Firefox starts drop-down list. Click OK.

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Chrome

To reopen tabs that were open last time Chrome was open, click the wrench button and select Settings.

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The Settings screen opens in a new tab. In the On startup section, select the Continue where I left off radio button.

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To close the Settings tab, click the X on the right side of the tab.

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Opera

To have Opera open the windows and tabs from your last session, select Settings | Preferences from the Opera menu.

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On the General tab, select Continue from last time from the Startup drop-down list.

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You can also automatically open sessions saved using Opera’s built-in session manager. For more information, see our article about using Opera’s advanced tab features.

To open a specific set of saved tabs when you open Opera, you can choose to show Opera’s startup dialog every time you open Opera so you can select a saved session to open.

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Safari

To open all windows and tabs from your last session in Safari, click the Gear icon and select Preferences.

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On the General tab, select All windows from last session from the Safari opens with drop-down list. To close the dialog box, click the X in the upper, right corner.

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Internet Explorer

IE doesn’t have an option that allows you to automatically open all tabs from the last session. However, you can open the last session from the tab preview page on a new tab. To do this, click the New Tab button on the tab bar.

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Click the Reopen last session link at the bottom of the new tab.

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To make it faster to reopen your last session, you can have IE automatically open the tab preview page when the program opens. To do this, click the gear button and select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.

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On the General tab, in the Home page section, enter “about:tabs” (without the quotes) in the edit box. Click OK.

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Now, you won’t lose your open tabs if your browser crashes or if you close it accidentally. This is also useful if you always open the same set of websites every time you open your browser.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 07/30/12

Comments (9)

  1. Nic In UK

    Couldn’t resist the temptation to add a comment about the Software Pirate

    His Parrot cried out “Pieces of Nine” unlike Long John Silver’s Parrot who cried “Pieces of Eight”.

    Why? Because he had added a parroty bit.

  2. Tony

    I constantly have a lot of tabs open and, generally, on one topic while researching or looking for inspiration. There’s an extension for Chrome called Session Manager that is great! I often use it to save my tabs. It shows, name, date, and number of tabs in the session. I highly recommend it: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bbcnbpafconjjigibnhbfmmgdbbkcjfi?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon

  3. Peter

    This does not work for IE8.

  4. Kevalin

    Firefox, the slugs, used to include this option if you wanted to close your browser and had multiple tabs open at the time. But, of course, they removed it, as part of their ongoing mission to update the browser straight out of the realm of usability.

    Thanks so much for providing this tip, even if it’s more complicated than I like. At least, now I can go straight back to what I was doing online when exhaustion finally made me crash at 3am, instead speanding the first ten minutes on the browser the next day, having to search through the history for sites I needed only for a bit and didn’t want to bookmark.

  5. SatoMew

    @Kevalin, it’s not removed, just disabled by default. Go to about:config, type in browser.showQuitWarning and change its value to “true”.

    Also, why are you guys showing Safari for Windows here when it is deprecated and was not much used at all anyway?

  6. francois fermier

    Click the Reopen last session link at the bottom of the new tab. (Internet Explorer)

    There is no such link?
    at least not found in IE8

  7. AndyR

    @SatoMew
    After doing what you suggest in Firefox, the option in my browser is still grayed out. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in Advance!

  8. SatoMew

    @AndyR, that’s weird. Do you perhaps have any add-ons installed that could conflict with the setting?

  9. JC

    This is for early versions of Firefox.

    In FF v14 (and possibly v12+) the choice is still on the General tab, but is included under the options available when clicking the bar to the right of the text “When Firefox Starts”.

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