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Restore Recently Closed Tabs in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer 9, and Safari

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Recently, we showed you how to automatically open tabs from your last browsing session when you run one of the five most popular browsers. However, what if you accidentally close a tab or two while browsing, and you want to reopen it?

We’ll show you how to easily open the last closed tabs in these five browsers.

Google Chrome

To reopen the most recently closed tab in Chrome, right-click on any empty space on the tab bar and select Reopen closed tab from the popup menu. You can also press the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + Shift + T. Repeatedly selecting Reopen closed tab, or pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, will open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed.

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If you want to save and reopen entire tab sessions, you can use the Session Manager extension or Session Buddy extension.

Firefox

To reopen the last closed tabs in Firefox, click on the Firefox button and select History | Recently Closed Tabs from the drop-down menu. You can select individual tabs or you can Restore All Tabs. Press Ctrl + Shift + T to open the most recently closed tab. Repeatedly selecting Reopen closed tab, or pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, will open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed. If the list of closed tabs has become really long, you can clear the list by selecting Clear Closed Tabs List.

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There is also a Session Manager extension for Firefox that allows you to save, restore, and manage entire tab sessions.

Opera

To reopen last closed tabs in Opera, click the small recycle bin icon on the right side of the tab bar and select the desired tab from the drop-down menu. Press Ctrl + Shift + T to open the most recently closed tab. Repeatedly selecting Reopen closed tab, or pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, will open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed. You can also clear the list of closed tabs in Opera by selecting Clear List of Closed Tabs.

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Internet Explorer 9

To reopen recently closed tabs in IE9, right-click on a tab and select Recently closed tabs from the popup menu. Select a tab from the submenu or select Open all closed tabs to open all tabs that were closed in the current session.

To reopen the most recently closed tab, right-click on a tab and select Reopen closed tab, or press Ctrl + Shift + T. Repeatedly selecting Reopen closed tab, or pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, will open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed.

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You can also reopen closed tabs from the New Tab page. To do so, open a new tab and click the Reopen closed tabs link in the bottom, left corner of the New Tab page. Select a tab from the popup menu or select Open all closed tabs to reopen all tabs that were closed in the current session.

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You can also easily reopen the entire last browsing session in IE9. To do so, you need to display the Command bar, if it’s not already active. Right-click on any empty part of the tab bar and select Command bar from the popup menu.

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Click the Tools button on the Command bar and select Reopen last browsing session from the drop-down menu. The tabs from your last browsing session are all opened on new tabs in the current IE9 window.

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Safari for Windows

Safari is not being developed for Windows anymore. However, if you’re still using Safari 5 for Windows, we will show you how to reopen closed tabs. Press Alt to access the menu bar and open the History menu. You can select single tabs to reopen, or you can open all previously closed tabs and windows from the last session by selecting Reopen All Windows from Last Session.

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By default, Safari does not display the tab bar if only one tab is open. If you want to display the tab bar at all times, press Alt again to show the menu bar and select Show Tab Bar from the View menu.

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In all of the above browsers, you can also press Ctrl + H to access the History and select previously viewed webpages from the list.

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 09/24/12

Comments (7)

  1. LadyFitzgerald

    I did not know that. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Iszi

    Another option for Firefox (haven’t tested in others): To re-open the most recently closed tab, middle-click an empty space on the tab bar.

  3. elfsun

    I thought they didn’t have this feature.Ooops,The Undo button is the feature I use most in Avant browser, but when I use chrome and firefox, I didn’t see such an button. Now I know it hide in the content menu…
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. sooyeon

    In Opera, you can also use CTRL Z to reopen tabs, if you click on the tab bar first.

  5. Jack

    I use the ‘Sexy Undo’ extension in Chrome this has a complete history of closed tabs and is oh so useful!

  6. trifling

    Safari’s restore previous tab isn’t exactly like how the others work. If you “restore a tab” in safari, whatever tab you’re on (or if it’s the only tab) will go to that history link. Otherwise, open a new blank tab, then go to your “reopen last tab” and it will go there.

    Safari will not automatically open a new tab with the previous history link.

  7. darkprop

    in firefox, right click on any tab…

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