How-To Geek

How to Restore Recently Closed Tabs in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge

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You accidentally closed a tab, then realized you weren’t done with that webpage. Or, you want to open that elusive webpage you visited last week, but you forgot to bookmark it. No worries, you can get your closed tabs back.

For each of the five most popular browsers, we’ll show you how to reopen the last closed tab, how to access the browsing history in each browser so you can reopen tabs you closed in previous browsing sessions, and how to manually open all the tabs from your last browsing session.

Google Chrome

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

The option is in a different place on the menu depending on whether you right-clicked on a tab or on an empty part of the tab bar.

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If you can’t remember the URL or name of a webpage you visited last week, that you want to visit again, you can look through your browsing history to see if looking at the webpages you’ve visited jogs your memory. To access your browsing history, click the Chrome menu button (three horizontal bars) in the upper-right corner of the browser window. Then, select History > History.

Under “Recently closed”, on the submenu, selecting the option that says “X tabs” (for example, “2 tabs”) will open that many recently closed tabs in a new browser window.

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Your browsing history displays on a new tab, grouped into time periods. To open the webpage from today, yesterday, or from a specific date before that, simply click the link for the page you want. The webpage opens on the same tab.

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Firefox

To reopen the last closed tab in Firefox, right-click on the tab bar and select “Undo Close Tab” from the popup menu. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+T on your keyboard to open the last closed tab. Repeatedly selecting “Undo Close Tab”, or pressing Ctrl+Shift+T will open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed.

Again, the option is in a different place on the menu depending on whether you right-clicked on a tab or on an empty part of the tab bar.

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To reopen a specific tab or webpage you closed, click the Firefox menu button (three horizontal bars) in the upper-right corner of the browser window. Then, click the “History” icon.

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The History menu displays. Click on a webpage to open it in the current tab. Notice that recently closed tabs are also listed under Restore Closed Tabs. You can also click on “Restore Closed Tabs” to restore all the tabs listed under that heading onto new tabs in the current browser window.

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Again, maybe you forgot the name or URL for a webpage you visited last week. You can view your browsing history in Firefox by time periods in a sidebar. To do this, click the Firefox menu button and select “View History Sidebar” from the History drop-down menu.

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In the History sidebar, click “Last 7 days” to see all the webpages you visited in the last week. Click on a site to view it in the current tab. You can also view lists of webpages you visited in previous months and older than six months. The History sidebar stays open until you close it using the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the pane.

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You can also access your browsing history on a dialog box by click “Show All History” on the History menu.

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In the left pane, on the Library dialog box, you can access your browsing history by time periods and then double-click on a site in the right pane to open it on the current tab.

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If you want to open all the tabs you had open in your last browsing session, select “Restore Previous Session” from the “History” menu. The tabs are opened in the current browsing window and the window resizes to the size it was in the last browsing session, if the size was different.

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Opera

To reopen the last closed tab in Opera, right-click on the tab bar and select “Reopen last closed tab” from the drop-down list or press Ctrl+Shift+T on your keyboard. Repeatedly selecting Reopen last closed tab, or pressing Ctrl+Shift+T will open previously closed tabs in the order they were closed.

The option is in a different place on the menu depending on whether you right-clicked on a tab or on an empty part of the tab bar.

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You can also click the Tab Menu button in the upper-right corner of the browser window and click “Recently closed” to expand a list of recently closed tabs. Click on the name of the webpage you want to reopen it on a new tab to the left (not the right) of the current tab.

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If you want to reopen a webpage you viewed earlier today, yesterday, or prior to that, click the Opera Menu button in the upper-left corner of the browser window and select “History” from the drop-down menu.

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The History page displays with links organized by date. To reopen a webpage, simply click on it in the list. The page will open on a new tab to the right of the History tab.

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Opera 39 does not have a way to manually open all the tabs from the last browsing session.

Internet Explorer

To reopen the most recently closed tab in Internet Explorer, right-click on a tab and select “Reopen closed tab”, or press Ctrl+Shift+T on your keyboard. 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 choose from a list of recently closed tabs, right-click on any tab and select “Recently closed tabs” and then select the webpage you want to reopen from the submenu. You can also open all closed tabs from the current session on new tabs by selecting “Open all closed tabs”.

NOTE: The options to open recently closed tabs is only available when you right-click on a tab, not on the empty space on the tab bar.

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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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If you’ve just spaced on the name and URL of the webpage you visited last week, and you want to open it again, you can view your browsing history in Internet Explorer by time periods in a the History sidebar. To do this, click the “View favorites, feeds, and history button in the upper-right corner of the browser window, or press Alt+C on your keyboard.

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Click the “History” tab and then select the time frame corresponding to when you visited the webpage you want to reopen. Look through the list that displays and click on the webpage you want to reopen.

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You can also easily reopen all the tabs from the last browsing session in Internet Explorer 11. 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 browser window.

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Microsoft Edge

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

NOTE: Make sure you right-click on a tab. The Reopen closed tab option is not available if you right-click on the empty space on the tab bar.

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To reopen a webpage you opened last week or before, click the “Hub” button on the toolbar in the upper-right corner of the browser window to access your browsing history.

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Click the History icon at the top of the pane and then click on a time period, such as “Last week” or “Older”, to view a list of webpages visited during that period. Click the webpage you want to reopen. The page opens on the current tab.

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Like Opera, Microsoft Edge does not have a way to manually open all the tabs from the last browsing session.

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

Lori Kaufman is a 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 08/3/16
  • Catalin Petrescu

    You can reopen the last session in Opera if you select the option in settings before closing that particular session

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