How to restore closed tabs and sessions in your web browser

You’re surfing the web, don’t have time to finish picking out the perfect shoes or reading an interesting article – and then you close the wrong browser tab by mistake and your page is gone.  Or even worse, your entire browser closes with all your open tabs.
No worries! did you know most browsers will let you restore your tabs or entire browser session?

by Alyssa Schmitt
Man lying on brown couch looks at open laptop
In just a few clicks, you can restore tabs – or change your browser settings to always pick up where you left off

Here's a step-by-step guide to restoring your tabs in all popular web browsers.
  1. Restore tabs in Chrome
  2. Restore browsing session and tabs in Firefox
  3. Restore closed tabs in Edge
  4. Reopen windows in Safari browser

Good to know: Restoring all tabs after a browser crash

If a system error causes your browser to crash, in most cases it will automatically ask if you want to restore the last session when you restart the browser. Just confirm the action and you’ll get all your tabs back. You can also change the settings in most browsers so that your last session is automatically reloaded whenever you open the program, no matter what caused it to close. Keep reading to find out how!

Restore tabs in Chrome

In the Chrome browser, the entire browsing session can only be restored following a program crash. If you accidentally closed the browser yourself, you will have to restore each tab manually. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to restore Chrome tabs.

To restore your last closed tabin Chrome:
  1.  Right-click anywhere on the tab section.
  2.  Select Reopen closed tab.

Pro tip: Keyboard shortcut to restore the last closed tab in Chrome

You can skip the aforementioned steps and restore your closed tab in Chrome instantly by simply using the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [T].

To restore multiple tabs in Chrome:
  1.  Open the settings menu (three dots at the top right of the address bar)
  2. Click on History.
  3. Select History again in the new menu. You will now see your recent browsing history.
  4.  Hold down the [Ctrl] key and click on all the tabs you wish to restore.
You can, however, set up Chrome to auto-restore your last browsing session every time you restart the browser. This means that every time you close the browser, next time you open it you will automatically pick up where you left off.

To activate auto-restore tabs in Chrome:
  1. Open your Settings.  
  2. Click on the On Startup tab.
  3. Tick the Continue where you left off option to activate this function.

Restore browsing session and tabs in Firefox

Firefox lets you restore your full browsing session at any time:
  1. Open the Settings menu (three horizontal lines in the top right of the address bar).
  2. Select History.
  3. Select Restore Previous Session.
To reopen an individual tab that you accidentally closed in Firefox, you can instead:
  1. Right-click on History.  
  2. Select Recently closed tabs.
  3. Select a tab to reopen.
All webpages you have viewed recently are also listed under your Recent history, so you can scroll down and find the page you’d like to return to. Clicking Manage history will take you to a list of visited pages sorted by time period (today, yesterday, etc.)

Please note that if you have activated Never remember history in your Firefox Privacy & Security settings, once you have closed the browser, it is no longer possible to restore the last session or reopen recently closed tabs.

If you would like Firefox to automatically return to your last browsing session every time you open it, go to Settings > General > Startup and tick Restore previous session.

Restore closed tabs in Edge

If you accidentally close a tab in the Microsoft Edge web browser:
  1. Right-click on an open tab (not in the empty address bar).
  2. Select Reopen closed tab.
  3. Select a tab to restore.
If you accidentally close the entire browser, reopen it and do the same thing.

It is also possible to set up Edge to automatically return to your most recent browsing session when you open the browser. To do so:
  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the window.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select On startup.
  4. Click on Continue where you left off.

Reopen windows in Safari browser

It is extremely easy to restore tabs on your Mac. To get back to your Safari browsing session:
  1.  Open Safari.
  2. Go to the menu.
  3. Select History.
  4. Select Reopen all windows from last session.

We hope you found this information helpful! Before you get busy restoring browser tabs, why not leave us some feedback below?

This article first appeared on July 4, 2022, and was updated on June 13, 2024.

Images: 1&1/GettyImages

264 people found this article helpful.

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