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Before I reinstalled Windows, I copied everything under:

<username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

However when I now copy all these files and start Chrome, it doesn't load my old tabs. I tried using the -restore-last-session flag, which results in Chrome crashing. If I click the restore button when asked if I want to restore, it doesn't do anything.

Can I use these files to bring the tabs back or extract the links from it?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Last Session and Last Tabs files should work. Try copying ONLY those 2 files into the new Chrome folder, and then rename them to Current Session and Current Tabs. I've done this many times successfully.

The major wildcard in your situation is if you're restoring the data from a much older version of Chrome, say v4 to v13?

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The flag should be typed with double preceding dashes and a space.

Like this: --restore-last-session

Make sure you get this right.

Renaming Last Session to Current Session should work too.

If none of the above methods work out for you then try replacing the entire User Data folder. Go to AppData\Local\Google\Chrome and make a copy of the User Data folder, for instance by copying it to Desktop. This is just a safety measure so that you can revert back to it, should you need to. Then go ahead and delete it. Make sure Chrome is not running when you do this. Now go ahead and copy your old User Data folder in its place.

The next time you start Chrome it will say something along the lines "looks like Chrome has crashed, would you like to restore" and a restore button will appear on top. Click the restore button.

This method worked out well for me when I was trying to restore an old Chrome session to retrieve my tabs.

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You can also try the Chromagnon tool (use the SNSS branch) written in Python which will extract your tabs from the "Current Tabs" or "Last Tabs" file:

python "Current Session" > current_session.log
python "Current Tabs" > current_tabs.log

This will extract your tabs into the current_tabs.log file that you can then simply open with a text editor such as Notepad++. The session file current_session.log will store the informations about the windows (the index that you can correlate inside the current_tabs.log file) but it's not mandatory.

See also this answer for more info.

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