All tabs groups lost after updating to Firefox 57.0 Quantum

I need to get back not only the open tabs (within the "active" group of tabs) but the rest of them (the ones that were open in "inactive" groups of tabs), which were more than 60 tabs

Is there any way to recover them?

  • 2
    Tab groups were removed a long time ago. Chances are you were using a (now incompatible) extension to restore the functionality. You can try the information at How can I downgrade Firefox? to get them back. Always backup your profile before you do it. – Mokubai Nov 16 '17 at 7:51
  • 1
    I suppose this person is in my situation, and was using the "Tab Groups" addon addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-groups-panorama which isn't compatible with the new FF, as countless others. – Manu Nov 26 '17 at 17:48
  • Same problem here. Really wish devs would warn or not do things like this. – isomorphismes Dec 4 '17 at 23:26

I have restored my tabs from inactive groups by installing the Sync Tab Groups extension.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    How did you restore them? I have installed Sync Tab Groups but I can't find my previous Tab Groups. Could you explain what you did? – Jesse the Wind Wanderer Nov 23 '17 at 2:39
  • Not groups themselves, but all the tabs from inactive groups. They all was found in the default group. – Arthur Nov 23 '17 at 7:15
  • 1
    Please do note that installing this could lead to private browsing tabs getting persisted as reported here. I noticed when my black friday deal searches started following me... – koushik Nov 29 '17 at 14:04
  • @JessetheWindWanderer Check the bookmarks folder after installing. – isomorphismes Dec 4 '17 at 23:31

If you're a Ubuntu user, or similar, you should be able to find the latest backup at

~/.mozilla/firefox/ro51nwle.default/sessionstore-backups/upgrade.jsonlz4-[timestamp of upgrade]

I didn't know anything about the file format, but this gist was basically enough to get me started

With the gist saved to the backup folder, you can export to json with:

$ sudo pip3 install lz4
$ python3 ./mozlz4a.py -d upgrade.jsonlz4-[timestamp of backup] backup.js

There's a lot of data in there (including each tab's entire history) but at least it's not lost!

If you just want to save the most recent url from each tab like I did, something like the following python should do the job:

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import json

with open('backup.js') as infile:
    read_data = infile.read()

json_data = json.loads(read_data)

tab_groups = json.loads(json_data['windows'][0]['extData']['tabview-group'])

groups = {int(k): {'title': tab_groups[k]['title'], 'tabs': []} for k in tab_groups.keys()}

for tab in json_data['windows'][0]['tabs']:
    url = tab['entries'][-1]['url']
    group_id = json.loads(tab['extData']['tabview-tab'])['groupID']

with open('tabs_backup.json', 'w') as outfile:
    json.dump(groups, outfile, indent=4)
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Well I´m a W10 user, but in spite I found the files: recovery.jsonlz4 upgrade.jsonlz4 previous.jsonlz4 recovery.baklz4 I have not a clue about what to do with them – jakijem Nov 16 '17 at 9:40
  • Do you have python installed? If not, maybe there's other ways to convert them in Windows. You might even be able to import them into an old version of Firefox, if you install one? – trrocket Nov 16 '17 at 9:47
  • 2
    Aha! Try the addon addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-tab – trrocket Nov 16 '17 at 10:02
  • 1
    OK, this addon works, I recovered all the tabs, all mixed up, but at least I didnt loose them. Thank you very much Now, this addon doesnt organize the tabs in groups. Is there any way with this, or any other addon to organize them into groups? – jakijem Nov 16 '17 at 15:21
  • 1
    @jakijem from your profile I can tell that you have NOT (repeat NOT) earned this badge yet. Which is probably also why you're not aware of what is written here. Please go read it, and do what is suggested on that page. That is the way to say "Thank you very much". – Pierre.Vriens Nov 16 '17 at 18:07

If you're freaking out about losing your tabs, and simply want quick assurance that they're not gone forever, the easiest thing is to install the Tree-Style Tabs extension, as suggested by @trrocket. I can verify that after installing it, I was able to find the "lost" tabs in the sidebar.

That said, I just hope that I didn't miss out on any tabs. (If I can't tell the difference maybe it doesn't matter all that much... :P) I have also backed up my sessionstore files, and will take my time to process them to verify that I have indeed recovered all my tabs.

PS: All credit to @trrocket, but I thought it was was worth putting this as an answer instead of having someone panic on looking at the other answer, without reading the comments. +1 to @trrocket :-)

| improve this answer | |

Another option is to close Firefox, downgrade to Firefox 56, and restart Firefox. Your tab groups should be restored. At this point, you may save your tabs in a Firefox 57-safe way and upgrade to Firefox 57 again.

| improve this answer | |

I had this problem too and found the following solution:

  1. Click on the menu at the top right of the browser (indicated by three horizontal bars)

  2. Click on the option to restore previous session (should be towards the top of the menu)

  3. All of your pre-quantum tabs should be carried over.

| improve this answer | |

This Quantum-compatible addon offers similar functionality and will magically find all those missing tabs from your old Groups. I can't speak for how well it works as a replacement as I've only just downloaded it myself, for this very reason, but worst case scenario you can get the tabs back, bookmark them and get rid of Conex, so you've at least got those tabs backed up wile you work out how to cope without Groups.

| improve this answer | |

An alternative (what I did, afraid of losing my tabs with all those suggested extensions):

  • donwload Firefox standalone v.56-;
  • for safety, save a copy of your Firefox profile folder;
  • copy the relevant files from your installed Firefox profile folder into the one from v.56- (mainly the sessionstore-backups folder and the sessionstore.js file);
  • open v.56-, use TabGroups (already installed on your system) to create a backup file (.json).

Additionally, you can use an addon like Conex to import the TabGroups backup file, converting tabs to Container Tabs.

| improve this answer | |

This blog post (How I Recovered my Firefox Tab Groups) describes a way to extract them from sessionstore.js, using the linux commandline and Python.

(PS I know Stackexchange prefers an answer on the page rather than a simple link, but it didn't feel right to copy & paste that person's work from their blog on here)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.