Computer shut down on me and the restore previous session button didn't work. Is there a file that shows previous session URLs? I remember hearing about this a while ago. Any help is appreciated thanks


As I just had this happen to me let me describe the scenario and why CTRL-SHIFT-T doesn't work for me:

  1. a new driver crashed my PC so I had to restart
  2. while I waited for all the system tray icons (Dropbox, etc.) to start I noticed the Intel Driver Updater and clicked it
  3. this opened up an EMPTY Chrome. There was a message box "Restore windows after crash" but it either didn't work or disappeared while the cookie notice from the Intel website popped up
  4. I was left with an empty Chrome window

Now since I use multiple windows to separate different work projects the history or recent tab doesn't help. Some of the tabs were opened more than a week ago and I'll never find them in the history.

I installed the Chrome extension Session Buddy and with one click I could restore a backup from 10 minutes ago.

Now don't laugh at me: I had 32 windows with 122 tabs open and re-opening them worked just fine

  • 1
    Just tried Session Buddy, but after installing, it did not see my old windows and failed to restore them :( So YMMV. – LB2 Jul 11 '19 at 20:29
  • @LB2 Note that you need to have the option "Automatically record sessions" ticked in Session Buddy. Snapshots are taken on a regular basis, but of course Session Buddy can not recover a session from before it was installed in the first place... – kynan Dec 29 '19 at 8:07
  • Thank you, it really works! – user806202 Mar 17 '20 at 11:04

If you go into your Chrome directory, it should be %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default if you're in the "Default" session, you should see the files Current Tabs, Current Session, Last Tabs, and Last Session Each time you're using chrome, the session is saved in the "current" files, and the previous session is in the "Last" files.

If you kill your browser then delete the Current files, and rename the Last to Current, then relaunch, it should ask you if you want to restore your session again, but use the files you have set for it. For this, you need to Kill the browser, not just close it, because otherwise, it won't trigger the "Restore session" prompt (use Task Manager, the command line, or enter chrome://inducebrowsercrashforrealz in the URL bar)

I've also automated this process and I have some simple bat scripts that I use to easily restore, copy current, copy last, and make some backups

You can check them out here



  • FWIW, Session Buddy is likely a more accessible way of doing this. – kynan Dec 29 '19 at 8:09
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    @kynan But Session Buddy is only viable if you already had it installed prior to losing the tab. This solution doesn't suffer from the same limitation. – David Metcalfe Feb 19 '20 at 8:25
  • Yes, Session Buddy only helps you the 2nd time round (or if you proactively install it) – kynan Mar 6 '20 at 10:56
  • What's frustrating is that: 1. Chrome doesn't always reliably crash when I end the process. Sometimes it just opens again fine. I can't figure out a way for it to reliably crash. I have no other way to access the "restore" dialog. 2. Often the files still don't work, no matter how many times I try to restore them. Chrome will just open a blank page without informing me that the restoration failed. – user1151080 Jun 4 '20 at 2:42
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    @user1151080 you can try entering chrome://inducebrowsercrashforrealz in the URL and maybe it'll crash it better? and about the files, it could be that you're copying the files after the browser created a new session? If you kill it and start the browser before copying, it's too late and the files are replaced by empty ones I believe. For this, the "Last Session" files would help, but although this post is recent, I made this script a few years ago and haven't tested it much lately, I think I noticed Chrome doesn't create the "Last" files anymore, or maybe they have another name now? – aljgom Jun 6 '20 at 17:51

The easy way: Press ctrl+shift+t as many times as required to re-open all previously opened tabs.

The slightly more complicated way: Access your browser's history by pressing ctrl+h and select the old tabs which you wish to re-open.

Note that neither method will work for incognito tabs and windows. This is by design.

  • This should be the accepted answer as this is the simplest, is built-in and works all times. Kudos to @undo – Philippe Ombredanne Apr 8 '20 at 8:40
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    @PhilippeOmbredanne: well that isn't true. Reopen closed tab simply cycles through tabs from Last Session, and Last Tabs. If those files got replaced or corrupted for whatever reason, said method doesn't work. For example, if you have rebooted, said solution doesn't work. – Argyll Apr 11 '20 at 17:28
  • @Argyll good to know! though why would rebooting be different from a crash? – Philippe Ombredanne Apr 12 '20 at 20:17
  • @PhilippeOmbredanne: Probably because Chrome tells Win 10 to delete those files upon system shutdown. I really REALLY wish Chrome wouldn't do that. – Argyll Apr 13 '20 at 21:57
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    This answer is flat out wrong. The question is for when Chrome lost these tabs, as in lost from "most recently closed tabs". And it's happened to me a few times on my mbp. – Max Oct 18 '20 at 11:37

I recommend using The Great Suspender. Besides allowing you to keep open tabs "suspended" (so they don't consume memory) it keeps a record of your windows and its respective tabs. My computer just cracked and I was able to recover my 5 windows and +50 tabs thanks to using that.

  • 2
    It's a chrome extension btw – Alejo May 15 '20 at 9:46
  • +1 as The "Great Suspender" was able to restore my previous sessions. unlike "Session Buddy". – Zskdan Aug 26 '20 at 17:51
  • I'm so glad I found this. I always use the "Great Suspender" anyway, and when my PC crashed and ctrl+shift+T didn't work, I checked the great suspender settings and sure enough I was able to restore my tabs. – Justin Jan 7 at 18:31
  • The Great Suspender (7.1.8) is now removed from Chrome Web Store because it has been flagged as a malware. – Moobie Feb 4 at 20:18

Like Don said, those are the two common ways of restoring.

Let me also remind you of the Cmd+Shift+T keyboard shortcut that will restore all the previously closed tabs, immediately after closing them (intentionally or not).

Note that this will not work if you had opened at least one tab after the accidental closing of the tabs, so make sure you didn't use Chrome to open any other tab after that accidental shutdown.

However if you had opened the tabs long back and didn't use them for quite some time, it will not be stored as one of the recently opened tabs. In that case, you need to manually check the history.

About the file that you are looking for, make sure you check the answers and comments of this link


Here is the simple way to reopen the closed tab

enter image description here


There is another way to get rid of this problem easily, once and for all.

Use 'Session Buddy' extension in chrome.

It is easy to use and can save up to 10 sessions on it.

Also, restoring the sessions is very easy too and it automatically saves the sessions.

Furthermore, you can save the sessions too.

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