I have failure when Chrome eat too much RAM and I get out or RAM, when that happen in Chrome crashed addon Tabs Outliner which I use to store and unload many tabs, writing notes, e.t.c. When that happen Chrome ask to restore addon and it seems like recover it by reloading, however it reset all settings and only current opened tabs are shown in it. I immediately go into settings folder where data saved as LevelDB/IndexedDB, the path is: C:\Users\__NAME__\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\IndexedDB\chrome-extension_eggkanocgddhmamlbiijnphhppkpkmkl_0.indexeddb.leveldb

I found still not deleted Database file with timestamp before I reload crashed addon and I copy files to save them, this is are:

000005.ldb 4.1Mb
000006.log 1.3Mb
000007.ldb 4.1Mb
MANIFEST-000001 1Kb

However last 4 files already modified and few moments later 000008.ldb was created with small size of 200Kb, this is probably current opened tabs which override settings with only current opened tabs.

I tried to read manifest file, but it have a lot of binary stuff and probably unreadable, I also open DevTools on extension page and navigate in Application → IndexedDB where I find a key to store this tabs in JSON format. Also trying to google for similar issues I found this article https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/IndexedDB_API/Using_IndexedDB where show examples of writing to DB from console, I also try to open it and have success with that:

window.indexedDB.databases(); // return to me name of DB
var db = window.indexedDB.open("TabsOutlinerDB34", 3);

However now the main problem I cannot solve. I have two options how to recover stuff:

  1. Somehow rewrite settings to read 000005.ldb instead and recover all other information from this DB
  2. Somehow read from DevTools or in other way 000005.ldb, export JSON with all that settings (~4Mb) and then rewrite from console into current DB.

P.S. Extension itself does not have import options, but have export (in a different format)

P.S.S. Extension have sync with Google Drive, however I don't have actual version of data I need to restore, since it was not automated process plus to that in Google Drive I have not access to this files, as they hidden behind extension access functionality and I can only grant access to store data, but can't upload latest files by myself if they stored in same way or in other way it would be more complicated task.

P.S.S.S. Getting help from author isn't possible, author not replying to anyone in years (saw many posts about that).

1 Answer 1


The Tabs Outliner extension is somewhat broken in current versions of Google Chrome, and it will spontaneously self-corrupt almost at random with absolutely no warning. The larger your backup file, the higher the risk of spontaneous self-corruption. When the extension first stopped working for me, my backup size was around 14000 KB (14 MB) because I have been using Tabs Outliner for several years.

Telling Chrome to repair it (or reinstall it) is the only solution, both of which will delete all your local data and settings for that extension.

After repairing or reinstalling Tabs Outliner, you will need to reactivate it by finding the original license key email and clicking the link in that email. You will also have to re-authorize the extension to connect to your Google Drive. After completing that, you should be able to access all of the backup features.

I cannot help with recovering the extension data from the db file, but I can help with some basic usage instructions for Tabs Outliner which are easily overlooked...

To restore from a Google Drive backup:

  1. Right-click on the Tabs Outliner extension icon in your toolbar or menu, and select Options from the resulting context menu.
  2. In the Tabs Outliner Options window/tab that then opens, click the BACKUP tab.
  3. In the Google Drive Backups section of the Tabs Outliner Options window/tab, find the backup you want to restore and click the View button for that entry in the list.
  4. Arrange the Tabs Outliner extension's main list view window next to the Tabs Outliner Backup window that just opened.
  5. To salvage/recover node(s), window(s), or tab(s) from the backup, you will need to click-and-drag them from the backup list view window into the main extension list view window. This action may take a few minutes to process, and the extension will freeze (and so will your browser, most likely) until it finishes.
  6. Back in the Export section of the BACKUP tab in the Tabs Outliner Options window, click Export Tree To File and keep the resulting file someplace safe for your later reference. You can re-import this file later, just like the Google Drive backups.

Currently the only way to interact meaningfully with that file is to use the View Exported Tree option in the Tabs Outliner Options window/tab. You may have some luck with a lightweight JSON viewer, or you may wish to write your own Chrome Extension or script to read from this file and/or convert it into a more useful or human-readable format.

I restored from backups probably ten times over the course of three weeks. In the end I had to give up and just start over (and dragged a small handful of important windows over from my backup) because my tree was way too big for the extension to handle, and the developer is unlikely to release any updates anytime in the foreseeable future. Welcome to surprise abandonware.

I have had no problems with the extension (across multiple computers) since I allowed it to reset my tree. My current backup size is around 400 KB. I do still occasionally manually export my tree to a local file now, just in case.

Hopefully these instructions allow you to salvage at least the majority of your data from this extension.

If you opt to continue digging around in Chrome's innards and manually yank stuff from the extension database, I wish you the best of luck and godspeed.

  • Sorry for long response, unfortunately this will not help to me at all, because I didn't buy full version. I didn't do that for 2 reasons: 1) it already abandoned a few years ago when I discovered, 2) over time I see continuously reports about problems with activation after buying full product, so I never have to thinking about that, because it would waste of money and with pair of this two issues it just make me use it as it is. With that said I have limited amount of features available, and now to at least restore it I need to import it back to this addon.
    – XCanG
    Oct 16, 2019 at 11:50
  • I still have my files, I still can't read Chrome custom DB, there is no available software on internet except Chrome itself, which can read it. If I somehow manage to open it, then I will do export it in format which I can read and write a parser for it later with a future opportunities to import it later in some addon or read manually. Or in other case it will make me years to find and restore stuff, collected in it. I would rather start my open-source addon similar to it, but the most important stuff here will be restoring my own tabs at first.
    – XCanG
    Oct 16, 2019 at 11:55
  • Also, it sad hearing, what you have this issues in so frequently manner. This is a one-way signal what addon will only break more and more in more frequently pace, until someday it can't even start at all. And because it abandoned there is only way to create a new one.
    – XCanG
    Oct 16, 2019 at 11:59

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