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Is there a way to recover a recently closed Window a few sessions ago with Chrome and after reboot on Win 10?

I have been relying on the History -> Recently Closed menu to recover closed Windows. And that used to work for me. As a result, I left open a large amount of tabs that represented a good amount of work that I accumulated over the time.

For various reasons, I never used to turn my PC off but recently I rebooted it, now recently closed tabs are gone -- including those organized by windows. I neglected to click on Reopen Closed Window upon Chrome restart, not only because that is an easy mistake to make, but also I had thought of the Recently Closed menu as a reliable alternative. For the same reason, I had On Startup setting on Open the New Tab page.

Given where I am, summary below, is there any way to recover my closed tabs from a few sessions ago before my PC rebooted? I am willing to go any length and dig any file.

  • Rebooted PC

  • Did not use Reopen Closed Window

  • The closed tabs/window is now from several sessions ago (as I search the Internet for options to recover)

  • Did not recently reconnect on all the closed tabs; the last connections were completely scattered

  • Lost work were the page links themselves; no forms

  • Chrome version: 80.0.3987.163 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Thanks a lot for any pointer!

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    Have you checked the complete history? – DavidPostill Apr 11 at 17:09
  • @DavidPostill: what do you mean? ctrl+H or activity.google.com? – Argyll Apr 11 at 17:11
  • ctrl+h displays the full history. – DavidPostill Apr 11 at 17:12
  • @DavidPostill: The last connections to those tabs were completely scattered. So full history in enough of itself is useless. Do you mean I should look for closed window there? I tried and I didn't see such an option. Where should I look? – Argyll Apr 11 at 17:14
  • {shrug} I don't know of anything else ... – DavidPostill Apr 11 at 17:14
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If you have any backup software which runs periodically or if you have Control Panel\System and Security\File History enabled and it's set to back up your Chrome profile directory, you could try that.

Unfortunately some backup software excludes the Chrome profile directory by default, but you could check. I've used this technique to recover Notepad++ open files when it's glitched out, and I'm pretty sure I've used it successfully for the same Chrome situation you're describing.

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  • Thanks for the pointer! Do you happen to know which file stores the open window info? Cuz unfortunately, I don't have any backup turned on. I have been short on drive space and I am still waiting for COVID-19 to pass so that I can put together an array on my spare pcie4 slot... – Argyll Apr 11 at 17:25
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    @Argyll I'm not sure off hand but a simple way that you don't have to figure that out is to restore the entire profile folder to somewhere and use the --user-data-dir="c:\path\to\the\folder\where\you\restored\it" when launching Chrome to have it load from there so you can recover the tabs – g491 Apr 11 at 19:02
  • Noted. I don't have file history turned on. So can't really search for older version of the Chrome user profile directory. Atm I am trying to search the whole drive for recoverable files. Will try system restore next. I re-installed the VC distribution a few days ago and that seems to have created a restore point. Do you happen to know if the system restore by Win 10 will cover %appdata%? – Argyll Apr 11 at 23:35
  • Turns out system restore does not cover %userprofile%. I couldn't find anything with data recovery software either. Any idea what else there is to try? – Argyll Apr 12 at 2:58

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