How do you restore the window of tabs crashed 1 day ago in Google Chrome? if I have used another window of many tabs in Chrome for 1 day.


5 Answers 5


I created a pure web-app that deals with the problem of session restore. (motivated by a recent computer crash, and this thread and the avoidance of extensions.)

The User interface is leaned on Chrome's own UI design.

Use as follows:

  1. Drag and drop the requested files from one of the 'user profile-folders' into Chrome-Session-Restore.
  2. Click on the small arrow in the bottom-bar to open a list of restorable tabs
  3. To open a session, set the number-input of the max number of tabs to restore and click on the top Icon of the opening tabs-menu, when clicking on the arrow.

Update per 30.05.2012:

*Favicons are shown;

*better instructions;

*directly copyable file-paths to the session files.

Here is more technical information and some background to restoring-sessions.

  • The best technical explanation I've seen of Chrome's session saver files. Unfortunately the JavaScript application didn't do anything after I drag and dropped the Last Tabs files on the bottom bar. Jan 21, 2012 at 5:01
  • @dandv - Could you please tell me if any errors (red-text) occurred when you press CTRL+SHIFT+J in Chrome? Per se the UI doesn't give much feedback that the loading was successful. Try to click on the bar with the upwards arrow first. May 3, 2012 at 6:54
  • That's mighty cool code you've provided, so thank you. In my case, I would need to have a history browser that allows me to select the tabs that have been opened in the last session, kind of Session Buddy mentioned below. I wasn't able to restore my lost session using your nifty tool, some of which were opened two weeks ago and some of which were opened just a couple of days ago. Such is life, I presume. Thanks to this post I found two invaluable tools for the future: yours and Session Buddy.
    – ikaerom
    Jun 19, 2013 at 5:37
  • I really don't understand how this peace of software works (though I'm not the dummiest with a computer ...) and it is now 3 years old which feels like a lot in a software lifetime. I love the philosophy of avoiding extensions though. How come no more recent results can be found? How come chrome doesn't provide any better tool since 3 years also? I'm giving a try to Session Buddy for the moment... May 15, 2014 at 22:58
  • http://lsauer.github.com/chrome-session-restore/ doesn't work :( Site Disabled
    – davidhq
    Feb 6, 2015 at 16:52

If you run Chrome right after a crash, it will ask you if you want to restore your session and tabs. If you don’t click Restore, it won’t restore it. If you then close Chrome, the last session and tabs will be lost (they'll be replaced by the one that you had just before exiting).

Your best bet to avoid losing your tabs after a crash (and not having to go to the trouble of using the history) is to install a session-management extension. There are plenty to choose from, but my personal favorite (and recommendation) is Session Buddy. Among its features are that it is lightweight, easy to use, has the ability to import and export sessions, can manage tabs per-window, and best of all (particularly for this question), it can be set to auto-save the session in case of a crash.

  • Thanks, just picked up Session Buddy. It auto backs up the session tabs nicely. Nothing like having seven tabs open and then a browser crash causing you to have to hunt down what you were looking up. (Probably was a flash problem that cleared with the next update) Oct 23, 2011 at 5:20

I dug this out of Lo Sauer's excellent post linked above. In it he says:

PS: If your file isn't corrupt you can simply overwrite the current-tabs file with your last-tabs file and restart the Browser.

This worked like a charm. After restarting Chrome, it asked me if I wanted to reopen my tabs, and I clumsily closed that window. To recover using the above PS, I first copied my old session file (all commands entered in the same Terminal window) before quitting Chrome:

cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/Chrome/Default/
cp Last\ Session /tmp

Then I quit Chrome, and copied the session file back:

cp /tmp/Last\ Session Current\ Session

Then I ran Chrome again, and whoosh all my tabs and windows reopened, without even another prompt.


I don't think you can "Restore" them if you have opened Chrome and navigated to other sites since the crash. You could look into your History to see the site you visited just prior to your crash if they were saved in there and manually reopen them.

  • 2
    Dear Nebru, I usually keep important tabs in that window. It were weeks ago I first open those pages and had been keeping them until yesterday. Even I look at the history, I can not find those tabs, because history in Chrome only has the tabs I opened in the last two days.
    – user51210
    Feb 11, 2011 at 1:09
  • 1
    @user: That's incorrect. Chrome keeps history for far longer than two days. Mine goes back at least a week. I didn't bother to click back any longer. You have to click the "Older" hyperlink at the bottom of the page.
    – Cody Gray
    Feb 11, 2011 at 4:57
  • 1
    That's correct, unless you clear your history it'll keep history for months. You just have to surf back through the "older" links until you find your day. As an aside, have you considered using bookmarks to track your important tabs rather than just leaving it open for long periods of time?
    – Neberu
    Feb 11, 2011 at 19:02
  • @Neberu: I think most people use bookmarks to track important tabs, however every now and then, you open a couple of tabs in a context to have a look at or to later organize into the already existing bookmark structure, when you have to switch the context you're working in to do something else. You make a mental note to come back to the left context later that evening or tomorrow, and each day you look back at your tabs, happy that they are there waiting to be woken up by our context switch to finish what we originally started pursuing. Not sure I explain myself well here ;).
    – ikaerom
    Jun 19, 2013 at 5:42

Answers there mention the classic Session Savers (and a specific one - Session Buddy) and also there is advise to use bookmarks for storing important tabs, “rather than just leaving it open for long periods of time”.

So I think it worth to intervene and mention that all this solutions has serious flaws.

First of all usage of bookmarks is of course not automatic, and in additional this only pollute the bookmarks. The serious problem with Session Savers style solutions is that list of crashed windows is buried in some non editable list, in a completely separate context, unrelated to current one and in all practical aspects generally invisible. I use for many years all this solutions as in Firefox, as in Chrome, and mostly never check all this crashed sessions because of this.

Also most of this solution (if not all) does not allow to clean up,rearrange and edit this automatically saved crashed sessions.

All this flaws was the reason that I was done my own solution not very long ago, which combine best properties of both worlds (this is a mix of bookmarks and session savers approaches, and some more):

TabsOutliner (a Chrome extension)

It is go beyond simple session management and the ability to restart crashed windows, but i want show there exactly this use case, as actually that was the first reason why this tool was created. And also as I was tired to wait from Session Buddy author for the long promised ability to manage crashed sessions.

On next screenshot you can see how it represent your browsing session (2 opened windows) and several crashed windows from the other days:

enter image description here http://i.imgur.com/o8ZvIDH.jpg (same image but bigger and with more details)

Note that crashed windows is intermixed with open ones, this is because some crashed windows is restored already.

TabsOutliner has the ability to unload tabs “in place”, to save PC resources, this also gives him facility to treat crashed windows and tabs as unloaded. On this screenshot you can see that the crashed windows (which is gray, with green titles) is stay in same context as open ones (which is blue). And you are free to reopen them later, or simple reorganize and trash if they not needed anymore (and they are, most of the time), anytime you wish. All of this without going to some buried separate lists. The crashed windows become a part of your current session, without burden of being reopened and consume resources, this feels like they was actually not crashed at all, you will even find that you welcome crashes, as they will just free the ram and nothing is lost.

I never close Chrome completely, sometimes for a weeks, so actually Chrome always crashed for me, soon or later. And without any false modesty i can claim that it is the best available solution for this problem. It was absent at the time this question was asked, and yes, the Session Buddy was the best answer in those days. I used it myself, of all the alternatives. But things change, now exist much better solution.

  • 2
    However, isn't it true that this extension (like all tab manager extensions) will fail to restore your per-tab context (history back/forward)? Aug 23, 2015 at 1:21

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.