May 14, 2007

Yes, please restore my sessions

Have you ever seen this window?

It's one of my favorite Firefox dialogs: it lets me restore all my windows and tabs when Firefox starts. Like most users, I usually have a constant set of certain windows (emails, blogs and a few other informational sites that I consult throughout the days) along with incidental windows depending on where my web surfing takes me.

There is one tiny problem with this dialog, though: I just don't know how to configure Firefox to display it.

The only thing that seems to work is to kill the Firefox process.

Does anyone know a way to configure Firefox so that my windows and tabs are always saved when I exit?

Update: Thanks to Rob for the answer in the comments. The setting is hidden in the about:config panel. Posted by cedric at May 14, 2007 08:51 AM


According to this article:

Set your browser.startup to 3

- Rob

Posted by: Rob Clevenger at May 14, 2007 08:55 AM

Even better: install the "tab mix plus" addon ( It has lots of options to improve your tab browsing experience, including better session management.

Posted by: BoD at May 14, 2007 09:12 AM

I find the easiest way is to install Opera. It's a much less bad browser.

Posted by: Tom Hawtin at May 14, 2007 09:50 AM

Actually if you read the same page further, it explains where it is in usual configuration dialog:

“Show my home page,” Show a blank page,” and “Show my windows and tabs from last time” under “Tools → Options → Main → Startup → When Firefox starts”

Posted by: at May 14, 2007 10:04 AM

C'est pas ça que tu cherches, Cédric ? : :-)

(Bon, je le dis en français parce que le lien ci-dessus est en français :p).

Posted by: Baptiste at May 14, 2007 11:37 AM

I find it annoying when I often say "no, I don't want them back thank you" and I *still* get them.


Posted by: Dion Almaer at May 14, 2007 12:10 PM

You should know Cedric.. Google has a firefox add-on called Browser-Sync (

I agree with Tom though, I mostly use Opera for my normal browsing. It has the coolest features first before anyone else.

Posted by: Gaurav at May 14, 2007 06:52 PM

Indeed, Mr Google employee; why aren't you using Google Browser sync? ;-). That way you can synchronize state across different machines. Know something about it that we don't? :-).

Posted by: Alexis O'Connor at May 15, 2007 02:10 AM

As was said above, it in the Options dialog.
However, I think it's an example of bad UI design, as the option is hidden within a combo box. So, unless you already know, it's not apparent that the option is available, as the label for the combo box is just "When Firefox starts", which is far too generic to suggest that this option might be hidden under there.

In fact, when this option first went into Firefox, I set it on my home PC, but at a subsequent point couldn't find the option on my work PC!

Anyway, the feature itself is excellent.
But I might also check out some of the other options to see what they add.

Posted by: Calum MacLean at May 15, 2007 05:38 AM

Cédric, did you even try looking in the Preferences panel? It's the very first setting on the first page.

Good job blogging about this...

Posted by: F at August 14, 2007 08:54 AM

Settings -> Main Tab -> When Firefox Starts: "....previous tabs..."

Posted by: 2Perfect at October 31, 2007 05:07 PM
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