Firefox Session Restoring: What the Hell?

I’ve been a Firefox user for a little over a year now, and think it’s a fantastic browser. However, with the new 2.0 release, they’ve managed to confuse the heck out of me and I can’t seem to find a solution. With Firefox 1.5, I had an extension (I think it was Tab Mix Plus) that would allow me to shut down Firefox with tabs open, and when I re-started Firefox it would restore all my tabs. This was handy for me because I often have tabs open for days (if not weeks) and I use the browser as my workspace – I’ll open a tab for a product I want to look at, but will ignore it until I have time to take a look. Firefox 2.0 has a “session restore” feature that works like this: if you have multiple tabs open and an extension or crash forces Firefox to restart, when it comes back up, all your tabs will still be there. Great! But, stupidly, it doesn’t seem to do the same thing if you click on the “X” to shut down the browser. I’ve dug through every option I could find, and even looked in the help file, but there seems to be no way to enable this session restore to work outside of the narrow scenario that the developers imagined people using it for. I’ve installed Tab Mix Plus, but upon first start of Firefox, the browser informs you that it already has a session restoration feature built in. I ignored the warning the second time I installed the plugin, went into the settings for Tab Mix Plus, and tried to configure it to not use the built-in session recovery. It still has no effect. If I have five tabs open, and shut down Firefox, the next time I open it I have a single homepage tab. What am I missing here? How could they have possibly screwed this up so badly? I’m keeping Firefox 1.5 on my main workstation for just this reason, which is completely ridiculous.

  • KTamas

    You should try to make a new profile and see how it works there, I do that on every major FX upgrade since I’ve had some weird problems in the past. To do that, launch firefox with the -p command line parameter and create a new profile (with some meaningful name at for its folder), then just copy over your bookmarks from %systemdrive:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[Your old profile folder name, probably some gibberish name]. You can also migrate the other stuff (userchrome/usercontent.css, user.js, extensions, search plugins etc.) step by step, seeing when will the problem kick in and see where is the problem.

  • emmfan

    I’ve been using Firefox 2.0 with the (partially) updated Tab Mix Plus (0.3.49.061009) and I ran into duplicate restored sessions where both the system option was restoring the tabs and Tab Mix Plus was restoring them as well.

    The configuration that I figured out was for the system options to select Startup: Show Home Page and under Tab Mix Plus Options -> Session -> Start/Exit Tab -> When Browser Starts: Restore, When Browser Exits: Save Session, Startup Session: Last Session.

    Hope that helps.

  • stan9980

    Check under Tools -> Options. On the Main tab there’s a drop-down box for what Firefox should do on startup, select “Show my windows and tabs from last time”, and everything should start as you left it. Works for me anyway!

  • Thanks guys. Firefox has that option in the WORST possible place. If I want my tabs to come back after an exit/restart, it should be set on the TABS area. Very lame. At any rate, when I made that change all I was getting was a blank startup page. I fought with it for a while, then tried an uninstall/re-install. No dice, same problem. I then spent some time complete scrubbing my system of every scrap of Firefox, did another install of 2.0, and now it’s all working as it should. I’ve been really impressed with Firefox up until this point, they really dropped the ball here…but at least I have it working now. Thanks!

  • ctmagnus

    I had the same issue earlier today. I had had it working since the day I installed it (about:config, set browser.startup.page to 3), but today I installed Tab Mix Plus and it blew everything all to hell and back. So I started FF in safe mode, disabled all plug-ins and reset the browser.startup.page setting. Then I started re-enabling all plug-ins, getting rid of any I haven’t used in a really long time as well as Tab Mix Plus, and now I’m back to normal.

  • StevenW

    Even tho that works for me, I don’t always want Firefox to open all the tabs I shut down with all the time. So I set up a folder in Bookmarks with sites that I want to open all at once. These are the sites I keep open all the time. Right click the folder under Bookmarks and choose “Open all in tabs”