When Software Betrays You

It’s a funny thing how much we come to rely on software for repeated executions of the same function over and over, and shocked and frustrated we are when it suddenly doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. I rely heavily on Firefox’s ability to re-open tabs – rather than bookmarking sites, if they’re something I want to look at later, I’ll just leave them open in a tab. I’ve had tabs open for weeks at a time if it’s something that’s low-priority. I shut down Firefox, and every time I re-open it, my tabs come back…until today. Today I started up Firefox, and none of my tabs re-opened. In fact, it didn’t even load Google as my starting page. I was staring at a blank screen. I exited and re-started, hoping to see the message about it restoring previous tabs from a crashed state…nothing. I checked under HISTORY > RECENTLY CLOSED TABS…and nothing was there because I set the privacy settings to purge pretty much everything upon exit. Damn.

All my tabs were gone – I had about four of them, and I can’t recall what they were. Lost forever amongst the myriad of sites, never to be found again. I was completely baffled that Firefox didn’t do what it was supposed to do. Thankfully it seems to be working properly again, but I’ve now changed my privacy settings to not purge the history in case it happens again. Hopefully Firefox won’t do this again…maybe it’s acting up on me because I criticized the people who created it. 😉

  • T-Will

    That sucks, I hate it when that’s happened to me.

    I use the Tab Mix Plus extension to save my tabs between sessions, and normally it auto-saves, but if I have a bunch of tabs open that I really don’t want to lose, I’ll manually go to Tools -> Session Manager -> Save This Window to permanently save the tabs I have open. Typically Firefox stays open 100% of the time that my PC is on, so this is rarely an an issue.

  • hishamh

    Session Manager is a separate extension:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2324

    I’ve come across the very same situation as you have – all my (100!!!) tabs disappeared one day. I’ve used Session Manager ever since.

  • Yeah, I’ve had this happen too and I’ve since downloaded Google Browser Sync and it has saved my bacon several times.

  • Whenever Firefox has started up with a white screen for me, I’ve always had multiple instances of firefox.exe listed in the Processes tab of Task Manager. Exiting any open instances of Firefox and then killing the extraneous firefox.exe’s manages to correct it for me.