How to save and restore browsing sessions in Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera

Posted by Matthew on July 27, 2016

A browsing session is when there are multiple Web pages open in your browser. You can save a browsing session and then later quickly reload all its page tabs after restarting the browser. Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera users can save and restore browsing sessions both with and without extensions.

Saving and Restoring Browsing Sessions in Chrome

Firstly, you can save and restore a browsing session, otherwise multiple page tabs, in Chrome without any extra extensions. When you’ve finished your browsing session, right-click one of the open tabs and select Bookmark all tabs from the context menu. This option opens the window below when selected.

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Enter a folder title for the browsing session in the text box. You could add the date of the browsing session as a title. Then choose a folder to save the browsing session subfolder in such as Bookmarks bar. Press the Save button on the window to save the browsing session.

Then you should press the Customize button at the top right of Chrome’s window and click Bookmarks > Bookmarks Manager. You’ll find all your saved browsing session folders there. Right-click one of your browsing session folders, and you can then select an Open all bookmarks option from there that effectively opens all the page tabs you had open in the saved browsing session.

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So you don’t really need extensions to save and restore a browsing session in Google Chrome. However, with the extra tab management options they have it might still be better to save browsing sessions with add-ons. Awesome Window & Tab Manager is a good extension to save browser sessions with. Add it Chrome from here, and then press the extension’s button on the toolbar as shown below.

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The extension’s window shows you a list of all the tabs open in Chrome, otherwise the browsing session. Click the Save or Restore Sessions button there to open the window directly below. Enter a title for the session in the text box and press the disk icon beside it to save the session.

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An advantage of this extension is that it includes a search box you can search tabs with. Enter a keyword there to find tabs. In addition, you can also select Domain from the Categorize drop-down menu to organize the page tabs into website groups.

Saving and Restoring Browsing Sessions in Firefox

Firefox users can find the same Bookmark All Tabs option when they right-click a page tab on the tab bar. You can select that option to open the New Bookmarks window directly below. Give the browsing session folder a title and then press Add Bookmarks to save it.

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Press the Show your bookmarks button on the toolbar and select Show All Bookmarks to open the Library window below. That includes your saved browsing session folders. You can right-click a folder and select Open All in Tabs to restore all the pages in a browsing session.

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As such, extra add-ons aren’t essential for saving browsing sessions in Firefox. However, there are still some tab management extensions for Firefox that save browsing sessions. One of those is Sessions Manager that you can install from this Mozilla page. That adds the disk button in the snapshot below to the browser’s toolbar.

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Now you can press that button on the toolbar to save all the page tabs in your browsing session. That will open the window shown directly below. A title for the session will already be entered in the text box. Press the Save Session button on that window.

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That window lists all your saved browsing sessions so you can open them from there. Alternatively, click the small arrow beside the disk button on toolbar to open the menu in the shot directly below. That also includes all your saved browsing sessions.

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The extension also adds a Reopen the most recently closed tab button to the toolbar. Press that to reopen the last closed tab. Or click the arrow beside it to open a list of closed tabs that you can reopen in the browser. In addition, you can also select to reopen closed Firefox windows from there.

Sessions Manager has plenty of other options you can select by clicking the arrow beside the disk button, Session Manager and Session Manager Options. That opens the Session Manager Options window directly below.

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On that window’s Startup and Shutdown tab you can choose a specific session for Firefox to load when you first open the browser. Click the Select session radio button there and then choose one of your saved browsing sessions from the drop-down menu. Click Apply and OK to save the settings and close window.

Saving and Restoring Browsing Sessions in Opera

Opera probably has the best built-in options to save and restore browsing sessions with. You can save browsing sessions and reopen them from its Speed Dial page. To do that, right-click a page on the tab bar and select the Save tabs as speed dial folder option from the context menu.

Then open the Speed Dial in Opera as below. Now you’ll find a speed dial folder on that page which includes the saved browsing session. This gives you quicker access to saved sessions.

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Click the speed dial folder to open an expanded preview of the website pages it includes. Right-click a speed dial folder and select Open all in new tabs to reopen the browsing session in the same window. Or click Open all in new window to open the session in another browser window.

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However, the Save tabs as speed dial folder option doesn’t save additional Opera windows. So if you have a few more tabs open in other windows and need to save them in the browsing session, add V7 Sessions to Opera from this page. Then press Ctrl + Shift + S to open the browser’s sidebar that includes a V7 Sessions button on it.

Click that button to open the extension’s options as below. There select the Save session option at the top left of the sidebar. That will save all the tabs in a browsing session including those in extra Opera windows. So now you can double-click a browsing session listed on that sidebar to open all its windows from there.

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By saving browsing sessions, you can now quickly save and reopen multiple page tabs in Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome. So you’ll never lose any browsing sessions. Extensions are not essential, but their extra options for saving and restoring sessions will certainly come in handy.

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