How to Restore and Reopen All Your Recently Closed Tabs in Chrome

As a long-time Chrome user and web developer, I often have dozens of tabs open at once for research, testing websites, and general browsing. Accidentally closing a tab I still need is an all too common occurrence. Fortunately, Chrome has some great built-in features for restoring closed tabs and reopening your recent browsing session. In this article, I’ll walk through the various methods to reopen your recently closed tabs in Chrome.

Use the Keyboard Shortcut to Reopen the Last Closed Tab

The fastest way to reopen your most recently closed tab is with a simple keyboard shortcut.

On Windows and Linux: Ctrl + Shift + T

On Mac: Command + Shift + T

This keyboard shortcut will reopen the last tab you accidentally closed, cascading back through multiple closed tabs if you use it continuously. This is by far the fastest method if you just closed a tab and want it back instantly.

Restore a Whole Browsing Session Via the History Menu

Chrome’s history menu provides a way to reopen all the tabs from your previous browsing session if you just closed a whole window’s worth by accident.

Here’s how to restore a previous session:

  1. Click the History menu -> History
  2. In the left sidebar, click the down arrow button next to “Recently closed”
  3. You’ll see a list of your recent Chrome sessions. Click a session to reopen all those tabs.

This lets you reopen a whole group of tabs if you accidentally closed an entire window.

Reopen Closed Tabs from the Main Menu

You can also restore recently closed tabs via the main Chrome menu.

Here are the steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu in the top right corner represented by three dots
  2. Select History -> Reopen closed tab
  3. Click any tab in the list to reopen it

This menu provides a list of your recently closed tabs, letting you reopen them one by one. It’s useful if you want more selectivity over which tabs you restore.

Set Chrome to Always Reopen Your Last Session

You can enable an option to make Chrome always reopen your tabs from your last browsing session:

  1. Click the Chrome menu -> Settings
  2. Click On startup
  3. Select Continue where you left off
  4. Close all Chrome windows to stop the browser
  5. Next time Chrome starts, it will reopen all your tabs!

With this setting enabled, you’ll never lose a tab between browsing sessions. As soon as you restart Chrome, they’ll all reappear.

Use a Session Manager Extension for Tab Management

Installing a dedicated session manager extension like Tab Session Manager gives you more advanced tools for saving and restoring tabs and windows in Chrome.

These tools let you:

  • Name and save tab sessions to easily reopen later
  • View your recently closed tabs across all windows
  • Restore entire Chrome windows, not just individual tabs
  • Sync tab sessions across devices

If you regularly deal with dozens of tabs, a session manager can make your life a lot easier!

Configure Chrome to Warn Before Closing a Window with Multiple Tabs

You can enable an option to show a warning prompt before allowing you to close a Chrome window if it has more than one tab open.

To turn this on:

  1. Go to Chrome settings
  2. Click Privacy and security
  3. Enable Warn before quitting

Now Chrome will double check that you really want to close a window if you have multiple tabs open to prevent losing tabs by accident.

Be Careful When Using Incognito Mode

Tabs closed in Chrome’s Incognito Mode do not get restored when reopening the browser. Incognito tabs don’t get saved in your history or session data.

So be extra careful when closing tabs while using Incognito Mode – they’ll be gone for good! Consider disabling Incognito Mode if you find yourself frequently closing tabs on accident.

Use Canary or Chromium for Additional Features

Chrome Canary and Chromium are alternative versions of Chrome intended for developers and early adopters. They often have experimental features not yet rolled out to the stable browser.

These special versions of Chrome sometimes provide even more options for tab management and recovery. It’s worth keeping an eye on their latest updates if you want additional ways to restore lost tabs.

Don’t Rely On Undo Tab Close Extensions Too Much

There are Chrome extensions that add a simple “undo” function when you close tabs, but I don’t recommend relying on them too heavily. They can sometimes conflict with Chrome’s built-in tab recovery features leading to strange behavior. I prefer using Chrome’s native options for restoring tabs when possible.

Stay Organized and Plan Ahead

No system for recovering tabs will work 100% perfectly every time. The best way to avoid frustration from losing tabs is simply staying organized from the start.

Some tips:

  • Use bookmarks liberally for important pages you may want later
  • Create task-focused windows for different projects or topics
  • Close tabs you aren’t actively using
  • Use a tab manager extension if you have tons of tabs

Planning ahead is always preferable to trying to rescue tabs after accidentally closing them!