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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine Web Browsers
Power users often have dozens of documents open in Safari at any one time, some possibly for months at a time, and it can be infuriating to have Safari crash or for some other reason lose everything you had open. Here's how to get it all back.

I tend to accumulate too many open web documents. Right now, I have ten windows up, each of which has four or more open web pages, and that's only because I just went through and closed a bunch I didn't need. I've had some open for months, because I haven't gotten around to reading them, or because I've been actually using them this whole time (on and off) for a project.

As far as browsers go, Safari isn't too bad, but its crash protection is basically nonexistent, or at least it was when I started using Tiger. At the time, I installed Saft, and I never looked back. Even with Saft, however, Safari isn't perfectly reliable. There are a number of ways that your session might be lost. Safari or an in-process add-on might corrupt memory, thereby corrupting your session info. There might be a kernel panic at just the wrong time. Another sure way to destroy your session is to quit the browser while in Private Browsing mode. (No session info gets stores on quit, so when you reopen, 'Reopen All Windows From Last Session' gives you nothing or junk.) And another way is to start Safari with no internet connection, try (and fail) to reload your last session, and then quit. (Now, connection errors are your last session.)

This hint assumes that you do very regular backups. I have a Time Capsule and therefore backup every hour while at home. This is important. If you don't have a backup from just before you lost your session, you're out of luck.

If you are not using Saft, then the file you need to find is:

~/Library/Safari/LastSession.plist

If you ARE using Saft, it seems to interfere with sessions being saved in LastSession.plist (mine contains mostly Top Sites tabs), and in any case, it stores its session restore info in an entirely different place:

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist

First, quit Safari. Then find whichever one is right for you and make a backup copy. Click on the filename, and then enter Time Machine. Now, the trick is to figure out how far back you have to go to find the most recent valid session. This may take a few tries. Restore the file from backup to its original location. Then restart Safari. If you're using Saft, the session will restore automatically. If not, you'll have to select 'Reopen All Windows From Last Session' from the History menu. You may have to try again if you picked one that was too old or too new (corrupted or post-corruption).

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. It is a use for Time Machine I might not have thought of on my own.]
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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: taran on Feb 11, '11 07:58:30AM

I use the SafariRestore extension to save pages in case of a crash (or normal quit, e.g. I am restarting to install a system update).

It is not perfect - occasionally pages will all appear in tabs in one window instead of grouped as I had them, and sometimes it restores pages I had previously closed - but it has never lost pages for me.



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: hmelman on Feb 11, '11 08:54:05AM

If Safari crashes, I just use the Reopen All Windows from Last Session command in the History menu.



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: philostein on Feb 11, '11 05:30:35PM

I'd forgotten about this, thanks.

I have problems getting it to appear regularly though, through force quit and normal quit.

Any rules at play here?



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: BlackPenguin on Feb 11, '11 09:09:03AM
This is a nice hint, but I do prefer the Sessions Safari extension by David Yoo. It has a well-designed interface and allows you to manage groups of tabs that you have open. It also has the ability to auto-save as often as every 5 minutes, thereby obviating the need for Time Machine. I tend to keep a lot of tabs open, too, so I've found this one to be invaluable.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8247646/sessions/index.html

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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: BiL Castine on Feb 11, '11 09:35:32AM

Wow, sessions looks very sexy!



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: BiL Castine on Feb 11, '11 09:33:57AM

I, too, used to use Saft, but stopped using it after too many charges for upgrades that only supported a new version of Safari and didnít add features. Now I rely on Safari extensions to improve my browser experience.

I use the SafariRestore extension to save my open tabs. Itís been almost 100% reliable for me, plus it lets me save multiple sessions as often as I like.



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: chucky23 on Feb 12, '11 04:46:03AM

Worth noting that OmniWeb doesn't suffer from this problem.

If OmniWeb ever crashes, or if I ever force-quit it, when I relaunch, all my previous tabs automatically reopen. Every single time. Without fail.

There are plenty of other nice features that make me use OmniWeb as my default browser, but that's certainly one of my favorites.



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: sean.peters on Feb 12, '11 06:45:43AM

Or you could just use Firefox, which automatically recovers all your tabs, even if it crashes.



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: theosib on Feb 18, '11 07:05:32AM

There are two major problems with this:

(1) I've had Firefox lose its state also. And I have no idea where Firefox keeps session information.
(2) Firefox is very bad for Mac notebooks because it prevents them from going to sleep when you leave then idle. Great way to run your battery to zero.



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Safari loses all your open pages: recover using Time Machine
Authored by: sgmorr on May 08, '11 12:06:15PM

This hint worked great for me. I used Time Machine to restore the last session. It was not a problem due to a crash but it was a case of another user quitting and restarting Safari therefore causing the loss of my "last session." I got it all back now. Thanks!



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