“Open these the next time I use Internet Explorer” no longer an option in IE 8

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post to make you aware of a feature in IE7 that is not going to be included in IE 8.  This pertains to the options IE7 provides you when closing out a multi-tabbed IE process.  These check box options are available when unhidden:


So with the, “Open these the next time I use Internet Explorer” checked, IE7 keeps track of the currently open tabs and will then re-open them when the IE is re-opened.  This option, however, is not included with IE8.  However, a similar option is available in IE8 – see details below:

Open tabs you've previously closed

If you close one or more tabs during a browsing session, or close a browsing session entirely—either accidentally or on purpose—you can now use Internet Explorer 8 to reopen the tabs or browsing session that you closed.

To reopen the tabs you closed during your current browsing session

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the New Tab button:


  2. On the new tab page, under Reopen closed tabs, find and click the address for the webpage that you want to open:



  • If you have changed the new tab page to your home page, you can type about:tabs in the Address bar to view the new tab page.

  • Internet Explorer only keeps track of history and form data for tabs that you close during your current browsing session. If you close tabs, and then end your browsing session by closing the browser, you won't be able to reopen those tabs. You can reopen that browsing session, but it will only display the tabs that were open when you closed the browser.

To re-open the last browsing session you closed

When you close Internet Explorer and end your browsing session, it keeps track of the web pages that you had open at the time. As a result, when you open a new browsing session, you can reopen the web pages that were open during your previous browsing session. Follow these steps to reopen your last browsing session:

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button.

  2. Click Reopen Last Browsing Session. All the web pages that you had open when Internet Explorer was last closed will open in new tabs:



  • You can also reopen the last browsing session from the new tab page:


Well, that’s about it.  As always, we hope this information for was friendly and informative!


The IE Team

Comments (62)
  1. bjmorello says:

    This has nothing to do with the above post, but this said IE support team, so I hope to get a answer or you will forward this to someone who can help me.

    I have IE 8.  I tried to download IE8 RC1 it would not install.  Error code said I already have a newer verison.  What is up with that?

    email me at woodmet1@yahoo.com Thank you

  2. Humberto says:

    Why is this not included? Where is there something similar?

  3. Bill Bennett says:

    It is possible to script ie8 so the ‘reopen closed tabs" option is automatically selected on startup?

  4. Andrew says:

    Your "Reopen Last Browsing Session" snapshot is incorrect.  You’re highlighting Delete Browsing History.

  5. fr says:

    I was sorry to loose this, in IE8 there is now no way to automatically reopen your previous tabs like you can in most other browsers.  I know the solution is only 2 clicks but still I think this could have been done better.

  6. Tom says:

    Leaving out this IE7 feature was stupid.

  7. Mikuss says:

    Funny – it seemed like an easy option to include from ie7.

  8. Mohammad says:

    I think the old option in IE 7 is enough for cover this matter

    Please add it to IE 8

  9. Sila says:

    Honestly I think that it used to be much better!

    what is the reasoning behind taking this desicion?

    I think a good compromise would be to create a keyboard shortcut to opening the last session, this will certanly speed up things.

    1 last thing i want to add… im sure i have some spelling mistakes in this comments and its a shame that Microsoft didnt include a spell checker!!



  10. Roger says:

    Two things that you didn’t mention, probably because they are obvious to you: "Reopen Last Browsing Session" does not include InPrivate browsing, and will not work if the "Internet Options>Delete browsing history on exit" checkbox is checked.

    All this is NEW to us, so might not hurt to mention it, even if it IS obvious.



  11. Mike Henshaw says:

    So where is the setting to always open up tabs after re-opeing IE8?  Opera and Mozilla related browsers have this option why not IE8?  Is IE8 too "special"?

  12. Ramesh says:

    Thanks…. It very much useful to me.

  13. Torbjörn says:

    Yes the IE7 behavior and the need for using "Open these the next time I use Internet Explorer" checkbox at every exit if you wanted to preserve your last browsing session was probably less than optimal.

    But, i don’t like that there is no way of auto restoring the last session.

    Yes i can do that manualy but thats not the point.

    How about something as simple as a special url like about:restoresession that you can set as your home page or a checkbox to make IE8 always restore your last browsing session?

    One reason i prefer firefox is because of it’s abilito to auto restore my last browsing session and it does that in a way that you can rely on.

    IE8 is an improvement compared with IE7 with the crash recovery feature.

    Shouldn’t it be up to the user if he wants to have loads of tabs?

  14. motex says:

    How can this have been removed? I don’t see how IE expects to compete with chrome, firefox and Opera if it removes important features as this one. All the other mayor browsers are moving towards an automatic comfortable experience. I think this decision is really regreatable.

  15. Chris says:

    Why did you remove this feature?  What you suggest is a manual workaround to a useful feature that was removed for an unstated reason.

  16. Al Brown says:

    I prefer the options to reopen tabs under IE7 & have uninstalled IE8 & gone back to IE7

  17. me says:

    thanks for highlighting this, been bugging me for a couple of days.

    bl()()dy typical of M$ to remove a useful feature. off to find an extension (firefox equiv) to make this work

  18. Mike G says:

    It’s really annoying that there’s no way to automatically reopen the last session in IE8! I’m really wondering why someone made the decision to regress back to making us click the option manually over and over.

    A second annoyance is that reopening the last session also reopens your home tab(s)!! Since home tabs are automatically opened at browser starup this will obviously create reduntant home tabs along with the other tabs you really wanted to reopen. How can something this obvious be missed during all the months of testing?

  19. Charles Perreault says:

    Not including this feature was a bold move, restoring tabs at startup is a must-have nowadays. This should be at least customizable in some menu or policy or registry key.  Check the session manager in Firefox and use their specs for IE9.

  20. Rob L says:

    Sometimes when I use the new feature in IE8, it doesn’t open all my tabs and I end up losing everything I was working on. If a new window opened at some point it remembers that as the last "browsing session". Why is this? Why can’t we restore tabs across multiple windows. I really like IE8 but this single issue has driven me back to Firefox (that doesn’t integrate well with Windows 7) because I like to be able to reboot my PC and restore my last browsing environment.

    I would think I am not the only one that gets periodically punished by this issue. What does the IE team do in this situation? Do you ever lose all your tabs?

  21. Kelly says:

    Are you going to update this like it was in IE7? I personally liked that better.

  22. Mitch Salaway says:

    This is a horrible change.

    Can someone write us a registry fix for this issue.

  23. Roger Farber says:

    If I have multiple pages open, each with multiple tabs, is there a way to save the session for each one?  If I close three windows successively, will it only remember the tabs from the last window I closed, or will it remember the tabs from all the windows that were closed?

    The advantage of the system in IE7 is that I can close any window and it will store those tabs until the next time I reopen IE.



  24. John Kaminsky says:

    Is there any way to have this happen automatically, like Firefox?

  25. eegorr says:

    The "Reopen Last Browsing Session" in IE8 is seriously flawed. It does not even provide the same amount of functionality that the feature in IE7 did, let alone coming close to what the competition (Firefox and Safari) can do.

    First of all, only ONE WINDOW is opened, not the entire browsing session. Even if you are careful to open new tabs in the same window, if you make the mistake of leaving a popup open while closing the main window, you will lose all of your browsing history. "Reopen Last BROWSER WINDOW" will then do exactly that when you execute it the next time IE8 opens – it will open that single, lonely popup window instead of the window with all of the tabs you are interested in seeing again.

    You can generally work around this, but only if you have access to the menu bar from the popup window. The workaround is to "Reopen Last BROWSER WINDOW" from the popup, which will actually add all of tabs from the window that you just closed to the current window. But if you can’t get to the "Reopen Last BROWSER WINDOW" command from the popup, you are screwed – all of that information is going to be lost when you close the popup window.

    You can save all of the tabs before closing your session, but that does not save the individual tab history – only the last url that is open is saved for each tab.

    The really stupid thing is that the functionality for "Reopen Last Browsing Session" actually exists and works in IE8, but it has to go through an abnormal termination (crash) in order to be able to activate it. If you have ever had you computer reboot (or windows hang, forcing a reboot) while you are running IE8, you know that the first time you run it after the crash, you are given the option to restore the previous session. In that case, it is actually the entire session that opens, not just one window.

    So, at minimum, Microsoft should rename the "Reopen Last Browsing Session" command to indicate what it really does: "REOPEN LAST BROWSER WINDOW". But what they should really do is fix the problem!

    Till then, I will be using Firefox and Safari, or crashing IE8 to force it to recover the tabs in ALL WINDOWS.

  26. shari says:

    I used "Open these the next time I use Internet Explorer" everyday–it was so useful, why would micro$oft get rid of it

  27. Lennart says:

    Why remove a handy feature?

    Typical downward technology push…not listing to the users..I was just using IE more than firefox on my new laptop. But firefox is shurely coming back!

  28. Itsme says:

    I’m not a Microsoft basher, but to me this shows that Microsoft has learned nothing from the Vista debacle.

    I used to keep several windows open, each with multiple tabs.  I could close each one, and when I restarted IE  (usually after a reboot) I would open all the tabs in one window.

    Now the only way to do this is to find a certain process in task manager, kill it, then that will kill IE.  Then when you restart IE, it will reopen everything.

    Indeed what a step backwards.

  29. Jay says:

    Why did you remove this?  Whomever made this descision should not be working for you.  This is why I will continue to use firefox and if I have to use IE, I will use Maxthon since they are apparently trying to make the user experience better and not worse.

  30. gomez73 says:

    This is a seemingly simple but great feature, that I was sure would be in all versions after IE7, when i didn’t see it initially. I hunted for about 15 minutes, until I could think of nowhere else to look except a registry hack if it was possible at all. I counted 30 posts here all saying basically the same thing, "we want that feature." why take out something thats desirable and functional and then include some other functions that perhaps the majority will not use. That alone has caused me to not upgrade some of my machines to IE8 simply to keep that function. Take stock in this post MS, listen to your customers and end users more carefully and deliver. Just because some programers or Bill G. does’nt think a feature is no longer needed does’nt matter the most. At the end of the day, it is what your CUSTOMERS WANT that should be getting the attention.

    PLEASE fix this with what I can only imagine is a relatively simple update or add-on.

  31. fuller says:

    this is really annoying i really like this feature i am very disapointed in them for taking this out. fire fox,google chrome and opra have it it is a siple feature i think you should ake an update to fix this mircosft listen to your costimers

  32. jch says:

    Why can’t IE8 correctly reopen all the tabs which were open when it closed?  Here’s the scenario which bugs the crap out of me.  I’m using IE8 with several tabs open and decide to update windows.  So several updates download and install and then prompts me to reboot the system to complete the update.  So I reboot the system but when IE8 comes back up it won’t restore the tabs I had been using.  IE8 only restores one tab (it appears as though it was one which was opened in a separate window). WHY ???  All I wanted to do was update Windows.  Why do I lose all my tabs??  FF handles this amazingly well.  Why cant IE8???????????????

  33. TeknoPhil says:

    I was wondering whether anyone was going to respond to these unanimous comments.

    I have found this feature in IE7 to be so useful, especially when researching subjects, that I use it all the time. I couldn’t believe it when I was unable to find the same facility in IE8. I have now uninstalled IE8 and reverted to IE7; such a shame as I really like IE8 otherwise.

    The "Reopen Last Browsing Session" in IE8 is seriously flawed as mentioned in eegors post and does not provide anything like the functionality of IE7.

    Come on MS and IE support team, lets hear from you and lets have a solution asap or at the very least let us know your intentions.

  34. hi all

    when I try yo open new tab I see


    how to make it alweys show


    thank you ..

  35. Andrew says:

    They dont care, all they care about is making $$

    What do people know……

  36. Shmcc says:

    I’m so glad to have found this thread to realize I’m not the only one with MAJOR complaints about a very useful feature.  I love the accelerator feature of IE8, and use it so frequently that when I’m in Firefox, I forget that it’s not there.  (highlight a word and immediately you can define, search with google, google video, translate, etc.)  In fact, I like this new feature of IE8 so much that I switched from primarily using FF to IE8.  But after I found that I could only restore previous sessions IN THEIR ENTIRETY was when IE crashed, I started shutting off the computer, to save the next session.  

    I use multiple tabs and multiple windows every time I’m online, and FFox always restores them perfectly.  After reading the above comments and complaints, I am rechanging (again) my preferred browser to firefox.  Not having the new accelerator option is less of an inconvenience than spending hours on research and having to go to the history to restore them.   It’s a complete waste of time, and much more time than it takes for me to open up a new tab for a google search, definition or whatever in firefox.

    Thanks to all for your comments.  I’m going back to Firefox, Gates!

  37. MikeH says:

    Me too!

    I hate it if I need to reboot my computer for a critical IE8 update but cannot temporarily save my current IE8 sessions.

    I normally have open around 20-50 browser sessions, to restore them all manually wastes a lot of time!!

  38. Nitrox says:

    Unbeleivable! I just took IE8 for a spin, but the inability to remember tabs is just so lame. Goodbye IE8, I’m going back to Firefox!

  39. Tanja Harmse says:

    I really miss the “Open these the next time I use Internet Explorer” feature in IE7 ..

    Can anyone suggest who else has the feature and I’ll uninstall IE8.

  40. 95% IE7 Users representative says:

    Strongly recommend to put this feature back on!!!  Otherwise, we will just switch to use Firefox.

  41. Yep, please sort this out.  It’s VERY annoying not to have a proper restore option.

  42. Daryl Haataja (required?) says:

    Its not about improved user experience, possible future revenue, a possible reason to M$ intentional deprecation of their products. Note: the intentional plural. Is Linux a viable solution?

  43. Daryl Haataja (required?) says:

    I forgot to mention, some companies employ pop-"unders", pop-ups that open in the background. It is imperitive to undergo the process of bringing all IE windows to the desktop, minimize the window you want available for next session. Close all other IE windows 1st. Lastly close the IE window whose tabs you want available next session. Beware the pop-unders. Maybe this is seen as descrimination (sorry if its misspelled, no spell checker here), as descrimination to other site possibilities as source of information to whatever you were doing, if you even remember where you were headed in your browsing session. Thanks for nothing goes to someone who developed what ever has been developed.

  44. tom says:

    IE 8 is another dissappointment from MS.  Good-bye IE – hello Chrome and Firefox!  

  45. Daryl Haataja (required?) says:

    I just noticed, the starting post for this string’s pertinent info,

    < "Monday, March 16, 2009 5:00 AM Brent Goodpaster"
    < "Well, that’s about it.  As always, we hope this information for was friendly and "
    < "informative!"
    < "Regards,"
    < "The IE Team"

    This would indicate "The IE Team", has known of this issue for almost a year.

    1. Nothing has been done.
    2. Other browsers (Firefox, Opera, Chrome, ... etc.) do care, freely.
    3. If there is a valid reason, "The IE Team" isn't concerned with users enough to respond.
    4. Costomer's continued use, even with requested the fix, shows M$ users importance. (they have none)
    5. I am an idiot, to care enough to respond with my opinion. (M$ doen't, and isn't going to care)
  46. Daryl Haataja (required?) says:

    My conclusion: like other industries who know they have a major slice of the market, they’ve taken a stance of the user will have to do what they dictate. User be damned.

    Its like M$ refusal to include a way to restore menus in the new Office Suite.

    M$ actually responds, there are 3rd party add-ons available to purchase.

    Supplying mechanisms to harness free natural resources means eliminating current customers dependence on what is.

    Making something that lasts beyond its guarantee period, doesn’t create increased return business.

    Oops, the attitude is being pushed world wide isn’t it?

    Oh well, it is, what it is.

  47. Lee Taylor says:

    What are the chances of having this feature added back to IE8 even in an update?  I prefer using IE over other browsers, never had problems with it, but this feature would be great to have again.

  48. Eric Mitchell says:

    That is a stunner.  "Our users liked it so much that we had to take it out"?

    The problem with tabbed browsers is that they ask for more memory as we open new tabs, but they never give the memory back.  Soon, a browser window can own hundreds of megabytes of memory.  I tend to open multiple browsers – with each containing tabs of related content – so that I can reclaim memory by closing (just) a subject I no longer need.

    If Vista shuts down unexpectedly (laptop battery goes dead), all of my windows and tabs are restored when I next start IE – love that.  To avoid closing browsers during a normal shutdown, I tell the computer to hibernate instead.  Unfortunately, Vista will occasionally override my choice and shut down anyway (when updates are pending, I think).  Then, I have to re-open web browsers, then remember and re-search for the pages I had open; it takes a long time even if I can remember everything.

    MS, please automatically restore IE sessions just like you do after a crash.  I know hearing people threaten to switch to FF becomes just so much noise, but I find that even I am using FF a lot – and I'm the last holdout in my family; my kids think IE is so bad that it's un-cool to use.  What was that other company that paid no heed?  General Motors?

    And while you're at it, give us the option of restoring menus in MS Office.  Using that new thing is like trying to build a house with flowers instead of tools.  It's pretty – useless.

  49. Ori Klein says:

    While I can understand this may have done in order to prevent a security exploit, to remove it entirely from access to advanced users who enjoy this feature and force them through hoops, however few, is aggravating to say in the least.

    Furthermore, IE8 yet still has the same failures of its predecessors of having every single process lockdown whenever one of them, or a tab in the same process, is choked on some script that it has no idea how to exit or slow on processing as well as crashing if too many resources are being used (ex. many tabs with heavy content websites and/or videos running in them).

    I am sadly finding myself more and more leaning towards FireFox, even though I do not quite like it in particular for its wastive approach towards hogging my system resources.

  50. Jake Brumby says:

    Why did you remove this useful feature? Not only should you include this feature, it should be enabled by default. Bizarre decision and frustrating.

  51. Shannon says:

    This is annoying. Why in the world do I want to use a browser that actually makes my life more difficult? Do you know how annoying it is to have to log all those links in a word doc before shutting down? And yes I could use that bookmark feature, but that is just as troublesome. And don't even get me started on the favorites menu. Used to it would stay in whatever Folder I was currently saving favorite links in, but now I  have to go through and go back to the folder I want each and every single time. When I'm saving over a dozen links in the same Folder that gets exceedingly old.

  52. Michael says:

    Yes, this feature needs to be added back in.

  53. Flumpy says:

    M$ seem hell-bent on changing features and UI layouts, not because they improve the user experience or usability, but because they feel the need to be "seen to be doing". Personally I feel they have run out of new ideas and instead of evolution through feedback improvement they choose revolution by force. Whay they fail to see is that they are rapidly alienating users in the process by constantly changing tried and trusted features that have served their products well for so long.

    Every other major browser with tabbed browsing has the ability to restore previous tabs/sessions. I'm amazed that the M$ dev team think removing this feature has in any way enhanced the user experience.

    As Daryl Haataja mentions, the new Office suite is a good case in point. I work in UX and UI design, and the new Office interface (with its horrible ribboned toolbar interface) fails on almost every usability level. I've moved to using Open Office at home, but unfortunately I am stuck with Office 2010 at work. There are third-party addons to restore the original menu functionality, but I find it laughable that M$ didn't include a default option for users to use the old interface (which was tried, tested, and loved by most long-term users). Shame on you, Micro$oft.

  54. darren says:

    yea bring it back i often need to acsess the stuff as i get interupted bring back restore last session

  55. D. Fisher says:

    PLEASE bring this back.  If it's not back in IE9, I'll have to go to FireFox or something else…

  56. Andre says:

    This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. These guys from Microsoft seem really stupid sometimes. Do it like Forefox does. Just remember the tabs that were open when you closed IE. It should be as simple as that. Nobody likes fake workarounds that demand too much clicking and option changing and that simply don't work in the end.

  57. FirstSkyler1 says:

    Why remove such the best feature ever? I used to use IE7, IE8, and IE9, but this is just non-sence.

    GOOGLE CHROME IS COMING BACK. (If I have to use IE then I'll start up Firefox.)

  58. josephbrown012 says:

    Thanks for this post, i will try that.

  59. Brian says:

    I came here looking for "Which is the best way to bring an Internet Explorer session to an abnormal end?"

    I am sick and tired of opening every page from my previous session from History (Ctrl+H) – this takes more time than IE is worth, and yet I find I cannot work without having my tabs in groups – so IE is still my favorite!!

  60. Brian says:

    Oops, sorry!! I should have mentioned I'm still using IE7.

  61. Bobby Di says:

    I am having trouble with a program that keeps running an instance of IE8- when I click to remove the tab IE recovers it so I cannot get around the internet! Any ideas?

  62. AxelRMSFT says:

    @Bobby Di    

    Disable your add on and try it again.

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