How to Restore Closed Tabs in Chrome

Any regular user of the Chrome browser will often have multiple tabs open all at once. Closing tabs accidentally is something that can happen to any user at any time while browsing multiple tabs. Fortunately, The developers have anticipated that such an event would happen and have options built in to restore the pages that you browse.

That being said, we will show you how to restore closed tabs in Chrome for all the platforms that it is available for. We will also give you several useful tips that will enhance your Chrome browsing experience.

How to Restore Closed Tabs in Chrome on a Windows, Mac or Chromebook PC

When using Chrome on a desktop, it does not really matter what kind of operating system you use. The options to restore closed tabs will be the same whether you are using Windows 10, Mac, or Chromebook. If you wish to open a closed tab on Chrome while on a desktop, follow these instructions:

  1. Step 1

    With Chrome running, open a new tab. This is so that you do not overwrite the currently open tab.
  2. Step 2

    Open the customization and control options by clicking the three dots icon in the upper rightmost corner of the Chrome screen. (If you see a red or yellow arrow rather than the three horizontal dots click it, this means you need to update your browser).
  3. Step 3

    On the dropdown menu, hover over History.
  4. Step 4

    Find the closed tab from the list of recently closed websites and click on it.

If the tab that you are looking for is not on the list, then it may be further down the list. To view an expanded list, do the following:

  1. Step 1

    While you are hovering over the History menu, click on History or use the shortcut Ctrl + H.
  2. Step 2

    Scroll down the list to find the website that you want to open.
  3. Step 3

    Click on the desired website to open it in a new tab.

How to Restore Closed Tabs in Chrome on an Android Device

If you are using the Chrome mobile app, the steps to restore the tabs that were recently closed are actually rather similar. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1

    Open the Chrome mobile app. Open a new tab so that you do not overwrite the current one. To open a new tab, click on the square icon just to the right of the address bar. This would be the icon that has the number of pages currently open.
  2. Step 2

    On the new screen that appears, click on the plus icon on the upper left of the screen.
  3. Step 3

    Click on the customization and controls menu. This would be the three dots icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Step 4

    Scroll down the menu that appears until you see History. Tap on History.
  5. Step 5

    Scroll down the list of recently opened websites until you find the website that you wish to open.

How to Restore Closed Tabs in Chrome on an iPhone

The Chrome mobile app is not platform dependent. The steps to restore recently closed webpages are similar to those of Android. If you wish to restore tabs on the iPhone version of Chrome, follow the instructions as given in the Android version above.

How to Restore Closed Tabs in Chrome After a Crash

If you wish to restore recently open tabs on Chrome in the event of a crash, you have two options. You will either have to open them through the Chrome History menu as instructed above or set up an auto restore in settings. To enable the option to restore tabs follow these steps:

  1. Step 1

    Open the Chrome browser. If it is already running, open a new tab so that you do not overwrite the currently open website.
  2. Step 2

    Click on the customization and control options. This is the three dots icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Step 3

    In the dropdown menu, find and click on Settings.
  4. Step 4

    In the Settings menu, find and click on the On Startup option. Make sure that the toggle on ‘Continue where you left off’ has been turned on.
  5. Step 5

    You can now navigate out of this window.

With this option turned on, every time you start Chrome it will now automatically open the most recently open tabs. If your computer suddenly decides to crash on you, all of your open tabs will be restored when you open Chrome back up.

This also applies to all tabs that are open when you click on the Close button on the upper right corner of the Chrome browser. If you close Chrome, all tabs that were open at the time will be restored when you open it again.

However, this does not apply if you close each tab individually. If you do this Chrome will only restore the last tab that was open before the entire application was shut down. If you closed individual tabs, then you will have to open them through the Chrome browser History as detailed in the instructions above.

How to Restore Accidentally Closed Tabs in Chrome After a Restart

If you wish to restore the tabs that you’ve accidentally closed during a restart, either refer to the Chrome Browser History option or the ‘Continue where you left off’ option as detailed in the instructions above. Tab restoration as applies to crashes also applies to restarts.

Accessing Tabs Opened in Other Devices

If you sign in to a Google account when you use Chrome, your browsing history will be saved across all devices used. This is handy if you wish to open a website on your desktop that you recently accessed on your mobile device. To do this, follow the instructions as given below:

  1. Step 1

    Open the Chrome application. If it is already open, open a new tab to avoid overwriting the currently open website.
  2. Step 2

    Open the customization and control menu by clicking on the three dots icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Step 3

    In the dropdown menu, hover over History, then click on the History option.
  4. Step 4

    In the menu to the left, click on Tabs from other devices. On the list that appears, you will be shown recently accessed tabs on all devices that you used while logged into your Google account. Find the website that you wish to open and then click on it.

Deleting Browser History

If you wish to delete your browser history, either to reduce clutter or free up disk space, you can do so individually or all at once. To do either, follow the steps below:

Clear entire Chrome browser History

  1. Step 1

    On the Chrome browser, open the customization and control menu by clicking on the three dots icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Step 2

    On the dropdown menu, hover over History and then click on History.
  3. Step 3

    On the menu to the left, click on Clear browsing data.
  4. Step 4

    Alternatively, in the dropdown menu, you can click on Settings, then in the menu to the left, click on Privacy and Security. Among the tabs to the right, click on Clear browsing data.
  5. Step 5

    On the popup window that appears, choose whether you want the Basic or Advanced options.
    a. The basic options allow you to clear the history, cookies, and cached images and files. You can also set the time period that you want to delete. The ranges are one hour, 24 hours, seven days, four weeks, or all time.

    b. The advanced options allow you to specify individually saved metadata. These data include browsing history, download history, cookies and site data, cached files, passwords, auto-fill data, site settings, and hosted app data. If you wish to keep some of your login info and delete others, you can set them right here. The time range options are similar to that of the basic option.
  6. Step 6

    Once you have decided which metadata to delete, click on Clear Data.
  7. Step 7

    You can now navigate away from this window.

Clear individual site history

  1. Step 1

    Open the customization and control menu by clicking on the three dots icon on the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Step 2

    Hover over History in the dropdown menu and then click on History.
  3. Step 3

    To delete websites one by one, find a site that you want to have deleted and then click on the three dots icon to the right side of the site name. From the menu that appears, click on Remove from history.
  4. Step 4

    If you wish to delete more than one site at a time, click on the checkbox to the left of the website name. Once you’ve selected all of the websites you want to remove, click on Delete on the upper right corner of the screen. On the popup window, click on Remove.
  5. Step 5

    Once you’re done, you can navigate away.

A Rather Common Error

Closing a tab accidentally is a rather common error for those that use web browsers. This can be annoying if you stumbled on that website by chance and don’t have it bookmarked, or even know the exact address. Fortunately, Chrome provides its users with ways to deal with such mistakes and prevent all the potential frustrations that it may entail.

Do you know of other ways to restore closed tabs in Chrome? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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