Do you still accidentally close browser tabs? If so, you are definitely not alone. I do it all the time – I’ll try to switch to another tab inbut then press “X” instead. Maybe I’m too clicky, or maybe I just know that Ctrl + Shift + T has my back. This hotkey is my secret weapon, and it has saved me more times than I will admit.
What is Ctrl + Shift + T (or Cmd + Shift + T for Mac users)? I would argue that it is one of the most important and useful keyboard shortcuts available, right up there with Ctrl + Z. In fact, it performs a similar function: to undo a mistake. Specifically, the error by accidentally closing a browser tab or window. Ctrl + Shift + T is the easiest way to restore a browser tab you did not intend to X out.
Let’s go through how to use it, plus all the other ways to recover lost tabs in any browser. And do not miss our list aboveit and a for you.
Four ways to reopen closed tabs in Google Chrome
Google Chrome gives you a few options for restoring tabs and windows after you close them, and depending on your needs, it’s good to know how they all work. However, keep in mind that closed tab recovery is not an option when browsing in incognito mode.
1. Hotkey method
The fastest way to recover a single tab you accidentally closed is with a hotkey. On a PC, use Ctrl + Shift + T. On a Mac, use Cmd + Shift + T. If you want to restore more tabs, or if you need a tab you closed a while ago, just keep pressing Ctrl + Shift + T and the tabs will reappear in the order they were closed. Bonus: If you accidentally close the entire browser window completely, just open a new Chrome window and the hotkey will reopen everything simultaneous. This is a great trick for those times when a system update forces you to close your browser or restart your computer.
2. Browser history method
Your Chrome browser history also keeps track of recently closed tabs. It is not as lightning fast as a keyboard shortcut, but this method is useful if you closed the tab a long time ago and need to return to it.
There are a few ways to access your Chrome browser history. One way is to use another shortcut: Ctrl + H. Another is to click on the hamburger menu at the top right of your browser, and then select History. And a third option is to type “chrome: // history” in the address bar and then press enter.
No matter how you access your browser history, once there, you will have access to all the sites and tabs you have seen, in reverse chronological order. Clicking on a result will open it for you again. Going through the hamburger menu also has a built-in list of Recently closed tabs, which you can choose to reopen.
3. Tab Search Method
Have you ever noticed the small down arrow in the Chrome tab bar? In Windows, it is right next to the icons to minimize, maximize and close the window. (On Mac, it’s at the top right.) This icon is Chrome’s built-in tab search feature, which in itself can be accessed with a simple hotkey: Ctrl + Shift + A. Tab Search shows you a list of all the tabs you currently have open, and another list of recently closed tabs. You can scroll through the lists to reopen or switch to the desired tab, or use the search field to find it with a keyword. This is useful for those who keep dozens of tabs open at all times.
4. The task line method
If you’ve opened a Chrome window – or if the app is attached to the taskbar – right-click the icon from the taskbar and you’ll see a short list of links: Most visited and Recently closed. From there, you can restore a tab just by clicking on it. (Note that these options do not appear on Mac.)
Bonus: ‘Continue where I left off’ method
It’s a Chrome setting that basically makes Ctrl + Shift + T the default. By turning on this feature, the browser will automatically reopen the tabs you had open in the previous session each time you open Chrome. To turn it on, go to the Chrome settings (also through the hamburger menu) and then At startup. Select Continue where you left off option.
What about other browsers, such as Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera?
The Ctrl + Shift + T shortcut also works in other browsers (in addition to right-clicking on the tab bar and selecting Open the closed tab again). Most of the other methods of reopening a tab also work across browsers, although menu labels and options may vary. The experience is largely the same on a Mac, with the exception of the taskbar method.
For both Firefox and Microsoft Edge, you can also go through your browser history to find and reopen a tab you accidentally closed. Firefox has a dedicated submenu below History cold Recently closed tabs. Microsoft Edge has a tab History menu for Everyone, Recently closed and Tabs from other devices. In Opera, if you have the sidebar enabled – and if history is one of the items you have chosen to include in the sidebar – click History the icon from the sidebar will also bring up a list of recently closed tabs.
The other browsers also offer a setting to reopen the previous session’s tabs automatically at startup. In Firefox, go to Settings > General and check the box below Start-up labeled Open previous windows and tabs. In Microsoft Edge, go to Settings > Start, home page and new tabs and below When Edge startsselect open tabs from the previous session. And in Opera: Settings > At startupand check the box for keep tabs from previous session.
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