Restoring browser sessions was a milestone in browser development. Meanwhile, all browsers offer this feature to some extent. Firefox allows you to restore previous windows and tabs, but it doesn’t come with an elaborate session manager. The aptly called Session Manager fills this gap, allowsing you to save and restore multiple sessions.
Session Manager is one of those apps that works wonderfully with just the default settings. However, a quick look under the hood reveals a host of potential custom settings and comprehensive features.
Session Manager Options
Let’s start this journey with the settings. After installing Session Manager, click the Firefox button and select Add-ons. In the Add-ons Manager, click the Extensions tab, find Session Manager in the list and click the Options button.
Under General, you can customize the default behavior of Session Manager. In the Startup & Shutdown tab, for example, you can determine how sessions should be loaded at startup or backed up at shutdown. Here you can also import sessions from Tab Mix Plus and Session Manager or import and export settings for Session Manager.
- Set Session Manager to show your last browser session at startup, to get back where you left off as fast as possible.
- Set it to back up the current session at shutdown; this way you can always return to accidentally closed tabs.
- Glance over the settings under Saving & Restoring to understand how this works and amend the settings to your preferences.
- Also familiarize yourself with the Undo Close, Advanced (change storage location, add encryption), SessionStore (enable crash recovery), and Logging options.
Session Manager At Work
Once you have the basic settings down, it’s time to actually use the extension. Session Manager is listed as a menu item when you click the Firefox button. I have used Session Manager for a while, so there is a long list of various sessions. In the first menu, you will find your saved sessions, as well as a list of recently closed tabs and windows.
The sessions that are saved when you shut down the browser or when the browser crashes, can be found under Backup Sessions.
Via the Session Manager menu item you can save sessions and windows or load and manage existing sessions. Let’s pretend we want to load a session. When you click the respective menu item, a Session Manager window that contains all your stored sessions will open. Here you can view a list of tabs for each session and uncheck any tabs you don’t want to load, when restoring this session (red). You can also select whether to append or replace your current browser session (green). Via the button in the top right you can switch between different functions, for example to Rename or Group sessions (blue).
- If you suffer from tabs overload, use Session Manager to save sessions while switching between different ‘roles’ in your life, for example social media checking, online shopping, (home)work, articles to read etc.
- If your list of actively saved sessions gets too long, group them by category, using the Group feature.
- If your browser session crashed, you will typically be shown the Session Manager before Firefox launches. If the crash was caused by a particular page, uncheck the respective tab before you open that last session.
Session Manager works great with default settings. However, it is a very comprehensive apps with a lot of useful features. When used to its full potential, you can store a lot of your regularly used tabs in sessions and groups, which will make Firefox faster while you are doing something else. While the extension offers so many features, it is neatly organized and rather intuitive to use. Consequently, Session Manager is on our list of Best Firefox Addons.
Do you tend to keep too many tabs open all the time? Maybe you can find some more valuable tips here:
If you are looking for a tool to restore tabs across computers, browsers, and even operating systems, check out TabCloud, reviewed here: How To Restore Tabs In Chrome & Firefox Across Machines With TabCloud.
What are your tips and tricks for managing browser sessions?