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Quickly Save Tab Sessions in Chrome Without Installing Extensions

multiple tabs in Google Chrome

How many tabs are too many?

I often have a bunch of tabs open in Chrome, each sucking away on precious system resources and battery juice, simply because I think that I’m a multitasking ninja.

“I can’t close that yet as I haven’t read it properly,” I’ll reason with myself.

“And as for those other 15 tabs? Well, I’ll get around to seeing if I’m done with them in a bit.”

Eventually I end up with so many tabs on the go that something gives – usually my patience!

‘Many of these tabs are open for a reason – I don’t want to lose them.’

The crux of the issue is that many of these tabs are open for a reason. I might be doing research on a topic, or have stumbled onto some interesting articles that I just don’t have time to read at that precise moment.

There are a number of well-known ways to deal with this ‘problem’, but most involve installing some form of “Tab Saver” extension or signing up for a web service. That doesn’t tickle my fancy.

But I recently learnt that Google Chrome offers a way to save and restore a group of tabs without the need to install anything extra.  Even better, this method will sync with your Chrome account so that the set of tabs you save on one device can be restored on another.

For fellow sufferers of multi-tab-itis, what follows is a partial cure.

Save & Restore Tab Sessions in Google Chrome

The first thing we want to do is create a bookmark folder in which future tab sessions will be stored. Now, you can skip this step if you want, but it helps keep things organised.

Right-click on the Bookmarks Bar (you can create it in the bookmarks menu if you wish, but I find having it readily accessible from the Bookmarks Bar is a plus) and choose ‘Add Folder…‘.

A modal dialog will appear asking you to give it a name. Don’t get too fancy; I titled mine ‘Saved Tabs’.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 13.21.22

When you next need (or want) to save a set of open tabs you need only right-click on the tab bar (aim for a specific tab if it helps) and choose the ‘Bookmark All Tabs option.

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 21.37.00

Upon clicking this option the following bookmark dialog will appear:

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 21.37.41

First, label the group of tabs with something memorable – e.g. the date or a theme. Then select the folder you created earlier. Finally, hit ‘OK’ to save them.

With your tabs now saved you can close or exit Chrome safely with the knowledge that you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off. If you have bookmark sync enabled, you’ll even be able to restore them from another computer.

Restoring Tabs

Restoring tabs from a saved session is easy: right-click on the appropriate folder in Saved Tabs and choose the ‘Open All Bookmarks’ option to load them in the current window, or ‘Open All Bookmarks in New Window‘ to have them launch in a new Chrome window.

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 21.37.48


  • toddh

    Great tip, thanks!

  • Chuck Cortes

    Great tip, only downside is that you have to delete the bookmarks if you dont plan on opening them again and want to save new ones. Its a good tip but Session Buddy is still a better option even if it requires to install an extension. It automatically saves the tabs, saves more than one set and can even save them permanently. The only thing it needs is a cloud storage option.

    • clarealice77

      Hey Chuck, no you can save as many folders and sub folders of tabs as you want… That enables you to right-click on only a specific folder /set of tabs and open that only.

  • Devon Garber

    You sound like me with Chrome on my Nexus 4.

  • Jennifer J. Majors

    Thanks for the tip!! I use chrome or torch browser (which is technically a chrome browser too) so it should work for both…I think. Nice answer to a problem I oftne have!

  • ando

    shit, i thought this would be something different, i’ve been doing this for a while now

  • Jansen

    middle mouse button click on the bookmark folder also opens all the saved pages in it

  • Lakshmi Narayanan

    Actually there is a setting in chrome to load the tabs from previous time (Continue where I left off) on startup. This does the same.

    • ctchrisf

      never works unless chrome chrashes. If I close chrome and restart only one window will be restored.

      • nitesh bhutani

        true ….tabs are loaded only when crome crashes..!

        • Incognito

          This is probably because you are using mac and you pressed the red close button instead of ‘quit’ on the popup menu on dock

  • Moaz Ibrahim

    That was a life saver! , running on 30 tabs at the moment! , made my day! Yeaaay!

  • Zakidine

    i’ve been doing this for years :(

    • sell_him

      wow you’re fucking amazing!

      • Zakidine

        truth be told, i am!!

  • clarealice77

    Thanks Joey-Elijah this was an awesome tip! You have just made my working week more efficient!

  • helloct


  • Vengatesh TR

    Time saver. Thanks :)

  • IceCold Swede

    TNX! Life saver! Even with 32gb ram chrome sucks soo much memory with 175 tabs open. Now i finally can close some “later reading windows” :)

  • Erika

    Thank you! Much better than installing stuff!

  • Kerny OBryan

    awesome – thank you

  • LA

    Thank you for this!! I’m a nightmare for tabs this is very helpful!

  • stickler87

    But it doesn’t save the tabs’ browsing history, which is what I need! This way, you just get to access the same URL that was bookmarked and not the entire trail of URLs which lead to this URL in your browsing session. Can you please help me with that???

    • Mtn Sunshine

      I use “Open Link in New Tab” to solve that issue ;)

  • Iogui

    Thanks man! It was nice!

  • Rajiv Sen

    Thanks a lot, Joey. :)

  • Gregor

    thanks a lot!!!

  • Gotta love Chrome. Always thinking of the little stuff.

  • Alex

    Nice workaround, but still not as good as tab groups in Firefox. Switching groups is a bit clunky this way, as you have to manually close all your tabs from the previous group. I use Chrome 99% of the time, but really miss tab group functionality and haven’t found an extension that works as well as the native Firefox tab groups (suggestions welcome!). Ideally I’d like the pinned tabs to be present in every group, and unpinned tabs to be able to be switched in and out as groups.

  • Brendon James Gansemer

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea using basic Chrome features. Although I do not share your aversion to downloading an extension for help, this VERY easy workaround completely erases ANY need to download an extension to save a browsing session you want to temporarily close.

  • Sinornithosaurus Millenii

    Wait, what happens if you had previous history on your tabs? Does it get deleted?

  • ChefTalk

    Thanks for posting this I appreciate it.

  • Kevin Dondrea

    Yes, thank you very much. This article is ME :) Sometimes I’ll have tabs open for weeks. I too do research, program and I do support. I make one click fixes for common problems.

  • Stav

    Nice! Too bad this is isn’t the first hit on Google for “chrome save sessions”. It should be, rather than those extensions

  • Thank you so much!! It saved my day as well. I agree with the others in here; there should have been an option to save a tab with your tab-history included.

    You’re awesome Joey! (=

    • Mtn Sunshine

      You can use “Open Link in New Tab” to solve that issue ;)

      • Yea, but what I would have loved to do is the ability to actually have the tab-history embedded with the bookmark, so you could hold down the back button to see exactly how you got to a certain page. I just think that would help you remember in which context you wanted to save this, such as what you googled.

        I know it might not ever happen, and that the real reason why I (was / kinda still are) having trouble closing down my tabs, is because my bookmarks-folder is a huge mess. Cleaning it up would take such a long time, and the Chrome bookmarks organiser isn’t exactly complete. Things such as tags, would probably make a big difference, if the major browsers started doing this.

        Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure out a way that works for me, eventually.

        • Mtn Sunshine

          My old Chrome bookmarks are a mess too, as I only save individual ones to Google online bookmarks now. ;) I think I actually use Bookmark All Tabs to do exactly what you want. As I open each new link in a new tab, it maintains the order of how I got there…altho I may delete a page here and there if it was not worth keeping. I separate groups of tabs, if need be, so that I can label each group to find it again (which essentially tagging). Saving the actual google search results tab can also serve as a divider.

          I created a new folder in Bookmark Manager called Cmark Tabs (or Saved Tabs) and saved it to my Bookmarks Bar…so that I can choose that location when I bookmark all tabs. I have also saved the Bookmark Manager to the Bookmarks Bar to get to it quickly. The newest folder is always at the bottom of the nested list, so it’s pretty easy to scroll to…or just use the search function to locate the labeled folder. Reorganizing by dragging folders or saved tabs around or nesting works very easily too. I’m sure, too, that you’ll figure out what will work for you…Good Luck!

  • Ryan

    Great tip, very useful!

  • Olivoist

    Thanks for sharing this very usefull and simple tip

  • Brenda

    absolutely simply brilliant, thanks – has saved me hours of frustration trying to search through history for unread tabs

  • Esther

    THANK YOU! i am a tab addict and i’ve been dying to have a trick like this for a long time… it’s a shame it took me this long to google it.

  • john


  • smartalx

    This isn’t the same thing as saving a tab session since it doesn’t keep the history. You are just bookmarking.

  • theconsultingdramaqueen

    THANK YOU!!! I should’ve googled this ages ago, seeing as I knew how to do it when I used firefox. This helps so much.

  • One

    Or you could try “One Tab”

    • Adrian

      Or Session Buddy, my favorite.

  • Nick

    thank you! very helpful! just what i need :)

  • Nathan Young

    Oh my goodness, this was ridiculously helpful. Thank you so much.

  • Bakka

    cool, easy, sneaky way to save tabs, thx :)
    ctrl shift d to quickly bookmark all open tabs

    • Boolean

      Thanks man.

  • amr_h

    coool man

  • ddd

    This is pointless…Just close your Chrome and when you open it again go to Recently closed tabs it will show you the last opened tabs(it will say Ex. “4 tabs”),you click and voila

    • Matt Mitchell

      What about when you wish to navigate the tabs in the meantime and come back to previous pages later?

    • vivian-li

      But this wouldn’t work if the person just wanted to have those saved tabs and windows closed for the time being while doing other browsing. The method in this article would allow you bring up those saved tabs/windows at a later date when you need it.

  • and what you would do when you have a dozen chorme windows with 40 open tabs each? huh? I cannot even turn off the computer, this method nor the open recently used tabs is useful to me. I need to be able to completely close Chrome and be able to open it after restart the pc and reopen ALL of the windows and tabs, exactly as I had it…. BTW, I use Great suspender to redue RAM consumption with such a huge amount of open tabs. but still I need a solution to be able to safely close the browser and restart the computer or even play a game without the RAM struggle.

  • 1Deni1

    thank you for the info :D

  • Joseph Michael Dunn

    The only thing that Chrome doesn’t have (or does) is that you can’t make your bookmarks private and connected to your Google account via your Gmail account so that if you take a coffee break and sign out of Gmail/Google no one would be able to see and use your bookmarks.

  • markvvaals

    Thanks for this, am a Chrome power user but didn’t know about this work around. Love it, as I aim to keep the amount of extensions limited.

  • Suraj Vinay Mohan

    click settings.. Under … ‘On Startup’ …. highlight –>> Continue where you left off

    • Xiaomin Yu

      this is what I look for

    • Guney

      This is also useful but with this option you can only save the last window you close. Doesn’t work if you have 2 windows with 10 tabs in each.

  • NadsH

    I love this tip, this is certainly very helpful and I was looking for something just like the Sublimetext save as project functionality. This is good for grouping although what I would love is ability to store tabs as group or Project and be able to seamlessly open and close the entire project

  • Ana Soles

    Genial :D

  • vivian-li

    Exactly the information I needed! I too am a severe sufferer of “multi-tabilitis” — more often than not I have 40+ tabs going at once. I can’t ever close them ’cause I do need the information for longer, so until now I’ve developed the nasty habit of keeping my laptop on almost 24/7. Geez, what a troglodyte I was.

  • Local_Case

    Thanks man! Awesome!

  • Nitin Bodke

    Thanks a ton!

  • Snorri Kristjánsson

    Great! Thank you so much :)

  • moabird

    Thanks for this! At this very moment I have exactly 44 tabs open, now I have a solution to browse further without the clutter. ^^

  • Ray Lombardy

    this is great…have had multi-tab-itis for years. Never realizing the solution wa so simple. Thanks for this!

  • Nikki

    How do I do this, but on my android (Note 3)?

    Right now I have 38 tabs open and I’m in a browsing mood so that is likely to grow exponentially ;-p

    One time, I had 40+ tabs open, then Chrome froze and I had to close it. When I turned it back on, all my tabs were gone! I almost died. Now, I’m in perpetual fear of losing my tabs. Help!

    • Nikki

      Yep, 4 days since I wrote this, it happened again. Lost all my tabs. All my half – read stuff and research all gone. Until I find a better solution, I need to get in the habit of bookmarking every page that I think I’ll come back to later. Sigh…

      • Stephanie

        Have you found a better option for storing a set of tabs you’ve found related to your research? I’ve been using Session Manager, an add-on that works with Mozilla Firefox. There isn’t a version for Chrome. Chrome continues to be dicey for saving sessions. Sure, you can save a set of bookmarks, but that’s not the same as saving a browsing session.

  • Joel G

    Excellent!! Thanks. Big problem solved.

  • Zeph

    This is quite useful, thanks.

    But it’s not a full replacement – with my open tabs I can use the back arrows because they have that tab’s history. If I save a bookmark and restore, I get only the current page, reloaded from the URL. Still useful, but sometimes I still want to keep too many tabs open.

  • Oh boy! So easy! I wish I knew this before! I always have a bunch of “I still want to read this article properly” tabs open! Thanks, Joey!

  • Ahmed

    Awesome! I always needed that!

  • Dave Benson

    Brilliant! Chrome is an awesome tool.

  • WildBoy

    Sure, you are a lifesaver! I have about 15 tabs open, all for some very important research I’m doing. A notice came up that my computer will be restarting in 15 minutes to install updates from Windows, and I’m not able to override it =(

    I quickly searched on Google, and voila! You are a gentleman and a scholar

  • Rebecca

    Thank you so much! I always have at least 3 Chrome windows open with 10+ tabs so I don’t lose anything. This is so helpful!!

  • Simone Taccori

    Hi guys! I’ve found this website to save your bookmarks and organize them in sections and folders! And you can even manage them with your friends! Try it! ;)

  • Sergei

    Thanks, this is very useffull and there is no need to use any plugin, cool :)

  • CapriciousSage

    “Did you ever know that you’re my hero…”

    Seriously though… from the bottom of the several gigabytes of ram that my absurdly large Chrome session consumes on a daily basis – thank you! :-D

  • Naveen

    Extremely cool information…!!

  • Pete

    Thank you!

  • SpikeBones

    Thanks so much!!

  • Smart G

    Kinda smart!

  • Steven Lewis

    Thanks, I long wonder how I could pin or save a group of tabs for access later. I’ve been using the recent tab option but with that you have to make sure you open the group of tabs often or else you have to search the history plus remember which websites you had open.

  • Ammon Ammon

    Thanks, worked like a charm… where’s the bitcoin tip jar? ;)

  • AliAsifKhan

    Life saver!

  • Geroncio Geroscopio

    There is a difference between saving the “tab” and saving the actual address of the page open in the “tab”.
    Saving all tabs in favorites/bookmarks will save only the address of the open tabs.
    Saving the “session”, instead, will save all data, including the individual history of each tab, post data and session data, and this can’t be done by default, you need to install a plugin/addon.
    This is a huge difference.

  • 1 Bad Jesus

    Yes Amazing…so when do we get it for Android? I’ve looked EVERYWHERE goin on 2 years for a hidden setting, hack, app, beta release, My Priest..NADA! The BkMrk Mngr for Desktop is brilliant mostly cuz it has that lil-bitty-button that lets ya save/folder ALL open tabs at ONCE. I know we can “Synch w/PC” but…I DON’T GOT A PC…my S4 supplies everything i need. Also know we can BK MRK or PDF but if i hv 20+ open tabs thats allota “clickin”. Like Nikki posted here 10 months ago askin for same “Chrome does crash frequently”…which is ok cuz its a machine and its supposed to break but i see this asked for EVERYWHERE and not like were askin for reinvention of wheel.”Goog” at moment is workin on self drivin cars and in Oct somethin called a T-1000…can’t we puny humans get a lil ol’ BkMrk Mngr for Mobile?

  • manoj91

    right under my nose. what the what. liz.

  • Jorah

    congratulations, you have learned how to use bookmarks, it’s not like bookmarks have been around longer than tabs is it?

  • Vince Aggrippino

    This is actually a great tip. I guess I got a little app- and extension-happy.

    I have to admit, though, that I miss Firefox’s tab-saving features allowing tabs to stay in the browser window between sessions without loading them until you click on a tab. FF also remembers the scroll position in a tab, not to mention the fantastic tab groups feature.

    Why am I using Chrome instead of Firefox? Peer pressure… although I have to admit I use Firefox almost as much as Chrome.

  • David Ma

    Wow, that is an awesomely simple and quick way of doing this. Thanks for sharing, you saved me a lot of time :-)

  • Shin

    Very usefull, thanks for share this addons :)

  • Amit Vinchhi

    Great tip.. thanks

  • Walter Mwambazi

    Thanks a million! Just like you I too have this issue of tabs that I keep open forever.

  • Cody Hill

    Nice one

  • Shubhendu Singh

    Hmm…I was thinking it would be as simple as Tab Groups in Firefox but no.

  • Awesome, thanks! I was looping for this exact answer since I’m one of those people who keeps 20-30 tabs open at a time! Thanks for the tip!

  • Seth Barrus

    Thanks! Well done!

  • This is terrific! All my other browsers have some kind of tab management so tab overload was keeping me away from Chrome. I’m going to use Chrome a lot more often now.

  • mercury574

    Nice!! I was thinking of installing an extension.

  • jayscott82

    Sadly, this is a completely useless tip. Saving these tabs is not at all the same as saving a session. For starters, if you add a couple more tabs, there is no way to add them to your saved set. If you save all again, you get a *second* bookmarks folder by the same name. You can save them individually of course, but then you have to pay attention to what tabs are new and what aren’t. And if you remove any tabs…. there is no way to “update” your saved set.

    What is needed is true session state saving (as much as possible given the limitations of reloading cookies, etc.). I believe this can only be accomplished through the addition of an extension.

    • Red Polygon

      All the things you mention are possible with a little manual effort, If you add two new tabs, bookmark them to the same folder. If you delete a tab, delete its saved bookmark. It does take more effort, but I wouldn’t agree that makes the tip “completely worthless”.

      But I do agree that saving a session should be a built-in feature.

    • SX

      I’m with jayscott82, it’s downright nearly impossible to go in an add or remove individual tabs as you work on them, knowing which was supposed to (or not) be for a certain session. The most annoying part about this bookmark all tabs feature, and this is the same in Firefox, is that if you have other tabs open that were supposed to be part of an earlier “session” they are removed from that earlier session and added to this newer save, but that corrupts the usability of the first session save. And the reason is simple, they believe you should only need a bookmark to be in the folder you assign it to (1 to 1), as opposed to sessions where you may have a single site listed multiple times in different sessions (1 to many). I propose we consider “Tagging” sites as opposed to bookmarking them (they aren’t true bookmarks anyhow since it doesn’t save you current reading position).

  • Erdem Gürbüz

    Great tip, thank you

  • William Prophet

    omg, god bless you. Why didn’t I already know this. I am ashamed of myself.

  • It’s an old post, but still very useful. Thanks a lot. Better than installing another extension.

  • Mike

    Absolutely awesome! Thanks!

  • Prabhash Prakash

    Thanks a ton :)

  • Rajanbir Singh


  • The best thank you! :)

  • Pankaj Chauhan

    Thanks a lot.

  • Long Play


  • Finally figured it out! Thank you. Whew….