Save and restore Firefox tabs with Session Boss - gHacks Tech News

Save and restore Firefox tabs with Session Boss

Session Boss is a free browser extension for the Firefox web browser to save and restore Firefox tabs for safekeeping, backups or working with different tab sets.

The well-designed extension saves sessions automatically in intervals and supports manual session savings to give users full control over the saving of tabs in the browser.

Firefox comes with session saving and restoration functionality built-in which works for the majority of users reliably (provided that they configured Firefox to remember the previous session).

Firefox users who want more control or independent backups that they may restore, can use extensions like Session Boss to do so. Even if Firefox's session restore functionality fails, it is possible to at least restore the open tabs using third-party extensions.

Session Boss: save and restore Firefox tabs

session boss firefox

Session Boss adds an icon to the Firefox toolbar when you install it. It requires several permissions, all of which are explained by the developer on the add-ons website.

The extension saves tabs automatically in 15 minute intervals and if that is all you want, you don't have to interact with Session Boss at all other than opening its interface when you need to restore tabs.

You may save tabs manually as well. It takes two clicks to save the active window or all windows, and the process itself is fast. While I did not test Session Boss with hundreds of open tabs, it worked well with a few dozen tabs open in the Firefox browser.

The extension displays three backup lists in its interface. It lists user sessions and auto backup sessions separately, and lists all sessions as well.

Each features a search and various sort options to find sessions quickly if plenty are listed. You may sort by time, group or name. The latter is useful if you use Session Boss' rename functionality to name saved sessions.

Session Boss lists all saved windows and tabs of the selected session. You can click on any address to open it individually, or use controls to restore all tabs at once.

The extension gives you several options to do so:

  • Restore sessions over existing windows by replacing them.
  • Restore sessions with new windows keeping existing windows and tabs open.
  • Restore one window and its tab by replacing the active window.
  • Restore one window and tabs by creating a new window.

Session Boss supports lazy load; windows and tabs are restored over a short period of time to avoid slow downs or freezes while the operation is in process.

Cookies are preserved by the extension. In fact, the only data that is not preserved is the navigation history due to API limitations. Restoration of internal tab pages is limited as well due to APIs. Session Boss lists internal pages like about:addons but it cannot restore them. You may copy and paste the URLs to restore them as Session Boss keeps track of those.

A click on the menu icon displays options to delete sessions, copy them, create groups, and update sessions.

Closing Words

Session Boss is a well-designed extension for Firefox to save windows and tabs manually or automatically. I did not run into any issues while using the extension but would like to see some options added to it; for instance, an option to change the interval of the automatic backup could be useful.

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Author Rating
4.5 based on 5 votes
Software Name
Session Boss
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    1. Richard Allen said on March 12, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      Definitely will be giving this a try. Session restore is the only thing I’m missing with the change to webextensions.
      Thank You Martin!

      1. Richard Allen said on March 12, 2018 at 8:31 pm

        Nice start on the addon, I do have some suggestions, if I may.

        If using a Dark Theme, the icon is too bright in my opinion. Would be great if a lighter opacity could be used when needed. For now, I’ve added: #sessionboss_william_wong-browser-action { opacity: 0.7; } to my userchrome.css file.

        If the extension is pinned to the overflow menu it is unusable because of the lack of scrollbars. I for one would prefer everything except for uBO and No-Script Suite Lite pinned to the overflow menu.

        The option for auto and/or manual backups along with different intervals for auto backups would be great. Also, being able to limit the maximum number of auto sessions saved would be nice, I already see three.

        Thank You, Sir!

    2. Podak said on March 12, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Good UI, I like it.

    3. Rick A. said on March 12, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Does it have a setting where i can disable automatic session backup? So only i can do user backups when i want to.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        I could not find such an option.

    4. max said on March 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Does it support sessions saved by Session Manager?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 12, 2018 at 6:22 pm

        No, it works independently.

      2. Tsing said on March 12, 2018 at 7:11 pm

        I guess you could use Firefox 56 Portable with both Session Manager and Session Boss installed, copy-paste your sessions into this profile, then load sessions with Session Manager and save them with Session Boss. Then copy-paste Session Boss sessions into your main Firefox 58 or 59 install.

    5. Eric said on March 13, 2018 at 4:14 am

      This extension seems interesting. I hope the developer releases it to Chrome

    6. Stik said on March 13, 2018 at 5:39 am

      Is there an option to save session on exit / closing FF?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 13, 2018 at 7:10 am

        No such option in this version.

    7. Jojo said on March 13, 2018 at 8:30 am

      I save my tabs manually every evening because they have gotten lost or corrupted on occasion. I keep 3 days of backup’s.

      What I would like to see is something that would warn me when I went to close a window with less tabs than any other open window. Because what often happens to me is that I have a secondary window open with one tab that I forgot about. I close the main browser window and I am left with the secondary window, which will save that ONE tab and I will lose all the other open tabs. I hate when this happens!

    8. nnm said on March 14, 2018 at 8:10 pm

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