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Safari problem - won't reopen windows from last session


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Dionosaur

 
Member Since: Oct 05, 2008
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Hello,

I recently returned after being away for four weeks, and I'm having a new problem with Safari. It won't reopen all the windows and tabs I've been working with. All my work is lost!

What I get instead is many windows and tabs each with a title "Untitled" and a number. This problem has never happened before, and I've searched the world over but can't find a solution.

I always have research and work-in-progress going on in my browser, and that means many, many windows and tabs open. So, when I restart Safari, I use the "Reopen All Windows From Last Session". This has worked ok for me up until now.

(Also, I regularly back up my LastSession.plist, which is in Users>myaccount>Library>Safari. The reason why I have learned to back up this file is because Safari's implementation to reopen last session is very weak... if you open Safari to view one page, then quit again, all your previous work is instantly overwritten and lost.)

When I opened Safari this time, I emptied the cache. Maybe this was a mistake, but I've never had a problem doing this before.

I went to previous versions of my LastSession.plist, and they load with the same problem. I have looked at the plist file and it does contain all the urls of the websites I had open, but Safari isn't paying any attention to that data. It's just giving me a bunch of blank windows and tabs. Oddly, though, three of the windows with all their tabs are opening and loading properly.

I opened up Time Machine and tried restoring the old Safari cache, but it looks like this is not backed up by Time Machine because it can't be restored.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions how to fix this, so I can resume with my work?

This is annoying and I've already spent several hours trying to find a solution, and I'm swamped with other things to do. I don't understand why Safari and other browsers can't be designed to be more robust in this capacity. I have had problems with Firefox losing all my open pages too.

I have a fast new Mac with loads of RAM. Everything is up to date. This is the first time this has happened, and I'm hoping I can get Safari working the way it was before I went away.

Please help?!!

Thanks...
Dionosaur
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goobimama

 
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You could try resetting Safari's preferences. To do that just delete the file in:
Users>myaccount>Library>Preferences>com.apple.Safa ri.plist

Know that it will bring you back to square 1. I'm not sure whether it deletes your bookmarks and such (having never tried it), but it will reset your Safari preferences.
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Aptmunich

 
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Since it seems you really rely on this feature, I'd suggest using Firefox instead. Session restoration seems to be a bit more fleshed out there and can even be synced across multiple machines: Mozilla Labs Blog Archive Introducing Weave
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Dionosaur

 
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Thanks goobimama and Aptmunich for the comments and good suggestions...

I forgot to say that I did try a Time Machine restore of the Safari prefs, and it didn't fix the problem (I restored a prefs file from the happy era). It was good to see that T M apparently had backed up the prefs files, but the restore had no effect on the problem.

I didn't try deleting the prefs file, but I have a feeling the T M prefs replacement probably means that the problem is caused by something else.

I did use Firefox in the past, but I switched to Safari 3 after the big improvements. Firefox (the previous version) did lose my entire sessions on three occasions, though it had a feature that promised it would allow you to reopen them each time. I dumped Firefox after that, and because their tech support was so unhelpful about the problem. (mind you, I can't say Apple is much better.)

So, I'm hoping this is a strange anomaly that someone will have a slick solution for, so that Safari will read the LastSession.plist, and reopen the windows and tabs like it's supposed to.

It's weird though, that this had never happened before... and it happened for the first time now, after having my computer shut down for 29 days. I wonder if this is some clue as to what caused this problem.
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goobimama

 
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How about you install Safari 4 developer preview? It works just fine, and looks the same. I've had no issues with it since it was introduced. Might just solve the problem.

(Safari 4 has an uninstaller included, just in case)
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Dionosaur

 
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If I install the Safari 4 preview, and I find problems, then uninstall it, do you know if the uninstaller will mess up my original settings, bookmarks, history, etc.?

I'd like to try this, but I want to make sure it won't risk any more problems.

The big mystery remains to me, though... and that is, why did my Safari 3 suddenly lose its ability to correctly reload my last session...

Does anyone out there have any other suggestions about who or where I could post this question?

Thanks again.
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mwells21

 
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I just had the same experience. It has never happened before in the year and a half I have been using my MacBook Pro. I had several windows and tabs open but nothing compared to what I usually have. Did you ever find the cause or solution?

Also I just realized my computer had shut itself down automatically, which it normally is not able to do since I had left several tabs and window open during the Safari session. So I am thinking this may have something to do with the issue.
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toMACsh

 
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This thread is over 1-1/2 years old. I doubt you'll get a response from the original participants.
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doriei

 
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I'm trying to open all my open windows from a prior session. I used Time Machine, found an old "lastsession.plist" and tried replacing the newer one w/this one but it didn't work. Do you know another fix?
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Aptmunich

 
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Anyone looking for a Safari session management solution can now use the extensions feature to add something like "sessions" that will do this:

Safari Extensions — Sessions by David Yoo
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Sitaifun

 
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This is a fairly old thread, and newer versions of Safari are out now, but I think the same behavior that Dionosaur described still occurs: upon restoring the last session, some pages or tabs are titled "untitled" with some random numbers. I have had that occur, and in that case I get the original webpage back by just refreshing that page (control-r, or click the circular arrow icon at the right of the address field).

Aptmunich, thanks for the link to David Yoo's Sessions manager; it looks like a winner! Right now I am posting this in an alternate quick free little browser called TurboWeb because Safari has gotten stuck with the spinning beach ball. I had planned on using the restore feature, because the last time Safari crashed or maybe it was a power glitch that restarted my Mac, but I wanted to go back to those dozens of windows and tabs. After I got back into Safari, I began surfing, and before I ever did restore my previous session the dreaded beach ball attacked. Therefore, I don't think I can restore back to that earlier session with dozens of windows. I saved off the lastsession.plist file, but it is dated today so it may not have what I wanted from before. Bottom line, David Yoo's extension looks like a very welcome addition to actually be able to manage sessions in Safari!
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akinear

 
Member Since: Mar 23, 2010
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Hi,
One thing to check and test is that your safari preferences for Remove History Items is checked for more than one month... This could explain why after a month your windows did not load - you might have choosen safari to delete history after one month. Also Apples term is vague as the number of days varies for each month. You said the urls were in the plist file.... what about your history file?.... just right-click and open each in a new window manually or reload from there.
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