Google Chrome: Reopen Closed Tabs

   Posted January 28, 2012 by David Kirk in Google

We have all accidentally closed a tab in Google’s Chrome browser. This can be a very frustrating situation. Chrome is quite forgiving and allows you to easily reopen the closed tab, even if you have closed other tabs after it. These instructions for windows and mac computers will show you the different ways for restoring or undoing an accidentally closed tab. Updated with new methods and to point out the different methods used on Windows and OS X systems.

As Google has improved Chrome through out the various versions, this has become easier and easier.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T, Chrome will open the last tab that was closed on a Windows system. Likewise, command+Shift+T reopens to last tab on a Mac system.

If you use the keyboard shortcut again, and it will open the tab that was closed before that. This can be repeated to restore up to the last 10 tabs that have been closed during your browsing session.

New Tab Page

Open up a new tab. Go to Recently closed section located in the lower-right of the page. You will find the last 3 tabs that have recently been closed during your browser session. This works on all versions of Chrome.

hit the recently closed tab link to reopen previous tabs

Windows Right-Click

In Chrome running on Windows, you can also right-click on the window frame above the toolbar. The context menu that appears will have Reopen closed tab as an option.

click reopen closed tab

OS X Menu Selection

Since the Chrome browser on mac systems continues to have a menu, you can reopen tabs using this method as well. Go to the Chrome menu, select File, and then click Reopen Closed Tab.

using the menu to reopen closed tab in OS X


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • herb

    awesome, just what i was hoping for! i’m loving google chrome

  • mklappstuhl

    thanks a lot

  • Drew

    Thanks for the keyboard shortcut!

  • Dave

    Do you know how to increase the list to more than 3?

  • chrisq

    THANK YOU for some reason I didn’t know the shortcut for this.

  • Anonymous

    The shortcuts may be a little different in the Apple version of #chrome. For example, command-shift-T reopens last tab

  • Zeus

    I LOVE IT!!!!

  • Abc

    OMG! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! I would’ve lost a lot of my important info had i not used this!

  • Josh Sommers

    Epic, thx. 🙂

  • Neeve

    Thank you so much:) I was just working on my research paper and had 8 tabs open and pines something and they all closed. This is a life saver:D

  • Andy

    Thanks – this post is a life saver – I spent 30 minutes writing a blog post and clicked the close tab icon instead of switching to another tab. As a web designer I was surprised I hadn’t come across this before, but power to you, and thanks to Google!

  • souvick


  • Anon

    thanks for explaining in a lucid and simple language….

    • David Kirk

      > No problem! I’m glad we could help you. Thanks for visiting.

      • Mark

        Thanks. Here’s a similar method to restore entire Chrome windows each with many tabs (Restore session button only restores last open window, not several):

        Using W7 & Chrome 21.0.1180.89 this solution works well, even though not as automated as with Firefox:
        1. Settings -> On startup -> Continue where I left off.
        2. With several Chrome windows open, each with a few tabs, right-click Close all windows.
        3. Reopen Chrome – only one window will be restored.
        4. Open a new Chrome tab or window. Bottom right click Recently closed. There’s a list not only with closed pages but also ‘XX tabs’. I start from top and click eg. ’12 tabs’. That previous window with 12 tabs is now restored.
        Start over from 4 and click next ‘XX tabs’ under Recently closed, eg. ’8 tabs’. Etc…

  • Gianni

    Thanks so much!

  • Joe

    It lost my list of recently closed tabs when I closed the whole window. Can I get it back? I had 7 tabs open.

  • Lisa

    Thank you!!! this was a real sanity saver

  • Renee

    THANK YOU!!!! In Google Chrome, I used to open a new tab and then click the option near the bottom of the page to open an accidently closed tab, but that option has disappeared. Thanks for the shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + T. 🙂

  • Nooshin

    Dear David
    I have a huge problem. I have lost my main page of chrome with google, gmail,… icons on the middle of the page and most important my “recently closed” option on the lower right of the page. My own was alike your first slide in this web page. Instead I have now a blank page with a search bar with an unknown sign.
    Please help me. Do I have to reinstall chrome? What about my bookmarks,downloads and history?

    • David Kirk

      Have you tried logging into Google? Much of your browser’s information is stored within your Google account now…

  • Kelly

    perfect, just what I needed!

  • Swati

    my laptop shut suddenly.. and i had a lot of tabs open. On restarting google chrome, i am not getting the option of opening “recently closed tabs” on the bottom right that i used to get earlier on opening a new tab.
    All the open tabs were really important. how do i restore them?? there were more than 10 on 3 different windows

  • Zac Helmberger

    This is fine and dandy but what if Google crashes AND your reflexes are not fast enough to click on the “Resore” button before it disappears after 1.3 seconds? How do I get all my tabs back? There MUST be another way, isn’t there?

  • Vimal Rathinasamy (@valiantvimal)

    wow…amazing….Ctrl+Shift+T shortcut even opens the tabs that were closed due to accidental shutdown…
    very thankful to you for this sharing…cheers..

  • Ed

    You just saved my ass

  • phoebe

    im writing an essay and i have a hundred articles open in different tabs and i just accidentally closed one
    bless you, you just saved my life
    honour on you
    honour on your family
    honour on your cow

  • Sarah

    You’re the man! And you rock!

  • Donpa

    Thanks a million! Chrome just crashed but was able to restore 56tabs via “Recently Closed” on the new tab page thanks to this post. You ROCK!

    Ps. you’d think Google make a function like that easier to find…

  • Kelly

    I got a prompt asking me if I wanted to update Firefox to which I replied yes and later on I turned my computer off with many tabs that were open and when I went to turn my computer back on, all my tabs were gone. I imagine it’s because I updated Firefox? I checked the “HISTORY” button but “RESTORE RECENT TABS” was not highlighted. What can I do?

  • crazygemini12 black

    This is fantastic bit why are my tabs suddenly Closing jut because I hit a random key?