OneTab lost all my tabs — How to restore tabs from OneTab

June 29, 2023
saving tabs
lost all OneTab tabs

OneTab is a great tab manager, until it loses all of your saved tabs. You might be able to restore or recover your lost OneTab links, however, it might be time to transition to a more reliable Tab Manager.

Lost all your tabs from the OneTab extension? Here’s how to get them back.

OneTab is a great free chrome extension that saves all your open tabs into a list. It is clear from their reviews however — as well as reddit, twitter, and Stack Overflow — that users constantly lose all their saved tabs, and don’t have any means to restore them. This can be extremely frustrating if you relied on OneTab to restore those tabs, or just had 1000’s of tabs saved.

If you’re looking for a stable, cloud-backed, privacy and productivity focused Tab Manager, try Partizion instead.

Restoring lost tabs from OneTab

There are a few things that you can try to recover your lost tabs from OneTab. Keep in mind, not all of these are great or even available options, but if you absolutely need those tabs back, you can give these a try.

Restore OneTab tabs from a backup

If you have a OneTab backup saved, you can manually restore these tabs in OneTab. Simply:

  1. Open OneTab (Click the extension icon or navigate to the OneTab tab)
  2. Click Import / Export URLs
  3. Expand the Import section by clicking the triangle button beside Import
  4. Copy all the URLs in your backup and paste them into the textfield
  5. Click import to restore the lost tabs

The OneTab backup that you just imported won’t include any of the starred or locked state of your saved tabs. This means that you will need to manually lock and star all of your tabs after you restore them.

Restore OneTab tabs from your local device storage

On Windows, try finding any files in this location: C:\Users\XXXX\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Storage

On Mac, try finding any files in this location:

/Users/your-user-name/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Local Storage

The files should look something like this:

chrome-extension_chphlpgkkbolifaimnlloiipkdnihall_0.localstorage-journal

chrome-extension_chphlpgkkbolifaimnlloiipkdnihall_0.localstorage

If there are files in this location, it is possible that your lost tabs are saved there. To restore these lost tabs:

  1. Make sure to backup these files in another location (Dropbox, usb, etc.)
  2. Quit chrome
  3. Restore to a date prior to losing your tabs from OneTab (See windows or Mac specific instructions)
  4. Copy over the backed up files
  5. Restart chrome

Hopefully, your lost tabs will restored and you can continue where you left off.

Restore lost OneTab tabs from a computer backup

As a last resort, you can try restoring lots tabs from OneTab by reverting your computer to an earlier backup. OneTab data is stored locally on your computer similar to how files and folders are stored. Restoring your computer to an earlier backup might restore your lost OneTab tabs.

This isn’t a great option, because you’ll lost everything you’ve worked on since your backup, so only do this if it is absolutely necessary to restore your OneTab tabs.


Why OneTab will always fail you

OneTab is a great free extension for quickly saving your open tabs. However, it has its limitations and in fact will likely always fail you. Here’s why:

OneTab uses a strange method of data storage. Your tabs from OneTab are stored on your machine in a nested and constantly changing location. The data is subject to deletion on chrome crashes, reinstalls, and updates. It’s also hard for any person or computer to extract the data from this location.

OneTab is poorly maintained. OneTab is free, but what does that really mean? It means you get a free Tab Manager that was built over a decade ago and hasn’t really changed or improved since. The developers don’t listen or respond to user feedback and aren’t very open about the extension’s development. As is clear from everywhere on the internet, people losing all their tabs from OneTab and not being able to recover them has been an issue since almost 5 years ago, and it’s still happening.

A better OneTab alternative

If you’re looking for a more reliable and better alternative to OneTab, try Partizion. Partizion saves and backs up your tabs to the cloud, so if chrome, your computer, or anything else crashes your tabs will be safe. Additionally, this means you can work from any computer and keep your work in sync.

If you’re tired of losing all your tabs from OneTab or are just worried it might happen, you might want to transition to a much more reliable Tab Manager like Partizion.

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Partizion the most advanced tab and session manager extension for Chrome. Manage Tabs, Save Session, and find any link or tab with search! Combat too many tabs with Partizion