i-53f1fe496623e4c51c57ccb54d9022e0-firefox.jpgI’ve run Firefox 2.0 under three different operating systems on several machines. And every time I start this otherwise excellent program after re-booting, it gives me the following error message

“Your last Firefox session closed unexpectedly. You can restore the tabs and windows from your previous session, or start a new session if you think the problem was related to a page you were viewing.”

My method of turning the thing off is in fact uncontroversial: I just click the “close window” button top right. So why does it consistently give me this buggy message? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because of one of the plugins I use, such as the indispensable Flashblock that kills animated ads. Anyway, some googling netted me a way to get rid of the error message.

In Firefox’s address field, type “about:config”. This opens a nifty page where you can get at the program’s myriad configuration parameters and change them by right-clicking in the Value column. Three parameters should be set as follows.

Set browser.startup.page to 1
Set browser.sessionstore.enabled to TRUE
Set browser.sessionstore.resume_session to FALSE

I really recommend Firefox. It’s Open Source, it’s free and it kills ads!

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  1. #1 MartinC
    April 10, 2007

    I think they have solved the big problem that plagued that browser from the beginning, its annoying habit of occasionally deleting you bookmarks list. I still do a backup copy of that list every now and then, just in case.
    One of the best things for Firefox is a plugin called Videodownloader which allows you to download and save youtube and other streaming flash videos on your harddrive.

  2. #2 Hans Persson
    April 10, 2007

    Bookmarks are so 20th century!

    I started using http://del.icio.us/ some time ago and have never looked back. Not only does it give me access to all my bookmarks on all my computers, it also allows me to categorize them and to easily find other stuff people have marked as being similar.

  3. #3 Scott Simmons
    April 10, 2007

    Odd. I only get that message when the browser did, in fact, crash, or otherwise terminate abnormally. I actually do that on purpose sometimes; when I need to close it for some reason, but have (say) twenty tabs open with ScienceBlogs entries that I still want to read, I’ll close it from the task manager. Then, the next time I open it, I can tell it to restore the session & it’ll pop up those same pages.

  4. #4 John Wilkins
    April 10, 2007

    I get it a lot too, after quitting normally and restarting. I hope they turn this into a feature, though, and allow you to save sessions as config files or something, since I often have 20 or so tabs open and then have to restart or close FF to open some Microsoft memory hog or something.

  5. #5 Matt Platte
    April 10, 2007

    Microsoft memory hog? Have you noticed how much the Fireferret uses?

  6. #6 Aerik
    April 10, 2007

    MartinC, I believe the extension Unplug works better than videodownloader. Not only can you make it consult VideoDownloader and KeepVid every time you want to dig up media anyways, but it also works with its own unique method, so it works on more sites.

    John Wilkins, yeah, FF uses a lot of memory, sort of — but if you’re comparing it to IE’s memory usage, the “efficiency” of IE is an illusion. It’s tied into the Windows OS so hard, it actually uses tons more memory, while windows will tell you other ‘services’ are taking up the CPU instead. Have you ever tried to get rid of it? It’s almost impossible. I found a way once, and it killed the pc’s ability to connect to the internet. Not pretty. It’s just wrong.

    Scott Simmons, Matt Platte — if you have to open 20 tabs to keep track of some things, I suggest you stop being so damn trigger happy with your mouse. 99% of modern sites out there, including scienceblogs, style visited links as a different color, so it’s not like you’re going to lose your places on what links you were trying to read on the page you’re tabbing from. 20 tabs is also a good way to have FF running lots of redundant javascript, too. Stop it.

  7. #7 eve
    April 10, 2007

    I used to get the same message all the time, luckily for me the last update seemed to take care of it.

  8. #8 Bourgeois Nerd
    April 10, 2007

    I LOVE Firefox! And, yes, I’ve only ever gotten the “restore session” message when something has actually gone wrong. Weird.

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