IE11: Start with tabs from last session does not always remember last opened tabs - by Viktor Krammer

Status : 

  Won't Fix<br /><br />
		Due to several factors the product team decided to focus its efforts on other items.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

ID 805474 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 19
Opened 10/15/2013 10:23:19 AM
Duplicates 1038874 Access Restriction Public


IE forgets the opened tabs (last session) if a new pop-up window is closed after the main browser window, whereas in other browsers (like Chrome or Opera) the opened tabs are remembered even if there are more than one open browser window.
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Posted by Louis [MSFT] on 9/17/2015 at 2:43 PM
Hello Viktor,
Thank you for the feedback. We're not presently working on feature bugs in Internet Explorer outside of security-related issues. Your feedback has been recorded and may be revisited again in the future.
Best Regards,
The Microsoft Edge Team
Posted by axax123 on 9/11/2015 at 3:13 AM

I've been trying to automate the process of installing IE11 with prerequisite patches in our company and for that i used typical batch file (which uses untouched, original IE11 exe file) and IE11 packages customized with IEAK11.
When i used original IE11 files, I find out that on my test machines i was able to get previous tabs opened in IE11 just fine (also all Iexplore.exe processes where being closed upon IE11 closure).

However, when i used IE11 packages created with IEAK11 I noticed that i experience the issue you described here.
also I noticed that not all Iexplore.exe processes where killed upon browser closure. This seems to be the source of the problem because when I manually kill those processes manually then last opened tabs are visible again next time i start IE11. This does not solve the problem thou as those process (two in my case) keep on running when i try to close IE11 again.

I also used procmon to check if there are any registry entries which may be different on those machines having original and IEAK11 packages, however i could not find anything which would be point me to the source of the problem.

Hopefully this observation will help anyone else experiencing the issue, described in this thread.

Posted by Anton Markov on 3/8/2015 at 2:05 PM
Dear IE team,

There still really are quite a lot of people who really love IE. So do I, and I neither want to switch to other browsers nor I want to deploy alternative browsers in companies I'm a sysadmin in. I can confirm that this is a bug and that it reproduces using methods described below, and I even have an idea about patching it. All you need is to:

1) Call tab saving routine not on IE unload, but on every tab open, close, or URL change. This will guarantee that tab layout will be preserved regardless of IE/BHOs/system stability, power issues, and so on;
2) Implement a watchdog in IE unload routine that will forcefully terminate all IE processes if they are not unloaded within, say, 10 seconds. This will enable IE to always start correctly after closing, and it will guarantee that clicking on "close" button will reset IE condition (i.e. plugins/BHOs memory leaks and so on).

The described above should be quite easy to implement because there will not be a lot of code to write and a lot of architectural things to change, and this should fix two of the most annoying and disturbing things in this great browser. Please don't give up IE for Spartan and implement it, it should be really easy.

Keep up good work!
Posted by awaw on 3/3/2015 at 12:56 AM
Always does not remember last opened tabs though this option is checked
Posted by user556 on 2/19/2015 at 6:13 AM
Microsoft is a joke. They are still "investigating" this since 2013 without any feedback on the progress? What do they think we are sheeps? Well hello Firefox!
Posted by BillHi on 12/21/2014 at 12:44 PM
Any updates, progress? It has been an awfully long time with no updates.
I attached a file that shows the 4 iexplore processes that are appearing in task manager after opening IE and the previous session tabs are not restored.
Everytime I close IE there are 2 iexplore processes left showing up in task manager, IE not running. For some reason they are not being closed.
When I end the 2 ixeplore processes in task manager BEFORE opening IE the previous tabs are restored EVERYTIME. It's reproducible, repeatable.
I've reset IE to default, ran IE with no addons, ran IE from clean boot.
It is obviously the 2 iexplore processes being left open that is causing this issue....and IE thinks it is already running so opens a tab in a new window.
Why can't we get this fixed?
Posted by BillHi on 12/21/2014 at 12:29 PM
Any updates?
Whenever I leave running the 2 iexplore processes that are not being closed when IE is exited, the next time I open IE my previous tabs are not restored and 2 more iexplore processes are started and show up in task manager.
Whenever I close the 2 iexplore processes before opening IE my previous tabs are restored, EVERYTIME.
I added an attachment showing the 4 iexplore processes that are running when my tabs are not restored and only a single homepage tab gets opened.
Posted by 9rune5 on 10/7/2014 at 11:15 PM
IE11 is too flimsy in this regard. In addition to having make sure that the old process dies, I have also adopted the habit of explicitly closing the browser window prior to shutting down my computer. In my mind this helps ensure that my tabs are saved.

I cannot stress enough how annoying this is.

Unexpected power cut ( / process termination) can also bugger up IE in all sorts of wonderful ways (not just tabs, but cookies can go AWOL too).
Posted by BillHi on 10/6/2014 at 1:58 PM
Posted by Stephen Baker on 9/4/2014 at 11:56 AM
Exactly the same issue & symptoms here on a brand new Windows 8.1 install (with all updates applied).

I see 10 "patch Tuesdays" have passed since MS "will be investigating" - any chance of moving on from "investigating" into actually *doing* something about a widespread, pretty clearly identified bug that (amongst others) drives significant numbers of people to simply give up and move to competitors' products?
Posted by BillHi on 9/3/2014 at 1:20 AM
Is this discussion monitored? I see it is marked active? This has been an outstanding issue for years? Can we expect an effort to repair? Or at least a confirmation that nothing will be done?
Posted by joswald21 on 8/28/2014 at 11:33 AM
Yes, yes...I'm tired of hunting for a fix. It's IE not me...
Posted by honza.slansky on 8/28/2014 at 7:28 AM
Yes, this bug still remains, very annoying.
Posted by BillHi on 8/25/2014 at 10:03 PM
Any progress? This is a widely reported bug. I'm seeing it on many machines.
iexplore.exe and iexplore.exe *32 are left open after closing IE11.
If the processes are ended, and IE11 is opened, previous tabs are restored.
If processes are not ended, and IE11 is opened, only the start page is opened.
Can you please make Windows close the processes it is leaving open.
Posted by BillHi on 8/25/2014 at 9:48 PM
Has there been any progress on this long standing issue? I'm running up to date IE11 in a few machines running up to date Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, ALL have the same issue. ALL come back clean after full scans with MS Security essentials, MS Safety scanner, Malwarebytes, Adaware, Spybot search and destroy. I've reset internet settings, turned off IE11 and turned it back on. Nothing has corrected the problem.
So I'm left with this....
When I have multiple tabs open and I close IE11, Looking in Task Manager,
I'm left with 2 processes open, iexplore.exe and iexplore.exe *32.
If I end both processes and then re-open IE11, the previous tabs are restored.
If I don't end the processes and then re-open IE11, only the start page is opened.
Sure would be nice if you could make Windows close the processes it left open.
Posted by TimothyTFrank on 7/20/2014 at 7:20 PM
I have verified TechnoGilles details. Process ieexplore *32 (et al) remains active after the last browser window is closed. Using Task Manager and "killing" the process "fixes" the error. So, I suppose, a "work-around" is to open Task Manager each time IE 11 is used, and "kill" any dangling process that remains running after closing the last window.

And yea, Microsoft folks ... these are the users that have enough motivation to hunt this down and report it. Statistically, you have uncounted numbers of frustrated users that believe your browser is "broken" (because it is).

Looking ahead ... this has got to be the MOST ANNOYING error in IE 11. It frustrates me every time I use IE 11. The work around is so technically obscure I can't imaging recommending it to anyone.
Posted by TechnoGilles on 7/3/2014 at 7:12 PM
Details about the bug :

This happens when IE is closed but for some reasons, its process stays active. When in this situation, trying to open a new instance does not restore the "last" session because it thinks it is still active. Instead, it simply opens a new window.

In such a case, killing the process and re-opening an instance will then properly restore the last session.

So it seems the real bug is why the process stays active even after closing the instance.
Posted by DejaVu.83 on 6/29/2014 at 1:10 PM
For me is happening even with only one window with multiple tabs!
I noticed this issue happens if I Close an IE window with multiple tabs (IE still running in the background), then Open a new IE window again.
If the IE is closed completely and not running in the foreground I guess it will work properly.
Posted by andychops on 6/10/2014 at 6:28 AM
It only works correctly for me maybe 40% of the time, and as a result I have no faith in IE. I was hoping IE 11 would fix it but no. This is one of the main reasons I use Chrome!! Also, as a developer this does not seem like a rocket science feature to implement. C'mon guys, get it together.
Posted by TimothyTFrank on 5/30/2014 at 6:27 AM
Here's what happens on my computer, a Dell Inspiron 580 running Windows 7 Home Premium. All updates are installed, and I use Microsoft Security Essentials for security. The internet service provider is Cox Communications, and the browser is IE 11, version 11.0.9600.17107CO.

The browser intermittently, but persistently and regularly simply "forgets" the "previous session" tab settings.

Closing the browser before logging off does not matter. It "forgets" even when it is closed while a logon is active, and then reopened. Cycling options, turning them on/off, etc, does not matter. It has nothing to do with logging off, logging on, cycling power, or sleep modes. The only thing "necessary" to cause the browser to "forget" tabs is to "exit" the browser, and re-open the browser.
Posted by MANIJEH on 2/20/2014 at 9:03 AM
in IE11 and perhaps other versions as well with option in the "internet options" menu to "start IE with tabs from last session, you must close out the IE window before shutting down your PC in order for it to remember tabs from your last session.

Not a very good procedure which must be fixed.
Firefox will remember your tabs even if you do not close it before shutting your PC down. Let me know if this worked for you.

I struggled with this problem for months until I figured the work around above as many times I wanted to continue working with my tabs from my last IE session, and I was having to put my PC to sleep instead of shutting it down. Not a very desirable or secure way to leave a PC in.
Posted by JulianRDWinter on 11/25/2013 at 10:51 AM
I have same prob. IE 11 will not reopen last session tabs whatever I set in options. This was a problem with IE 10 (see I had the issue the whole time I used IE 10 - and in fact stopped using it because there was no fix offered apart from telling all the people who reported the problem that it wasn't really a problem. Take it from me it is a real problem - I know IE inside out, it is not a settings issue.
Posted by Jeff228410 on 10/28/2013 at 6:42 AM
Mine never remembers last session
Posted by Microsoft on 10/17/2013 at 9:40 AM
Thank you for your feedback. We will be investigating this issue further.

Best regards,

The Internet Explorer Team