Internet Explorer 11 IE Restore Session: how does it work?
January 25, 2015 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I want to know how can I manually configures the session restore files and key values in case they got corrupted/messed up/erased? Suppose I was able to save all content in the "Active" and "Last Active" folder. 

I'm using IE11 win7 64
I have a need to figure out how Microsoft designs IE to restore sessions, because:
1. Some time the IE crashes and "restore session" option is not available.
2. I constantly failed to restore session because too many tabs/windows start simultaneously can make my CPU 100% and finally dead.

From my online research, Microsoft seems to use the following mechanism, basically:
1. IE saves current tabs and session information periodically in the folder "/USERNAME/Appdata/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/recovery/Active"
If IE exit successfully/normally:

a) by exiting IE, the content recently written in the "Active" folder are deleted, which includes multiple {GUID}.data files, each of them corresponds to a single tab opened in the last session, and one RecoveryStore.{GUID }.data file which summarizes the above tab files.
b) by exiting IE, the value under the registry key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Recovery/Active", which was the active {GUID }, will be deleted.

If IE exit abnormally,

a) by exiting IE, the content recently written in the "Active" folder are kept.
b) the registry key mentioned above is kept.

3. If start IE after an abnormal exit, IE will
a) pop up the option to "restore session"
b) if clicked, session will be restored by using the information saved in the "Active" folder as multiple {GUID}.data files for tabs and one RecoveryStore.{GUID}.data file for summary.
c) the above files represents the restored session will be saved in the folder "/USERNAME/Appdata/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/recovery/Last Active" for reference.
d) the folder "/USERNAME/Appdata/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/recovery/Active" will start to append/delete/update new .data files to reflect the changes to the current session.

So now I want to know how can I manually create the above session restore files and key values in case they got corrupted/messed up/erased? Suppose I was able to save all content in the "Active" and "Last Active" folder.

I find by simply having the relevant session files, ie, multiple {GUID}.data files and one RecoveryStore.{GUID}.data) under "Active" folder, and having a key value { GUID} under "Acitve" registry key, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

Please advise, and correct me for my understanding of the mechanism, or provide me some documents to read, thanks very much.
posted by pack2themoon to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Best answer: The internals are not disclosed for operation, but I can tell you that inside each IE are multiple "tab" renderers that can generate the page you are on, or seamlessly hand off to another renderer for navigations. This is done to give fast forward<> backward navigation. The state of the filesystem will always be in flux, you could perhaps use some of the NTFS snapshot features to make more copies of it in time, but in general, it is going to be hairy.

Is there a particular reason you're crashing so much? You might consider pinning it down to an earlier rendering engine and shut off any bells and whistles you can.
posted by nickggully at 9:42 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Do you have to use IE? If not, there's extensions for Firefox to do this easily.

Just googling, as I remember there are addons for IE, just not that many, I did find this:


Which you could use to autosave sessions fairly frequently.

As a disclaimer, I've never used this, and can't vouch for it. It might be worth testing, or seeing if there's alternatives to it that do what you want easily.
posted by Boobus Tuber at 2:33 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you guys, sorry for the late reply.

@nickggully, thanks for the explanation about tab renderer. well, still not very clear, and I still get constant crash, due to me opening too many tabs, about 50?100? the method I described might still works to recover the crashed session, but it will still crash, since too many tabs are loading simultaneously. I think IE has some problems loading tabs by using random resource allocation? so all tabs are all competing with cpu together making IE crash.

@Boobus Tuber, yeah this it the final solution. I swear I wouldn't use IE any more if I can.
posted by pack2themoon at 3:46 AM on October 22, 2015

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