I'd like to know where does Safari store all the open tabs. My daughter did who-knows-what on my laptop and all tabs were closed (except hers of course...) and the "Reopen from last session" is greyed.

I know that when I update Safari, or even upgrade the OS, the open tabs are kept. I then suppose they are stored in a file somewhere on the HD. As I do have TimeMachine active, I hope that by restoring an older version of this file, I would be able to retrieve my open tabs. The problem being of course that I don't know where it stores them...

I'm on Safari 13.0.2 on macOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra - can't upgrade my early 2011 MBP, but I don't think it would have changed something)

  • I assume that for next time, you'll set her up her own managed account & not tell her the password to yours;-) idk what file you're looking for, but in the meantime, check whether there's any mileage in repeated Cmd/Shift/T which will keep reopening the previously closed tab [idk how far back that stretches, I've never had to test it beyond a few tabs] or alternatively look through the History list, Cmd/Y.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 1, 2019 at 17:29
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    12 yo who just had to do some research for a school project when I was not home... Rookie mistake to trust your children when it comes to your safari tabs :-p
    – LudoMC
    Nov 1, 2019 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


OK, just found it! I closed Safari, restored the file ~/Library/Safari/LastSession.plist from my TimeMachine backup. I then restarted Safari and hit the "Restore from Last Session"

What a bliss to see my 71 tabs back to life!

  • Were they in private mode? Just confirming if private tabs go to backup. And if they were normal, 71 must have been tough using history ..
    – anki
    Nov 1, 2019 at 20:41
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    I don't use private mode, so I don't know if the private ones would end up there also. For the history, I opened some of them quite a long time ago and they don't appear in the history list anymore. And yes I know I have to close some of them... :)
    – LudoMC
    Nov 1, 2019 at 21:09

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