Is it just me, or is it way too easy to accidentally close a browser tab? I do it all the time. I will try to switch to another tab in Google Chrome but then press the “X” instead. Maybe I’m too happy with the click. If so, it’s probably because of the secret weapon I have up my sleeve, the hotkey that has saved me more times than I care to admit. I can click freely because I always know Ctrl+Shift+T is behind me.
What is Ctrl+Shift+T (or Cmd+Shift+T for Mac users)? I’d say it’s one of the most important and useful keyboard shortcuts, right up there with Ctrl + Z. In fact, it performs a similar function: undoing an error. Specifically, the error of accidentally closing a browser tab or window. Ctrl+Shift+T is the easiest way to restore a browser tab you didn’t want to delete.
Let’s see how to use it and all the other ways to restore lost tabs in any browser. And don’t miss our list of best windows 11 keyboard shortcutsthe essential Mac keyboard shortcuts and one Google Chrome trick that organizes all your tabs for you.
Four Ways to Reopen Closed Tabs in Google Chrome
Google Chrome gives you a few options for restoring tabs and windows after closing them, and depending on your needs, it’s good to know how they all work. Note, however, that restoring closed tabs is not an option when browsing in incognito mode.
1. Hotkey method
The fastest way to restore a single tab you accidentally closed is to use a keyboard shortcut. On a PC, use Ctrl+Shift+T. On a Mac, use Cmd+Shift+T. If you want to restore multiple tabs, or need a tab you closed a while ago, just keep pressing Ctrl + Shift + T and your tabs will reappear in the order they were closed . Bonus: If you accidentally close your entire browser window, just open a new Chrome window and the keyboard shortcut will re-open everything immediately. This is a great trick for those times when a system update requires you to close your browser or completely restart your computer.
2. Browser History Method
Your Chrome browser history also keeps track of recently closed tabs. It’s not as fast as a keyboard shortcut, but this method is useful if you closed the tab a long time ago and need to refer back to it.
There are several ways to access your browser history in Chrome. One way is to use another shortcut: Ctrl+H. Another is to click on the hamburger menu in the upper right corner of your browser and then select Story. And a third option is to type “chrome://history” in your address bar and then hit enter.
Whichever way you get to your browser history, once there, you’ll have access to all the websites and tabs you’ve visited, in reverse chronological order. Clicking on a result will reopen it for you. Browsing the hamburger menu also has a built-in list of Recently closed tabs, which you can select to reopen them.
Read more: 11 Chrome Features You Wish You Knew From The Beginning
3. Tab search method
Have you ever noticed the little down-pointing arrow in your Chrome tab bar? On Windows, it’s right next to the icons to minimize, maximize, and close your window. (On Mac, it’s in the top right.) This icon is Chrome’s built-in tab search function, which can be accessed with a simple keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+A. Tab search shows you a list of all the tabs you currently have open and another list of your recently closed tabs. You can scroll through the listings to reopen or switch to the tab you want, or use the search bar to find it with a keyword. This comes in handy for those who keep dozens of tabs open at all times.
4. Taskbar method
If you have a Chrome window open or the app pinned to your taskbar, right-click the taskbar icon and you’ll see a short list of links: The most visited and recently closed. From there, you can restore a tab simply by clicking on it. (Note that these options do not appear on Mac.)
Bonus: “Continue where I left off” method
There is a Chrome setting that basically makes Ctrl + Shift + T the default. By enabling this feature, each time you open Chrome, the browser will automatically reopen the tabs you had open during your previous session. To enable it, head into your Chrome settings (also via the hamburger menu), then When the engine starts. Select the Continue where you left off option.
What about other browsers, like Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera?
The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T will also work in other browsers (as well as right-clicking on the tab bar and selecting Reopen closed tab). Most other methods of reopening a tab also work on all browsers, although menu labels and options may differ. The experience is largely the same on a Mac, except for the taskbar method.
For Firefox and Microsoft Edge, you can also browse your browser history to find and reopen a tab you accidentally closed. Firefox has a dedicated submenu under Story called Recently closed tabs. Microsoft Edge has a tab Story menus for All, recently closed and Tabs from other devices. In Opera, if the sidebar is enabled — and if history is one of the items you’ve chosen to include in the sidebar — by clicking the Story The sidebar icon will also display a list of recently closed tabs.
Other browsers also offer a setting to automatically reopen tabs from the previous session on startup. In Firefox, go to Settings > General and check the box under start tagged Open previous windows and tabs. In Microsoft Edge, go to Settings > Start, Home and New Tabs and under When Edge startsselect open tabs from previous session. And in Opera: Settings > When the engine startsthen check the box to keep tabs from previous session.
To find out more, see The best features of Google Chromeincluding how to disable a noisy browser tab. More, browser settings to change for better privacy and browser extensions that will save you money when shopping online.