Do you keep closing your browser tabs by accident? If so, you are definitely not alone. I do this all the time — I’ll try to switch to another tab Google Chrome but press “X” instead. Maybe I’m too click-happy, or I just know that Ctrl+Shift+T is behind me. This keyboard shortcut is my secret weapon and it has saved me more than I care to admit.
What is Ctrl+Shift+T (or Cmd+Shift+T for Mac users)? I would argue that this is one of the most important and useful keyboard shortcuts out there with Ctrl+Z. In fact, it performs a similar function: returning an error. Specifically, the error of accidentally closing a browser tab or window. Ctrl+Shift+T is the easiest way to restore a browser icon you don’t want to X out.
Let’s take a look at how to use it, plus all the other ways to recover lost tabs in any browser. And don’t miss our list best Windows 11 keyboard shortcutsthe basic Mac keyboard shortcuts and a Google Chrome trick that organizes all your tabs for you.
Four ways to reopen closed tabs in Google Chrome
Google Chrome gives you several options for restoring tabs and windows after closing them, and it’s good to know how they all work depending on your needs. Note, however, that restoring closed tabs is not an option when browsing in incognito mode.
1. Keyboard shortcuts method
The fastest way to restore a tab you’ve accidentally closed is with a keyboard shortcut. On 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 completely, simply open a new Chrome window and the keyboard shortcut will reopen. everything at once. This is a great trick for those times when a system update forces 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 lightning fast as a keyboard shortcut, but it’s useful if you’ve closed a tab a long time ago and need to revisit it.
There are several ways to access your browser history in Chrome. One way is to use another shortcut: Ctrl+H. Alternatively, click the hamburger menu in the upper right corner of your browser, then select History. The third option is to type “chrome://history” in the address bar and press enter.
However, if you access your browser history, you’ll have access to all the websites and tabs you’ve viewed there in reverse chronological order. Clicking on the result will reopen it for you. Going through the hamburger menu also has a built-in list Recently closed icons you can choose to reopen.
Read more: 11 Chrome features
3. Tab search method
Have you ever noticed the little down arrow in your Chrome tab bar? In Windows, this is next to the icons to minimize, maximize, and close your window. (On a Mac, it’s in the upper right.) This icon is Chrome’s built-in tab search feature, 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 recently closed tabs. You can scroll through the lists to reopen or jump to the tab you want, or use the search bar to find it by keyword. This is useful for those who keep dozens of tabs open all the time.
4. Taskbar method
If you have a Chrome window open — or if the app is pinned to your taskbar — right-click the taskbar icon and you’ll see a short list of links: Very visited and Recently closed. From there, you can restore a tab by simply clicking on it. (Note that these options are not visible on a Mac.)
Bonus: “Pick up where I left off” method
Basically there is a Chrome setting that defaults to Ctrl+Shift+T. By enabling this feature, every time you open Chrome, the browser will automatically reopen the tabs you opened in your previous session. To turn it on, go to your Chrome settings (also via the hamburger menu), then In the beginning. choose Pick up where you left off choice.
What about other browsers like Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera?
The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T will work in other browsers as well (as well as right-clicking on the tab bar Reopen the closed tab). Most of the other methods for reopening a tab also work in browsers, although the menu labels and options may differ. The experience is basically the same on the Mac, except for the taskbar method.
For both Firefox and Microsoft Edge, you can also review your browser history to find and reopen a tab you accidentally closed. Firefox has a special sub-menu under it History he called Recently closed tabs. Microsoft Edge has a tab History menu for All, Recently closed and Icons from other devices. In Opera, if the sidebar is enabled — and History is one of the items you’ve selected to include in the sidebar — click it History icon in the sidebar will also bring up a list of recently closed tabs.
Other browsers also offer a setting to automatically reopen the previous session’s tabs on startup. Go to Firefox Parameters > General and check the box below Getting started labeled Open previous windows and tabs. Go here in Microsoft Edge Parameters > Start, home and new tabs and below When Edge startschoose open the tabs of the previous session. And in Opera: Parameters > In the beginningthen check the box save tabs from previous session.
Check for more information The best features of Google Chromeincluding How to silence a noisy browser tab. In addition, browser settings to change for better privacy and browser extensions that will save you money when shopping online.