Anyone who’s dealt with computers for some time has had it happen—they close their internet browser, come back to it, and have no idea where they’ve left off. For some users, losing their session is just an occupational hazard. Others have turned to hoarding their tabs, never closing anything and even leaving their computers running. Regardless, most people could benefit from a way to save their workspaces. Fortunately, most browsers offer a solution to this in the form of extensions: user-made software designed to add or replace functionality. Session management extensions allow users to store a list of tabs and their associated windows, restoring them at a later date.
For users of Google Chrome, Session Buddy is among the highest rated in this category, and for good reason. The app is visually appealing, unintrusive, and highly functional. There are configuration options for every class of user, including keyboard shortcuts, formatting edits, and much more. Notably, the app also can automatically track a number of previous sessions, enabling users to restore their tabs after a crash or freeze.
To install Session Buddy, start by opening a new window of Chrome. Click the three dots in the top right, click “More tools,” and finally “Extensions.” While on the extensions page, click the three bars in the top left, labeled “Extensions.” Then, click “Open Chrome Web Store” at the bottom of the menu. This will bring up a page with popular extensions, as well as a search bar. In that search bar, located in the top left, type “Session Buddy” and press enter. Locate the proper extension, which should be offered by “sessionbuddy.com” and click “Add to Chrome.” On the prompt that appears, click “Add extension” again.
Afterwards, using Session Buddy is even easier than installing it. Start by clicking the icon, which should appear in the top right of your browser, to the right of the star. On the page that appears, click “SAVE” to save your current set of tabs. Optionally, enter a name, and click “OK.” Later, click one of the saved sessions on the left, and then click “OPEN.” Select one of the three windowing options and watch as this previous session populates the screen.
Unfortunately for users of other browsers, Session Buddy is only available for Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. However, there are a few good alternatives available for Firefox. One such extension is Session Sync. Though not quite as polished as Session Buddy, particularly regarding interface design, Session Sync offers a similar feature set, namely the ability to save and restore sessions. It also includes a few capabilities which Session Buddy lacks, such as the ability to overwrite previous sessions, and sync them between devices.
Installing Session Sync is just as easy as Session Buddy. Begin by opening a new window of Firefox. Click the three bars in the top right, known as the “hamburger menu,” and then click “Add-ons.” On this page, first make sure “Get Add-ons” is selected, then click “Find more add-ons.” Locate the search box in the top right, type in “Session Sync” and hit enter. Click the first result, and then click “Add to Firefox” on the page that appears. From the prompt that appears, click “Add.”
Using Session Sync is easy as well. Begin by clicking the Session Sync icon, and a popup window should appear. From here, click the heart to save the current session. Enter a title and proceed to click “Save.” Later, from the same popup, select a session from the left. Then, click the multicolored stack button to restore the session.
With session-saving extensions, users no longer a need to worry about their tabs; instead, the computer can handle the tough work, leaving the user to manage and create their ideal workspace. Software like Session Buddy and Session Sync are invaluable for research products too, as they can label and store certain groups of tabs. Though these extensions provide simple solutions, the applications are many.
Author: Grey Ruessler, IT User Services
Fitzpatrick, Jason. (2010, March 8). Session Buddy saves and restores custom browsing sessions in Google Chrome [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://lifehacker.com/session-buddy-saves-and-restores-custom-browsing-sessio-5488230