Locate The History Of Last Browsing Session In IE8 For Easy Backup, Restore and Deletion

If you have been using Internet Explorer 8, you must be aware that it offers a feature using which you can reopen or restore last browsing session. This IE8 feature reopens or restores all the tabs that were open when you last exited or closed IE. To restore last browsing session when you run IE next time, the browser stores history of the last opened tabs within .dat files.

These .dat files are located in a sub-directory inside the folder User Profiles. The history of last opened tabs or last browsing session of Internet Explorer 8 can be found at the location mentioned below.

In Windows XP, you will find it at %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery\Last Active.

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista (Normal Privilege Mode) it is generally placed at the location %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery\Last Active.

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista (Administrator Privilege Mode) it can be found at %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery\High\Last Active location.

The name of the main.dat file generally looks like “RecoveryStore.{GUID}.dat”. GUID here is the Globally Unique Identifier that varies from computer to computer and user to user.  The browser will create saperate .dat files for each window and tab opened in IE8 in the name format mentioned below so as to store the data and details of the WebPages.


GUID in the above format is the Globally Unique Identifier that will differ for different browsing sessions.

Important tip: The folder “Active” which is sister folder of the folder “Last Active” frequently stores the current IE state to ensure automatic crash recovery.

Once you know the location at which the history of IE’s last browsing session is stored, you can easily take a backup for future use. You may also transfer the data of last browsing session to a different user account or a different system to reopen the necessary web pages.

 In case you are among the ones who value privacy and do not wish to leave any hint of your browsing history, you can delete the history of the last opened tabs. This will prevent others from reopening the tabs that you had left open when you last exited IE8.


  1. Hi,
    I killed (Just to recover all the tabs again) my IE yesterday, i didnot get any restore prompt. However I saw many .dat files under ‘Active’ folder with yesterday date, but I am not able to recoever the session. Any Idea on how to restore my session back?