IE11 - Startup Tabs - Restore Last Session Not Working

So I recently installed the Spring Update 1 ( the day it was released ) on my Windows 8.1 installation.  This feature was working last Saturday today I noticed that it wasn't.

The first thing I attempted to do was toggle the feature on and off.  As you can see the feature is indeed enabled.
http://i.stack.imgur.com/xukIs.png

So here is my current session:
http://i.stack.imgur.com/nr7IQ.png

After I close IE11 here is the startup session:
http://i.stack.imgur.com/QBjzp.png

I have attempted to look for people with similar problems.  The problem I encountered I wasn't able to find anyone with this problem after they installed the Spring Update.  Anyone have any ideas on how to restore IE to start with my previous session?

I actually first noticed this problem today when IE11 didn't request to load my previous session ( this happen if you have a certain number of tabs ).  I normally can figure a problem like this out.  

At this point I am stumped and my head is sore from all the scratching I have been doing.

Update 1
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Some additional information was discovered during some additional troubleshooting.  I noticed that after closing Internet Explorer 11 an `Internet Explorer` process would remain running after the IE11 window was closed.  If I manually end this process IE11 is able to restore the previous session.  If I don't then IE11 is unable to load the previous session.

What is interesting is that this process does not show up within Process Explorer.  Here is this "ghost" process that uses 0% of my CPU and only 29.3MB of memory.  If I manually  end this process IE will **always** load the previous session.

http://i.stack.imgur.com/YVttS.png

Update 2
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I was asked about which specific version I have installed currently:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/ezU3q.png

I also attempted the new profile. By doing this I had a minimal user profile and ruled out any issues with my current profile. This also means if I were to reset IE11 I likely would still have the problem.  **At this point I truly believe this to be a bug in Windows and some how connected to the `Spring Update 1`.**

Here is a Piriform Speccy profile of my system: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/8m7q8iHMtSGrjEMlG2JPrOI

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Maybe I don't understood you, but if i do WMIC before session - it tells me, that process is not found.        

Good.  So we can breathe easier about the malware hypothesis.  At least on your system.   <eg>

So, I open IE 11 with two tabs, t.ru.msn.com and  bing.com.  I have three iexplore.exe in TaskManager, with ID 2668, 3504 and 4936.
ParentProcessId 2668=2440 ( explorer.exe)
ParentProcessId 3504=2668
ParentProcessId 4936=2668

After closing IE  ID 2668 and 3504 still running in Task Manager

Not good.   I can't repro that.  But I can repro when MUF IE is involved.  But then the CommandLine is distinct, so I'm not sure if Desktop IE is affected by its tasks hanging around.  And I can repro if I Sign out--which I never do.

But MUF IE tasks sure do hang around--completely uselessly because as soon as I start a new MUF IE session presto! the old pair disappear and a new pair appear.   YMMV.

Edit:  ghost MUF IE tasks don't cause the Reopen last browsing session  problem.

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Robert, as I have posted earlier, it is a common problem with IE11 on Win7 (64bit at least), so it cannot be related with MUF IE.

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Well I am getting a bit lost in all the techy stuff but I think I am seeing the amazing news that rather that coming up with lots of technical ideas, someone has actually switched on a computer and found that the issue that we all have been talking about most likely exists! Phew!

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            common problem with IE11

Which we still need a repro for.   In fact, the symptom that I have now resists even using  taskkill.   (Seems to have gone after using the /F (Force) switch.)  I'm still wondering if doing that Sign-off / Sign-on (which I hardly ever do) has caused this.  Looks like it has more to do with the OS than with IE.  Otherwise, as I indicated, I have seen it occasionally but it doesn't bother me enough to figure out a repro case for it by myself, though I am willing to collaborate with anyone who is trying to do that.

I found an incident report which has not yet been closed (but doesn't look as if it will be accepted IMO; e.g. being kept open as a potential enhancement) where I will mention the workaround you have found (killing ghost tasks).

C.f.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie10-windows_8/ie-10-does-not-restore-tabs-from-the-last-session/e3a92200-4c0c-4c88-8f87-ecc49362fbda?page=6

But to be clear is the workaround to kill them after they are obviously apparent as ghosts (e.g. using WMIC) or do you have to know about them first?  I'll try to be more watchful for ghosts but as I say they simply do not normally happen for me.

HTH

Robert
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What the issue is that after you close IE, a part of it still continues running and this part contains only one tab, so when you then start IE up again the remebered session is that one tab!

In that case, what about noticing that, not killing it, restarting IE (using the Reopen... command if necessary) and then killing the ghosts?  Does doing that preserve all the tabs you were expecting to see?

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Robert, FWIW I have a brand new Windows 8.1 + IE11 system that exhibited this behaviour out-of-the-box.

After the second time restarting and finding my tabs gone, I checked my settings (all good), then Task Manager (noticed the two IE background processes still running), and assuming it's then likely some kind of bug quickly turned up this other thread which you have helpfully linked back here:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie11-iewindows8_1/ie-11-doesnt-restore-last-sessions-tabs/62b0a9ba-02dd-4d3d-bbc0-0626cdd7f0e5?rtAction=1400555691640

I've found that the solution S1Drano posted there is the only fix, namely:
1. Close IE (which removes the IE process under Apps)
2. Kill the two remnant/rogue/ghost IE processes under Background processes

IE will then remember its previous tabs.

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I've found that the solution S1Drano posted there is the only fix, namely:
1. Close IE (which removes the IE process under Apps)
2. Kill the two remnant/rogue/ghost IE processes under Background processes

IE will then remember its previous tabs.

I now have the case where instead of doing that I have the option of using the Reopen last browsing session command.   E.g., using either the Command bar Tools menu Alt-o s, the old Menu bar Tools menu Alt-T s or the About:Tabs  (aka New tab page).  This is while I am still in the same boot session of course.  Actually if that was reliable that would definitely be my preference.   Otherwise, in order to open just my Home page I would have to take some other bizarre workaround steps, such as opening the Home page in a new window, e.g. perhaps while recovery of the old tabs was still going on, and then closing the unwanted recovery window.

I still would like to know what has changed because as I indicated I used to consistently get all my old tabs (often unwanted) and kept thinking that I should try to find a way to stop that from happening.  Sometimes the number of tabs being reopened because of that was so ridiculous that I found there was even a warning about it.  I can't remember the exact wording but it was something about performance and did I really want to do this?   <eg>

If there is anyone who is really desperate to see if this feature still works the old way I would suggest trying RIES or the (assumed safe--caveat emptor!) tool suggested in this thread I was reminded of just now:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie10-windows_7/ie-10-open-in-new-tab-problem/c56bc266-9a16-4dae-a2d4-9cdef3bb50bb?page=4&msgId=9566a4d4-4185-48be-a011-76e9936adcf4 

FWIW I have often seen posters saying they tried it for various reasons, often successfully, but I have not looked at it myself.  Note that the thread discusses two similar programs, one which is spyware and the other which is assumed to be good stuff.

 

OMG.  I just realized that there may be another use-case that exists which would be what I have wanted all along.  E.g. I have been assuming that if I asked for Options Startup, Start with Home page  (Alt-T O, Alt-h) that I would be forgoing the chance of seeing my last session's tabs.  But if those commands still work with that option set, then perhaps there is a bug state that I am now in (e.g. not seeing my last session's tabs opening automatically) but perhaps it can be nullified by leaving this option, using its Reopen... command and then switching back to the one that this thread is about.  I'll test that next.

FYI

Robert
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perhaps there is a bug state that I am now in (e.g. not seeing my last session's tabs opening automatically) but perhaps it can be nullified by leaving this option, using its Reopen... command and then switching back to the one that this thread is about.  I'll test that next.

That works.  Could be a good workaround when you get into that bug state.  I don't know how much of what I actually did was really necessary and how much would be Voodoo if I reported it all.  E.g. for my test I actually used the Control Panel and then just started IE.  I also had one of those pesky ghost pairs hanging around so I killed them, thinking that if my test didn't work I would at least have a clean start to set up a bunch of new tabs to try again.  One somewhat startling thing that happened is I got prompted about how I wanted to close tabs, e.g. one at a time or all at once with no prompt.  I think this proves that some kind of re-initialization of the feature was done this way and thus got me out of the bug state. 

And again, I think that investigating the cause of the bug state is not sufficiently interesting to me to spend time doing it on my own but I am still willing to collaborate with anyone who does want to try to figure that out.  I will definitely report both workarounds in that Connect report once I have seen what happens after a boot.  However, I have no expectation of this feature surviving an abnormal shutdown, which I think may be what that complaint is really about.

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Robert, I have specifically test for the "remember tabs" scenario on IE10 on my Win8 before upgrading to 8.1 update 1, everything was working as expected. And I do not see the point in bringing IE10 into discussion here, unless you want to compare them in terms of functionality or provide a way to downgrade to that. The reset on IE11 does not solve the problem if that is what you are suggesting doing by using 3rd party tools.

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I am frustrated with much of Microsoft's products as of late. I have bought into the Surface, Windows Phone (Nokia 1020), and have a family computer at home.

My frustration is that it seems to me no one at Microsoft uses their own product or use them like their customer's do. If they do, it is as if the culture allows them to ignore problems like this instead of bringing them to product development's attention. With thousands of users in the Microsoft campus alone, one would think someone has this problem and can show it to a developer.

I am constantly having to bring up a competitor's browser when various web pages do not work (e.g. networkworld.com). With competitive products offering faster turn around time for bug fixes (no more waiting on a tick/tock cycle).

I too experience this problem. Startup is set to "Start with tabs from last session", if I close IE11 then reopen it I get tabs from a session I started a month ago. When I look in the Internet Options, IE11 has filled in these older sites into the "Home Page" section. Deleting these does not help.

Add-ons enabled are :
Lync Browser Helper
Office Document Cache Handler
Lync Click to Call
Send to One Note

Restarting the PC does not fix the problem either.

As mentioned by Ramhound, if I find the lingering iexplore.exe process after closing ie11, then end the process in task manager; then and only then does ie11 behave as expected and bring up the "tabs from the last session". However, it still fills in the "Home Page" section with tabs I had opened a month ago... even though I delete them and press "Apply".

If I do not end the "ghost" process in task manager, the next time I bring up ie11 the same tabs from a month ago reappear and the tabs I was using 2 seconds ago are no longer present.

As always, I am willing to provide any further debug upon request.

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Last updated October 18, 2020 Views 26,691 Applies to:

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