Some people are born to be tabulous, while others (like me) are
mostly anti-tab. I’m referring to the tabbed windows in Safari,
which can multiply like rabbits in spring as you Command-click
or Command-Shift-click to open links from the window you’re
viewing in another. I hear tales of people with hundreds of
tabs they leave open, and it gives me the heebie-jeebies—I keep
tabs open only as long as I need them.

While your working method is your own and, of course, valid no
matter what your choices, there’s a downside to having a lot of
tabs: you might accidentally close multiple tabs you need,
close a window full of tabs, or suffer a Safari or macOS crash
that doesn’t restore your windows. I’ve found Safari remarkably
resilient in recent years to crashes of all sorts, and rarely
have this problem. But because I don’t have windows full of
tabs, even if I lost one, it wouldn’t have the same impact.

You may already know a few restorative functions from the
History menu, but here’s a quick review:

  • After closing a tab or window, you can use History
    > Reopen Last Closed Tab/Window (Command-Shift-T
    for either).
  • You can also browse through History >
    Recently Closed to find tabs (as single items) and
    windows (as a main item with sub-item menu or other tabs in
    that window).
  • As a worst-cast restoration, you can select
    History > Reopen All Windows from Last
mac911 bookmarks from tabs

Research on sheriffs I had loaded into a window of tabs I
saved as a folder of bookmarks.

But you can also opt to snapshot or store entire windows full
of tabs as bookmarks, something that used to require
third-party extensions.

  1. Select a window with tabs.
  2. Choose Bookmarks > Add Bookmarks for These
    X Tabs
    , where X is the number of tabs.
  3. Pick a folder and enter a name for the bookmarks folder
    created from the window.

This is a great bit of extra security against a crash. There’s
no way to sync your tabs to that bookmarks folder, so as you
modify what’s in your open windows, you have to delete the
previous folder full of saved tabs (via Bookmarks >
Edit Bookmarks most easily), and then save a new
folder of them. Or, because bookmarks take up almost no space,
you could progressively save new folders numbered or named in
some scheme that helps you know which is the latest one.

Bookmark folders are also a useful way to transfer tabs between
devices if you’re using iCloud to sync Safari settings. While
you can use Handoff to pass a single active window, or Show All
Tabs to view open tabs on other devices also syncing via
iCloud, synced bookmarks offers a much simpler way to gain
access to all those tabs on any device you might have to hand.

Ask Mac 911

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