Internet Explorer (IE8) has a feature that allows user to reopen last Browsing Session feature, which allows user to re-open all web browsing tabs that are still open when exiting IE. The Reopen Last Browsing Session in IE8 works similar with Firefox’s Show my windows and tabs from last time, albeit not automatically on IE launch.

User or administrator who doesn’t want to make use of Reopen Last Browsing Session functionality can disable and turn off the IE 8’s Reopen Last Browsing Session feature. When disabled, it’s impossible to use the Reopen Last Browsing Session option from the Tools menu. The link to Reopen Last Browsing Session will also not be displayed on new tab page titled “What you want to do next?”.

The ability to disable and turn off (or enable and turn on) Reopen Last Browsing Session is implemented through system policy GPO object, which set its setting in system registry. Thus, there are two ways to set the policy, via Group Policy Editor and directly edit the registry, which is useful for Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 less-premium editions that doesn’t come with Group Policy Editor.

Disable Reopen Last Browsing Session in IE8

How to Turn Off and Disable Reopen Last Browsing Session in IE8

Method 1: Using Group Policy Editor

  1. Run Local Group Policy Editor (Type GPEdit.msc in Start Search or Run command box).
  2. Navigate to the following tree branch:

    User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer

  3. In the right “Local Computer Policy” pane, locate and set Turn off Reopen Last Browsing Session setting to Enabled.

    Turn Off Reopen Last Browsing Session in Group Policy Editor

  4. Exit Group Policy Editor.
  5. Restart Internet Explorer for the change to take effect.

Method 2: Using the Registry Editor

  1. Run Registry Editor (Type RegEdit.exe in Start Search or Run command).
  2. Navigate to the following registry key branch:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery

    Note: If the registry key (i.e. Internet Explorer and/or Recovery) does not exist, create one manually by right clicking on parent branch, and choose New -> Key, and then name the key according.

  3. In the right pane, create a new DWORD value by right clicking on blank space and choose New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value, and then name it as NoReopenLastSession.
  4. Double-click on NoReopenLastSession and set its value data to 1.


  5. Exit Registry Editor.
  6. Restart IE for the change to take effect.

Alternatively, just download the Disable-Reopen-Last-Session.reg to turn off ability to reopen last browsing session, or Enable-Reopen-Last-Session.reg to re-enable and turn on ability to reopen last browsing session.

By disabling ability to restore and reopen last browsing session, IE8 can be set to restore last browsing session only when IE crashes as part of automatic crash recovery feature.