Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) supports ability to reopen last browsing session feature that re-opens all last opened tabs when IE is closed and exited. In order to restore the last browsing session on next run of IE8, the IE browser stores the last browsing session history in .dat files in a sub-directory within the user profiles folder.

The last browsing session or last opened tabs history of IE8 is stored at the following location:

Windows XP

%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery\Last Active

Windows Vista and Windows 7 in Normal Privilege Mode

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery\Last Active

Windows Vista and Windows 7 in Elevated Administrator Privilege Mode

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Recovery\High\Last Active

The main .dat file name look like the following:

RecoveryStore.{GUID}.dat

Where GUID is Globally Unique Identifier which is different for each user and computer.

For each tabs and windows of IE opened, IE 8 will create as many different .data files for each of them in the following name format to store the details and data of the web pages:

{GUID}.dat

Where GUID is Globally Unique Identifier which is vary for each browsing session.

Tip: The “Active” folder, the sister folder of “Last Active”, is used to frequently store current state of IE for automatic crash recovery.

With the knowledge of storage location for the last browsing session history, user can easily backup the last browsing session for future restore and use. It’s also possible to transfer the last browsing session data to another computer or user account to re-open these web pages in tabs. For user who values privacy and don’t want to leave any trace of browsing history, deleting and removing the tabs last opened history will ensure that nobody can re-open those tabs that still open when user’s leaving the browser.

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