How to Stop Edge Browser From Restoring Tabs After a Crash

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Edge tabs

Something happens that causes your Edge browser to crash or makes you force close it. Perhaps it's a website with bad code. Maybe you just have too many tabs open. However, when you reopen your browser, all the same tabs start loading again. That's because, by default, Edge browser restores all tabs when you relaunch it after a force close, which can be frustrating if you force closed because you wanted to get rid of those tabs. Microsoft doesn't provide an easy setting to turn this auto recover feature off, but by adding changing a couple of hidden settings, you can disable it.

Note that this process involves editing the Windows registry, which is a database of all your computers' important settings. If you were go to around deleting entries or randomly renaming folders in the registry, you could mess up your system, but if you follow our instructions and don't intentionally break things, you shouldn't have a problem.

1. Open regedit. Hit Windows + R and type regedit into the run dialog box. Click Ok. 

enter regedit

2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/policies/Microsoft/. You can get there by opening the folders in the left pane of the Registry Editor, much as you would navigate a folder tree in Windows Explorer.

Navigate to Microsoft

3. Right click in the right pane and select New > Key. An unnamed entry appears.

create a new key called MicrosoftEdge

4. Rename the key to MicrosoftEdge. 

How to Stop Edge Browser From Restoring Tabs After a Crash

5. Create a key named Recovery under MicrosoftEdge, using the same method.

Create a key called Recovery

6. Right click select New > DWORD (32-bit value) in the right pane of the Recovery key .

Create DWORD value

7. Name the new value AutoRecover.


8. Open AutoRecover and set its value to 2. Click Ok.

Set AutoRecover to 2

9. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft.

10. Repeat steps 3 to 6 from this location so that you have a HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\MicrosoftEdge\Recovery\AutoRecover DWORD Value set to 2.

Edge browser will always open to a single tab, even if you force closed it or it crashed.

Having issues with Windows 10? Our sister site, Tom’s Hardware, has a team of staffers standing by in the forums to answer your questions 24/7.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • Norm kil Says:

    I tried this in Windows 10 1809 on 12/20/18 with all Microsoft updates and it still brings up last web pages. I double check the registry settings and the only problem I found is in the 1st of your web page you have the "/" where you should have the "\" to divide the folders in regedit.

  • Mark Allot Says:

    I had tab that opened trying to take control of my laptop. After end tasking through the task manager I was able to got to the search box on the taskbar and typed some random text and hit enter. This causes edge to open with a new tab and all of the other tabs open. I was then able to close the non activated tabs that were causing the issue. Just a way to solve my particular issue without having to monkey around in the unforgiving windows registry.

  • Angus Says:

    Much better to simply rename the directory C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_xxxxxxxxxxxxx\AC\MicrosoftEdge\User\Default\Recovery

  • Johnny Says:

    With the Windows 10 Creators update which was released April 2017, this solution no longer works. Can you please post a new solution? Thanks

  • John Davis Says:

    appreciate the quick and simple work around. you're the best !!!!

  • beyeriii Says:

    Another method is to press and hold down the Alt key while starting Microsoft Edge.

  • Perry Says:

    Locked malware page Recovery from Microsoft Edge:

    Close Microsoft Edge using Task Manager

    Go to following location (“user” is the name of the account you are signed in on)


    Delete all files in the Recovery\active folder. This folder has the list of the most recent opened web pages – which will contain the malware site.

    After folder is empty, restart edge. It should restart to your normal default start page.

    Old software geek... My only claim to fame is that I've forgotten more operating systems than most people ever knew existed... and my first programming job was an IBM wireboard...

  • Justin Says:

    Wandered across a site that switched Edge over to a modal window, and auto-recovered into the Tab even after a restart. This fixed the problem perfectly. It's nice to know that should it ever happen again that my browser won't get hijacked.

  • mondojohnson Says:

    This did the trick, and your explanation couldn't be any clearer. Thanks for the quick fix to a vexing problem!

  • EsConj Says:

    Thank you so much. Simple method to follow and has worked!

  • Barclay Says:

    Thank you for a simple solution!!

  • TaxCPANY Says:

    Another simple workaround: Close Edge. Type in any kind of search in the Win10 toolbar. Edge will open to a new tab displaying your new search, with the infected tab showing but no longer commanding your browser. Click on the offending tab's little "x" to kill it without re-surrendering control.

  • LouSK Says:

    It worked like magic!!!
    Thank you so much!

  • VicSmall Says:

    Superb, thanks for this, I had a nasty 'you've won a prize' tab that kept popping up on starting Edge and wouldn't allow any other input except the 'OK' button that I had no intention of pressing.. This solution fixed it, thanks so much Avram.

  • Woody Says:

    Unbelievable. It worked. A stupid aggressive tab kept popping up and beeping and I couldn't do anything about it. Now, thanks to Avram I'm back in business. Sir, I owe you a beer.

  • Exotic Hadron Says:

    Hey, Avram, thanks for the tip!

    Is there any Local GPO for this? I want Edge to recover tabs from the last session when I open the browser next time.

    At least, what are other bits for the AutoRecover DWORD?

    Thank you.

  • win10user Says:

    This work around works on windows 10. I'm so glad there is a work around for this. Microsoft needs to handle this like Chrome. That is, don't restore on crash but prompt the user to restore.

  • Lea James Says:

    I wish some expert would come up with the answer to recover webpage and stop script on both IE and Edge on Win 10. Driving me mad!

  • BillScott Says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes I agree.. with all the comments on here.. that Microsoft needs to make a very strong change in their program so that this will not happen. I was lucky to have another internet browser that was not affected. So I was able to read the instructions directly while doing the correction.. and yes MicrosoftEdge needs to be one word. IT WORKS!

  • Thomas Lynch Says:

    yes, it works if one removes the space between Microsoft and Edge in the first part, HKEY_CURRENT_USER

  • Thomas Lynch Says:

    Followed the above directions. Wincows 10, Microsoft Edge. REstarted Edge and it opened all the tabs, including the one running a poison script.

  • Flanimal Says:

    Or you could just disable your wifi, open edge, set a new page, and enable your wifi.
    The quality of a solution is proportional to its simplicity.

  • Steven Says:

    This works if you leave out the space between Microsoft and Edge in the first set of instructions. Make it MicrosoftEdge

  • Bobby Says:

    Waste of time. Does not work on windows 10

  • Brooke H Says:

    Thank you, thank you! Simple and effective for computer novices like me. I thought i was going to have to uninstall Windows 10 and start all over again. Easy peasy!

  • Ian Hanley Says:

    This does not work, also, the syntax in the screenshots do not match up with your instructions (spacing, makes ALL the difference in Registry)...

  • AndyD Says:

    I'm a complete non-techie, but this fix worked for me. Thanks for the simple explanation!

  • David Says:

    It truly is unbelievable that a company the size and resources of Microsoft would put out such an obvious flaw. It just goes to show how idiots are abundant and, unfortunately, omnipresent.

    Thanks, this workaround worked for me.

  • Katrina Says:

    Thank you, worked for me but as NoSpace said MicrosoftEdge is one word. ☺

  • Chris Says:

    Worked for me.

    This is a serious design flaw Microsoft. You guys ever see these sites that lock the browser and try to tell you that you have a virus and hijack your browser? Without this fix the average persons browser is now crippled. What were you thinking?
    Wake up and smell the coffee. Your giving your shinny new browser a bad name.

  • mahmood Says:

    Thank you very much for that. It works for me :)

  • NoSpace Says:

    The instructions are wrong, there shouldn't be a space in the key.
    I.e. it should be "MicrosoftEdge" and not "Microsoft Edge"

  • Mark in NC Says:

    This worked for me. Thanks!

  • mike Says:

    I did this to fix a problem that was causing me exiting out of a webpage and it worked. however now it wont work anymore

  • Charlie Says:

    Followed all the steps properly and this did nothing

  • Steve Rochford Says:

    Thanks for this - seems weird that there's not a simpler way to not recover tabs given that so many websites can cause a browser to hang; you kill Edge, relaunch and magically it hangs again :-)
    I found that I only needed the value at HKCU - presumably adding at HKLM would be good if the machine was shared.

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