Ctrl+Shift+T has saved me more than any other keyboard shortcut

I spend more time in Google Chrome browser than ever these days, and my laptop screen is almost always cluttered with dozens of open tabs. I can’t tell you how many times I accidentally pressed the “X” on a tab I was trying to switch to. It seems to happen daily. Maybe my mouse speed is not calibrated correctly. Maybe I’m too happy with the clicks. Or maybe I just know that Ctrl+Shift+T has my back. This keyboard shortcut is my secret weapon and it has saved me more times than I care to admit.

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What is Ctrl+Shift+T (or Cmd+Shift+T for Mac users)? I’d say it’s one of the most important and useful keyboard shortcuts out there, along with Ctrl+Z. In fact, it performs a similar function: undoing an error. Specifically, the error of accidentally closing a browser tab or window. Ctrl+Shift+T is the easiest way to restore a browser tab you didn’t want to delete.

Let’s see how to use it, plus all the other ways to restore lost tabs in any browser. And don’t miss our list of the The best Windows 11 keyboard shortcutsthe essential mac keyboard shortcuts and a Google Chrome trick that organizes all your tabs for you.

Four Ways to Reopen Closed Tabs in Google Chrome

Google Chrome gives you a few options to restore tabs and windows after you’ve closed them, and depending on your needs, it’s good to know how they all work. Note, however, that restoring closed tabs is not an option when browsing in incognito mode.

1. Keyboard Shortcut Method

The fastest way to restore a single tab that you accidentally closed is with a keyboard shortcut. On a PC, use Ctrl+Shift+T. On a Mac, use Cmd+Shift+T. If you want to restore multiple tabs, or if you need a tab you closed a while ago, keep pressing Ctrl+Shift+T and your tabs will reappear in the order they were closed. Bonus: if you accidentally close the entire browser window, just open a new Chrome window and the keyboard shortcut will reopen all Right away. This is a great trick for times when a system update forces you to close your browser or completely restart your computer.

2. Browser history method

Your Chrome browser history also keeps track of recently closed tabs. It’s not as fast as a keyboard shortcut, but this method is useful if you closed the tab a long time ago and need to refer back to it.

There are a few ways to access your browser history in Chrome. One way is to use another shortcut: Ctrl+H. Another is to click the hamburger menu in the top right corner of your browser, then select History. And a third option is to type “chrome://history” in the address bar and then hit enter.

Regardless of how you get to your browser history, once there you’ll have access to all the websites and tabs you’ve ever viewed, in reverse chronological order. Clicking on a result will reopen it for you. Going through the hamburger menu also has a built-in list of recently closed tabs, which you can select to reopen.

Chrome logo on a laptop screen

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Read more: 11 Chrome Features You’ll Wish You Knew About All Along

3. Tab search method

Ever notice the little downward pointing arrow on Chrome’s tab bar? On Windows, it’s right next to the icons to minimize, maximize, and close the window. (On Mac, it’s in the top right.) This icon is Chrome’s built-in tab search feature, which can be accessed with a simple keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+A. Tab Search shows you a list of all your currently open tabs and another list of your recently closed tabs. You can scroll through the lists to reopen or switch to the desired tab, or use the search bar to find it with a keyword. This is useful for those who keep dozens of tabs open at all times.

4. Taskbar Method

If you have a Chrome window open, or the app is pinned to your taskbar, right-click the taskbar icon and you’ll see a short list of links: Most visited Y recently closed. From there, you can restore a tab by simply clicking on it. (Note that these options do not appear on Mac.)

Bonus: ‘Pick up where I left off’ method

There is a Chrome setting that essentially makes Ctrl+Shift+T the default. When you turn this feature on, every time you open Chrome, the browser will automatically reopen the tabs you had open in your previous session. To turn it on, go to Chrome settings (also via the hamburger menu), then At the beginning. Select the pick up where you left off option.

What about other browsers, like Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera?

The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T will also work in other browsers (in addition to right-clicking on the tab bar and selecting Reopen closed tab). Most other methods of reopening a tab also work across browsers, although the menu labels and options may differ. The experience is pretty much the same on a Mac, with the exception of the taskbar method.

For both Firefox and Microsoft Edge, you can also review your browser history to find and reopen a tab you accidentally closed. Firefox has a dedicated submenu under History I call Recently Closed Tabs. Microsoft Edge has a tab History menu for All, recently closed Y Other device tabs. In Opera, if you have the sidebar enabled, and if History is one of the items you chose to include in the sidebar, clicking the History The sidebar icon will also display a list of recently closed tabs.

Other browsers also offer a setting to automatically reopen tabs from the previous session on startup. In Firefox, go to Settings > General and check the box below Start up labelled Open previous windows and tabs. In Microsoft Edge, go to Settings > Home, home and new tabs And below when edge startsSelect open tabs from previous session. And in Opera: Settings > At the beginningthen check the box to keep tabs from previous session.

For more information, take a look The best features of Google Chromeincluded how to silence a noisy browser tab. Plus, browser settings to change for better privacy Y browser extensions that will save you money when shopping online.

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