IESessions: save and retrieve your sessions on Internet Explorer


IESessions is a free Internet Explorer extension that enables the quick saving of your IE internet sessions (URLs from all tabs and windows that are open).

Sessions can be saved locally, exported to a file for use on other computers or otherwise uploaded to the Amazon S3 storage service.

Have you ever been, say, working on a project or doing some research and had to shut down your computer and/or leave? You might have been inclined to quickly copy and paste the URLs of the web pages that you were using or you may have set out to quickly add all of those pages to your favorites (most likely never to be looked at again, buried in a heap of other unorganized favorites ;) ).

IESessions can provide a much more practical and intuitive alternative, allowing you to quickly save your session in order to carry on where you left off at a later point on the same computer or others at a different location. Here are more notes on this program:

  • How it works: simply click on the IESessions icon in the Internet Explorer toolbar or use Tools then IESessions from the file menu, then give your session a name (e.g. “Project A”) and save your session.
  • What is saved: all of the URLs that are open (in all tabs and windows) are saved within a single session. Note that prior surfing history is NOT stored, and neither are any cookies and/or login information (you will have to re-login into any sites that require it).
  • Managing sessions: you can expand your sessions and highlight individual URLs in each session to open or delete them, or you can load (or delete) the entire session with all the URLs contained in it. You cannot, however, move or drag and drop URLs from one session to another, which is a pity since this precludes using IESesssions as a bookmark manager of sorts.
  • Adding IESessions to the IE toolbar: run the installer then launch IE; right click the command bar, select “Customize command bar” then “add and remove commands”, then add the IESessions button from the left pane to the list of
    available commands (on the right pane) in the placement you like. That’s it.
  • Exporting sessions to a file: is very easy to do, and allows you to export your sessions in one location then email or transport via a thumb drive to another location to continue where you left off. Note that all sessions are exported collectively rather than any specific session(s) or URLs you might want to single out.You *may* have an issue, like I did, with a missing “comdlg32.ocx” library. If so you can find instructions on how to download and add it to your system here.
  • Exporting sessions to an Amazon S3 account: I did not try this option because this is a paid service (albeit seems quite reasonable at $0.150 per GB).

Wish list

  • Support for exporting dragging and dropping URLs across different sessions.

The verdict: a rather nice little program that brings to IE a feature that has long been available (in various forms) on Firefox. IESessions is a very competent and useful freeware that does what it claims to do and does it well; however I couldn’t but help thinking it would have been so much more useful with the option to drag and drop URLs across saved sessions, which would have made sessions much more ‘interactive’ and allowed them to evolve as the user’s work/projects/research evolved. Still, if you use IE I highly recommend this invaluable addition to your browser.

Version Tested: 1.04

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista (see the program page for installation instructions on Vista). IE 6, 7, or 8 required (I tested it on IE 8).

Go to the developer’s main page to download the latest version (approx 659K). More info on this program here (including installing on Vista).