Retrieve previously opened tabs in IE7 with “IE Open Last Closed Tab”


“IE Open Last Closed Tab” is a free Internet Explorer extension that can retrieve and launch previously visited URLs. On pressing a hotkey it displays a page of thumbnails representing previously viewed URLs that can be used to quickly access any of these sties.

I was doing some freeware research the other day and had about 8 or 10 tabs open on IE (yes, I use IE7, for work-related reasons). It was at the end of my lunchbreak at work and I had to switch quickly from blogging mode to work mode; except I wanted to be able to access the tabs/URLs I had open later on and not lose them. I knew that you could do this fairly easily with some Firefox plugins and so I started searching for a freeware Internet Explorer extension that delivered that functionality. Eventually I found that MuvExToe’s “IE Open Last Closed Tab” and IE7Pro, both offered this function (and both are freeware). I decided to post the former because (a) it featured a nifty “Quick Tab” thumbnail view with the latter didn’t, and (b) I was more interested in a single extension that did this rather than a program that offered multiple tools. Here are more notes on “IE Open Last Closed Tab”:

  • IE Open Last Closed Tab - listHow it works: the extension installs itself in Internet Explorer 7 and monitors sites visited. It will install a button on the IE command bar that, when pressed, will display a list of visited sites (see screenshot to the right). Alternately you can press a hotkey (Alt+Q by default) and get a page of sites represented as thumbnails (see screenshot above).
  • The site history: this program apparently stores the URL history and does not use that of IE. What this means is that the list of visited sites can be retrieved even after you delete your browsing history, cookies, cache, temporary internet files, etc. You can delete the visited sites history from within the program itself.
  • Quick tab style view: i.e. the page with site thumbnails. A rather cool feature. I am not sure why but many sites end up without a thumbnail/visual representation. Note: this page includes an ad at the bottom of the page, but the ad can be disabled; click on “disable product bar”.
  • Number of tabs to remember: is set at 25 by default but can be increased up to 200.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Alt-X will automatically open the last closed tab, while Alt-Q will prmpt the Quick tab style view. There is no option to customize these shortcuts, however.
  • The search box: this is only accessible from the Quick tab (thumbnail) view. Typing a word in the “find” box will immediately filter the sites on display. The search function seems to index the page titles and not the content within the page.
  • Wish list: the ability to customize/redefine the hotkeys.

The verdict: this is quite a nice addition to Internet Explorer 7 and very useful to have. (I even like that it’s history is separate than that of IE7). I actually found that I was using this functionality more than I expected that I would, and moreover it is useful to retrieve sites after recovering from a crash. I particularly like the thumbnail page representation; overall highly recommended.

Version Tested:

Compatibility: Windows 2003/Vista/XP. Requires Internet Explorer 7, .NET Framework 2.0.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. of the program here.