I know I’m not the only one who feels a slight annoyance every time my Chromebook asks me if I want to restore apps and my browsing session after a restart or a crash. I know that I’m a tinkerer, and you may experience this less often, but the fact that Google even offers this is great.
What is ‘Restore apps on startup’?
Your Chrome tabs, Android apps and system windows can all be called back up to where you had them without having to open them one at a time or manually. If it’s so great, then why am I annoyed? Well, because it should happen automatically!
I suppose it makes sense that not everyone would want to restore a browsing session when they reboot, but I can’t think of a single time when this is the case. Luckily, your Chromebook has the capability to do exactly that – automatically perform these actions without you having to tell it to. If Google enabled this by default, I’d be very happy, but today, I’m going to show you how to enable it for yourself.
How to automate app and session restore on a Chromebook
This process is relatively simple, so let’s get started. Simply open the Settings app on your device, and navigate to the ‘Apps’ section on the left-hand sidebar. From there, you’ll see three options. First, is ‘Manage your apps’. Second, you can toggle ‘Notifications’ per app. However, we’re here for that third option – the aptly named “Restore apps on startup”.
You’ll notice that there’s a drop down box to the right of it. By default, it says “Ask every time”, and that’s why you have to click the “Restore” button from the image above every time your Chromebook crashes or reboots.
While it seems silly, I always just pressed it like a monkey in a cage being rewarded for pressing a button. I never clicked the ‘Settings’ option that appeared next to it, but if I had, it would have brought me right here to change the setting.
Anyway, just select the ‘Always restore’ option and you’re done! For now on when you apply a new Chrome developer flag, reboot your system for routine shutdowns or experience a crash due to an app or something, you’ll automagically have everything pop back up.
Why you may want to turn off app restore on startup
There are two reasons why I can imagine you’d want to disable this feature or leave it on “Ask every time”. First and foremost, in the case of a misbehaving application, automatically re-launching it after it crashes your system would send you into a crash loop where each time it loads again it forces a restart.
I’ve personally never experienced this, but it’s good to keep in mind. Only install apps, Chrome extensions and visit websites you trust to prevent this from happening. The second reason why you may want this disabled and in the “Off” position is if you prefer to start from a clean browsing session every single time.
However, there is a ‘Guest mode’ on Chromebooks which is better suited to this kind of shared device usage or clean startup. I’d recommend you enable that in the ‘Users’ section of the Settings app instead, but hey, to each his or her own, right? Let me know in the comments which option you have enabled and why.
I just want the steps!
- Open the Settings app on your Chromebook
- Navigate to the ‘Apps’ section on the left side bar
- Next to ‘Restore apps on startup’, select ‘Always restore’ instead of ‘Ask every time’
- Enjoy an automated experience!