Browsing history gone? Opera crash the culprit?

  • I've been using Opera for some time now, and today I found that all my browsing history disappeared. The whole thing was cleared like if someone cleared the history from "the beginning of time".

    I know it couldn't be a person, because I'm living alone at the moment, and nobody could've cleared it. I haven't downloaded any new extensions or anything, and I've been using the same ones I have for years now. Nor have I used any cleaning programs or the like.

    Yesterday night, Opera did randomly crash and I had to restart it. I'm thinking that crash might've been the culprit, but does Opera usually wipe all user browsing history upon crashing? I couldn't find any information on the subject looking online.

    I liked that my address bar would remember the non-bookmarked sites I used to frequent. Is it possible to recover that browsing history? Or do I just have to accept it and move on?

  • I'm thinking that crash might've been the culprit, but does Opera usually wipe all user browsing history upon crashing?

    A crash has always the potential to result in a data loss, no matter the software you are using. This is one of the reasons for people to make backups.

    Is it possible to recover that browsing history?

    I don't think so.

  • ... today I found that all my browsing history disappeared. The whole thing was cleared like if someone cleared the history from "the beginning of time". I know it couldn't be a person, because I'm living alone at the moment, and nobody could've cleared it. ... Yesterday night, Opera did randomly crash and I had to restart it. I'm thinking that crash might've been the culprit, but does Opera usually wipe all user browsing history upon crashing? ... I liked that my address bar would remember the non-bookmarked sites I used to frequent. Is it possible to recover that browsing history? Or do I just have to accept it and move on?

    A running browser, like most software, copies its files from hard disk into RAM memory and generally operates off the data in memory. That gives a browser user speed and flexibility. Periodically, the browser software may save copies of the working files in memory back to the hard drive, and it will routinely save the files to the hard drive whenever the browser is closed. If the browser crashes (that is, its software experiences a major malfunction) during an attempted write operation, the file it writes onto the drive may be so corrupted that the file can't be later reopened. Alternatively, depending on the detailed sequence of the failure process and what has occurred, the data within the file that is written to the drive may be corrupted or simply be empty. If the saved file copy was corrupted, the system or the browser software may not be able to open and/or read the file contents; if the saved file was empty, there is of course nothing in it. Either way, the data in the file is essentially lost.

    Sometimes a corrupted file or some of its contents can be recovered by manual techniques. Unfortunately, most browsers upon start-up look for certain files and copy them to memory for usage. If the sought file is corrupted and either can't be found or the data within can't be properly accessed, most browsers will write a fresh, empty copy of that same filename to disk and to memory. In that case, anything that was in that file which contained corrupted, but possibly still-useful, data will be over-written by the fresh new file version from the first browser start-up after the crash. The old data will have been lost forever.

    It would be a wise practice to frequently back up your browser's profile folder and all the files therein to a safe place so that it can be recovered after crash situations. I make it a personal habit to back up all personal files (browser settings & personal data, eMails, etc) at least daily to avoid the very thing you've experienced. I use an auto-backup program daily (at 3am); in between, I do manual backups using a simple desktop batch file whenever I do anything significant on the system that I don't want to lose.

  • Ah, well, I guess I learned my lesson.

    Thanks for helping me out!

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