How to Recover a Lost Form in Internet Explorer or Firefox Without Any Add-Ons or Pre-Installed Utilities

You’ve got a sinking feeling in your gut. You were working on a text document in your web browser when suddenly you accidentally clicked the wrong button or hit the wrong key combination, and POOF, it’s all gone. I will show you how to get it all back.

Necessity is the mother of invention. If you’ve been looking for ways to recover a lost form in your web browser, you’ve likely come across a lot of unhelpful information. Certainly if you had been using one of those utilities that automatically save your work for you, you wouldn’t be searching for a how-to on getting your lost data back. This article is for you.

To recover your lost form data, you will need:

HxD Hex Editor
– Notepad or your favorite text editor
– A little patience

Step 1.
Download and install the HxD hex editor from the link above and load it up.

Step 2.
In the menu bar, select Extras -> Open RAM…

Step 3.
Here you will see a list of all running processes. If you lost your form data in Internet Explorer, select iexplore.exe. Or if you were using Firefox, select firefox.exe. Now hit OK.

Step 4.
The hex editor will load the appropriate portion of your system’s RAM (random-access memory) that contains your lost form data. In the menu bar, select Search -> Find.

Step 5.
In the Find box, enter a portion of text from the form that you lost. Here you may have to go through a little trial-and-error. If you enter just one word, you may be sorting through a lot of data to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. If you enter too many words, you may skip right over some useful form data. I recommend starting with just two words that you know were in your lost form. Each time the hex editor finds a match, it will stop. Just hit F3 on your keyboard to continue searching.

Step 6.
Once you find what looks like a portion of your lost form data, copy it into your text editor. Select the text on the right-hand side, then click Edit -> Copy on the menu bar. Now paste the text into notepad or your favorite text editor.

Step 7.
Go back to Step 5 and continue the process until you have recovered your entire form.

Sometimes you will find almost 100% of the lost data sitting there untouched, but you will still need a little patience to piece together any missing pieces. And yes, you will probably have to retype a few words at the end. But doing it the way I have suggested will take much less time than retyping the entire form by hand.

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