Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox

Firefox Firefox Last updated: 1 week, 1 day ago 64% of users voted this helpful

As you browse the Web, Firefox remembers lots of information for you – sites you've visited, files you've downloaded and more. All of this information is called your history. However, if you are using a public computer or share a computer with someone, you may not want others to see these kinds of things.

This article explains what information is stored in your Firefox history and gives you step-by-step ways to clear all or part of it.

What information is included in my history?

  • Browsing & Download History: Browsing history is the list of sites you've visited that are shown in the History menu, the Library window's History list and the address bar autocomplete list. Download history is the list of files you've downloaded that are shown in the Downloads window.
  • Form & Search History: Form history includes the items you've entered into web page forms for Form autocomplete. Search history includes items you've entered into the search field on the New Tab page or into Firefox's Search bar.
  • Cookies: Websites you visit can store cookies and other site data in your browser, such as login status, site preferences, or task information such as a shopping cart. Cookies can also be used by third parties to track you across sites. See How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature? to learn more about tracking.
  • Active Logins: If you entered a username and password for a site that uses HTTP basic authentication scheme since you last opened Firefox, that login is considered “active”. Clearing this will log you out of all sites that use this authentication method. It will not log you out of websites that use cookies to store login status.
  • Cache: The cache stores temporary files, such as web pages and other online media, that Firefox downloaded from the Internet to speed up loading of pages and sites you've already seen. For more information, see How to clear the Firefox cache.
  • Offline Website Data: If you've allowed it, a website can store files on your computer so that you can continue to use it when you are not connected to the Internet.
  • Site Preferences: Site-specific preferences, including the saved zoom level for sites, character encoding, and the permissions for sites (like pop-up blocker exceptions) described in the Page Info window.

How do I clear my history?

  1. Click the menu button Fx89menuButton to open the menu panel.
  2. Click History and select Clear Recent History…
  3. Select how much history you want to clear:
    • Click the drop-down menu next to Time range to clearWhen: to choose how much of your history Firefox will clear (the last hour, the last two hours, the last four hours, the current day or everything).
    Fx115ClearRecentHistoryDelete history dialog
    • Use the check boxes to select what information you want to clear from your history. Your choices are described in the What information is included in my history? section above. Checking Cookies clears both cookies and site data with non-persistent storage.
  4. Click the Clear NowClear button. The window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared from your history.

How do I make Firefox clear my history automatically?

If you want or need to clear your history every time you use Firefox, you can set it to happen automatically on exit, so you don’t forget.

  1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and then select Preferences or Settings, depending on your macOS version.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel and go to the History section.

  3. In the drop-down menu next to Firefox will, choose Use custom settings for history.
  4. Check the box for Clear history when Firefox closes.
  5. To specify what types of history should be cleared, click the Settings… button next to Clear history when Firefox closes.
  6. In the Settings for Clearing HistoryClear browsing data and cookies window, check the items that you want to have cleared automatically each time you quit Firefox.
    Settings for clearing historyFx128ClearBrowsingDataAndCookiesDialog
  7. After selecting the history to be cleared, click OKSave Changes to close the Settings for Clearing HistoryClear browsing data and cookies window.
  8. Close the Settings page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

Note: Under certain circumstances, this function will not run:

  • Firefox did not shut down normally. If Firefox crashes, you will need to start Firefox and exit/quit normally to ensure that this function runs.
  • Firefox is set to use automatic private browsing. History retained from regular sessions can only be cleared from a regular window. To change between regular mode and automatic private browsing, see Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history.

Remove a single website from your history

  1. Click the menu button Fx89menuButton to open the menu panel. Click History and then click the Manage history bar at the bottom to open the Library window.
  2. Search for the website you want to remove from your history by typing its name in the Search History field in the top-right corner and then pressing EnterReturn.
  3. Then, in the search results, right-clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click on the site you want to remove, and select Forget About This Site.
    fx100-ForgetThisSiteForget this website History Lin6
  4. In the confirmation dialog that opens, click the Forget button.

    All history items (browsing and download history, cookies, cache, active logins, passwords, saved form data, exceptions for cookies, images, pop-ups) for that site will be removed.
  5. Finally, close the Library window.

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