Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox

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This article describes a feature available in Firefox 3.5, Clear Recent History, which gives more control in managing your private data. In addition to being able to clear all or part of your saved history items, you can specify how much of your history is cleared (e.g. the last hour).

When Firefox remembers a website you previously visited or stores your login information for your favorite web site, this information is considered your history.

There may be times when you do not want other users of your computer to see or access such information. For example, if a friend or family member shares your computer, you might prefer that they not to be able to see what websites you've visited or what files you've downloaded.

Firefox allows you to clear all or part of your history automatically or upon request. This article describes how to clear your history and how to set Firefox to clear your history automatically. To temporarily have Firefox not store any history, see Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history.

What is history?

Clearing your history

  1. At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the Tools menu, and select Clear Recent History....
  2. Select how much history you want to clear:
    • Beside Time range to clear select how much of your history Firefox will clear. You can clear the history collected in the last one, two, or four hours; all previous hours of that day (Today); or all your history (Everything).
    • You can choose to clear any or all of the items described above.

      • (Firefox 3.5) Click the button next to Details to display what items to clear.
  1. Click Clear Now. The Clear Recent History window will close, and the data you have selected will be cleared.

Clearing history automatically

You can set Firefox to automatically clear your history when you close Firefox:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.

Select the Privacy & Security panel and go to the History section.

  • In the drop-down menu next to Firefox will, choose Use custom settings for history.
    Fx60HistorySettings-UseCustom Fx63CustomHistory
    1. Select the check box for Clear history when Firefox exits.
    2. To specify what history should be cleared, click the Settings... button next to Clear history when Firefox exits.
    3. In the Settings for Clearing History window, click the check mark boxes next to the items you want to have cleared automatically when Firefox closes.
    4. After selecting the history to be cleared, click OK to close the Settings for Clearing History window.
    5. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

    Clearing history for a single site

    1. At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the History menu and select Show All History to open the Library window.
    2. At the top right corner, type the name of the website you wish to forget in the Search History field, and press EnterReturn.
    3. In the resulting list, right-clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click on the site you wish to forget, and select Forget About This Site.
      All history items (browsing and download history, cookies, cache, active logins, passwords, saved form data, exceptions for cookies, images, pop-ups) will be removed only for that site. So be careful with using this choice and only use it if you really want Firefox to forget everything.
    4. Close the Library window.