Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox

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  • Reviewed by: AliceWyman
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This article describes a feature available in Firefox 3.5 and later, 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).
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As you browse the web, Firefox helpfully 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 be able to see these kinds of things.

This article explains what information is stored in your history and gives you step-by-step ways to clear all of part of it. To temporarily have Firefox not store any history, see Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history.


What things are included in my history?

How do I clear my history?

  1. At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the ToolsToolsFirefox menu, go over to the History menu and select Clear Recent History... menu, and select Clear Recent History...Clear Recent History...
    For Windows XP: At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu and select Clear Recent History...



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    History Win1

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  2. Select how much history you want to clear:
    • Click the drop-down menu next to Time range to clear to choose how much of your history Firefox will clear.
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    • Next, click the arrow next to Details to select exactly what information will get cleared. Your choices are described in the What things are included in my history? section above.
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  3. Finally, click the Clear Now button and the window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.

How do I make Firefox clear my history automatically?

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

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

  • In the drop-down menu next to Firefox will:Firefox will choose Use custom settings for history.
    customhistory38 Fx56Privacy&Security-CustomHistory-new CustomHistory fx57
    1. Check the box for Clear history when Firefox closes.

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    2. To specify what types of history should be cleared, click the Settings... button next to Clear history when Firefox closes.
    3. In the Settings for Clearing History window, check the items that you want to have cleared automatically each time you quit Firefox.
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    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.

    How do I remove a single website from my history?

    1. At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the HistoryHistoryFirefox menu, go over to the History menu and select Show All History menu, and select Show All HistoryShow All History to open the Library window.
      For Windows XP: At the top of the Firefox window, click on the History menu and select Show All History 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.
      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.

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    4. Finally, close the Library window.