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Why can't I delete the adress-bar history?

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I am considering uninstalling Firefox and never use it again. This is because there's an annoying feature with your browser that no other browser does. Your adress-bar keeps a record of every website I have ever visited with your browser and there is no tool to clean it with. You should ofcourse include the adress-bar history when cleaning Firefox history. You should include a tool for this in future versions of Firefox. If you don't then at least I will stop using it.

I am considering uninstalling Firefox and never use it again. This is because there's an annoying feature with your browser that no other browser does. Your adress-bar keeps a record of every website I have ever visited with your browser and there is no tool to clean it with. You should ofcourse include the adress-bar history when cleaning Firefox history. You should include a tool for this in future versions of Firefox. If you don't then at least I will stop using it.

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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
7298 solutions 59416 answers

Firefox keeps a separate list of sites you have visited (hosts) and full URLs. When you clear history, it should clear both lists. However, there was a bug in some older versions of Firefox where the hosts list never got cleared. It's possible Firefox 48 had that issue, but I can't remember.

If you want to complete remove all hosts and URLs, you can physically delete the places.sqlite database file. This file also stores your bookmarks, so just in case, please create backups of those first.

To remove the places.sqlite file:

Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Show in Finder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Finder.

Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
  • (menu bar) File > Quit (or is it Firefox > Quit ?)

Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup -- you should see various modified times update -- then rename places.sqlite to something like placesOLD.sqlite, or delete the file. If you see files named places.sqlite-shm or places.sqlite-wal you can delete those because they are temporary files that won't be useful when Firefox creates a fresh places.sqlite database.

Start Firefox back up again. Both URLs and host name history should be gone.

Firefox keeps a separate list of sites you have visited (hosts) and full URLs. When you clear history, it should clear both lists. However, there was a bug in some older versions of Firefox where the hosts list never got cleared. It's possible Firefox 48 had that issue, but I can't remember. If you want to complete remove all hosts and URLs, you can physically delete the '''places.sqlite''' database file. This file also stores your bookmarks, so just in case, please create backups of those first. * Bookmark backup steps: [[Restore bookmarks from backup or move them to another computer]] * Bookmarks export steps: [[Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks]] (less complete in details, e.g,, doesn't save "tags" attached to bookmarks) To remove the places.sqlite file: Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either * "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter In the first table on the page, click the "Show in Finder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Finder. Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either: * "3-bar" menu button > "power" button * (menu bar) File > Quit (or is it Firefox > Quit ?) Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup -- you should see various modified times update -- then rename '''places.sqlite''' to something like placesOLD.sqlite, or delete the file. If you see files named '''places.sqlite-shm''' or '''places.sqlite-wal''' you can delete those because they are temporary files that won't be useful when Firefox creates a fresh places.sqlite database. Start Firefox back up again. Both URLs and host name history should be gone.
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
16234 solutions 146545 answers

Chosen Solution

See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Clearing+Location+bar+history *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Cannot+clear+Location+bar+history