Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

Which folder does Firefox store browsing history? I need to find it so that I can use Time Machine to restore my deleted browsing history.

  • 6 replies
  • 3 have this problem
  • 26361 views
  • Last reply by FredMcD

more options

There must be a place on my Mac (Sierra version 10.12.5) that Firefox stores browsing history. All of my browsing history was accidentally deleted after my computer was backed up to Time Machine, and I want to use Time Machine to restore the browsing history. But I don't know where the browsing history folder is, and neither did Apple support.

Chosen solution

So, between these posts, and a visit to Apple's Genius Bar, I found a solution. (1) Access the Firefox profile folder as described above and click to have it open in Finder. (2) Close Firefox application. (3) While having the Firefox profile folder open in Finder, open Time Machine from the menu bar at the top of the Mac screen. (4) The Finder folder will then be displayed for all previous updates. Select the most recent update (or the update that would contain your browsing history), select the profile folder, and then click restore. (5) Exit Time Machine.

My Firefox browsing history is fully restored.

Thank you again for volunteering your time to help.

Read this answer in context 👍 1

All Replies (6)

more options

Firefox stores your history and bookmarks together in a database file named places.sqlite which is in your profile folder. You may want to take a look at these articles:

more options

If I understand those articles correctly, they explain how to access that file from the Firefox application, but not from Time Machine. When I go onto Time Machine to restore from my most recent backup, where do I go to find the folder to restore from? Or do I simply have to entirely restore my computer from my most recent backup in order to get my browsing history back?

more options

I don't know how to search in a Time Machine backup for a particular file. If you can't search by the file name places.sqlite, you could try looking in the backup for the same path that your current profile folder uses. One way to discover that path is to type or paste about:profiles in the address bar and press Return to load the list of profiles. Each profile shows its path on disk. If you have more than one profile, the current one is indicated by "This is the profile in use and it cannot be deleted."

If it doesn't work that way... maybe point Apple to the article and see if they can figure out where it is?

Edit: Sorry, about:profiles only has one colon between about and profiles.

Modified by jscher2000

more options

These can't get your data back, but will help in the future.

These add-ons can be a great help by backing up and restoring Firefox

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/febe/ FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension)

FEBE allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions, history, passwords, and more. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your saved files individually into installable .xpi files. It will also make backups of files that you choose.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/opie/ OPIE

Import/Export extension preferences

more options

Chosen Solution

So, between these posts, and a visit to Apple's Genius Bar, I found a solution. (1) Access the Firefox profile folder as described above and click to have it open in Finder. (2) Close Firefox application. (3) While having the Firefox profile folder open in Finder, open Time Machine from the menu bar at the top of the Mac screen. (4) The Finder folder will then be displayed for all previous updates. Select the most recent update (or the update that would contain your browsing history), select the profile folder, and then click restore. (5) Exit Time Machine.

My Firefox browsing history is fully restored.

Thank you again for volunteering your time to help.

Modified by rjf380

more options

That was very good work. Well done. Please flag your last post as Solved Problem so others will know.