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I cannot delete my browsing history using the usual Privacy and Security delete history command.

  • 7 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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I'm on a Macbook Pro using High Sierra OS 10.13.4. Firefox Quantum is version 62.0. I've tried going to the menu and clicking history, clear recent history, everything, clear now. I've also tried going to the menu and clicking show history and using the delete command. Nothing works. Do I need to delete Firefox to delete my history?

All Replies (7)

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Hi dearcristy, first, is Firefox still accumulating new history?

Sometimes the bookmarks and history database becomes locked or inaccessible and you cannot add or remove either bookmarks or history. If you have that problem, please see this article: Fix "The bookmarks and history system will not be functional" error message.

Assuming history is working normally, except for this problem with clearing it, are you able to delete individual entries? For example, you could call up the Library window, use the Select All command, and deleting from the list to see whether that works.


  • (menu bar) History > Show All History
  • (main toolbar) Library button > History > Show All History (at the bottom)

Pressing Command+a should select the entire list (which usually will be the Today list unless you selected a different category) and then you can right-click > Delete Pages (or on a one-button mouse, Ctrl+click > Delete Pages).

Does that work?

Also, just to be sure, are you using regular, non-private browsing windows? Some features are not available from private windows because Firefox doesn't record history to disk in private windows.

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Thanks for the info. In response to your questions, my Firefox is still accumulating new history, I am not able to delete individual entries nor manually delete all history, and I am using non-private browsing windows. Any other ideas?

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Running low on ideas. Could you test in Firefox's Safe Mode? In its Safe Mode, Firefox temporarily deactivates extensions, hardware acceleration, and some other advanced features to help you assess whether these are causing the problem.

If Firefox is not running: Hold down the option/alt key when starting Firefox. (On Windows, hold down the Shift key instead of the option/alt key.)

If Firefox is running: You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help button > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • (menu bar) Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

and OK the restart.

Both scenarios: A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

Can you delete history in Firefox's Safe Mode?

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I can't delete my history in Safe Mode either. Any other ideas?

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dearcristy said

I can't delete my history in Safe Mode either. Any other ideas?

I've never heard of being able to add new history but not delete it. Parents have asked for this to keep an eye on their kids' use of the web, but I was never aware of a way to do it. This has product potential!

But perhaps the problem is damage to Firefox's program files. For that we suggest a reinstall. I think this involves dragging the to the Trash and re-running the .dmg file but as a Windows user, these are just phrases to me and I can't tell you from personal experience.

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Thanks! Is there a way to reinstall Firefox while still saving my bookmarks?

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MacOS/Firefox should not remove your data when you remove/reinstall Firefox. However, "safety first," you can create a backup of your bookmarks or all of your data. See: