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Why is Firefox still storing user data when I've done "Forget about this site"?

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I selectively delete data on sites by doing Show All History, finding a row for the site I want to remove, and then doing Right Click -> "Forget About This Site". I do this rather than globally forget all data because there are a few site logins I want to retain.

I just did this with every row in the History - This Month tab. It's now empty.

However, when I type a single letter (e.g. "a") into the search box a huge list of URLs appears, many of them from this month. They include a number of sites, like my on-line banking, that I previously believed I had erased all trace of.

1) Why are these URLs not shown in my history except when a search term is entered?

2) Why does "Forget About This Site" not clear EVERYTHING for the site in question?

For info, I'm running FF 61.01.1 for Linux Mint.

I selectively delete data on sites by doing Show All History, finding a row for the site I want to remove, and then doing Right Click -> "Forget About This Site". I do this rather than globally forget all data because there are a few site logins I want to retain. I just did this with every row in the History - This Month tab. It's now empty. However, when I type a single letter (e.g. "a") into the search box a huge list of URLs appears, many of them from this month. They include a number of sites, like my on-line banking, that I previously believed I had erased all trace of. 1) Why are these URLs not shown in my history except when a search term is entered? 2) Why does "Forget About This Site" not clear EVERYTHING for the site in question? For info, I'm running FF 61.01.1 for Linux Mint.
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4269 solutions 59875 answers

What you are seeing is not your history, but the address bar history.

Type about:preferences#privacy<enter> in the address bar. The button next to History, select Use Custom Settings.

Turn on Remember My Browsing And Download History At the bottom of the page, turn on Clear History When Firefox Closes. At the far right, press the Settings button. Turn on ONLY Cache and Form And Search History leaving the others off.

What you are seeing is not your history, but the address bar history. Type '''about:preferences#privacy'''<enter> in the address bar. The button next to '''History, ''' select '''Use Custom Settings. ''' Turn on '''Remember My Browsing And Download History''' At the bottom of the page, turn on '''Clear History When Firefox Closes. ''' At the far right, press the '''Settings''' button. Turn on ONLY '''Cache''' and '''Form And Search History''' leaving the others off.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8792 solutions 71910 answers

piersdelavison said

... the History - This Month tab. It's now empty.

However, when I type a single letter (e.g. "a") into the search box a huge list of URLs appears, many of them from this month. They include a number of sites, like my on-line banking, that I previously believed I had erased all trace of.

1) Why are these URLs not shown in my history except when a search term is entered?

2) Why does "Forget About This Site" not clear EVERYTHING for the site in question?

Comment:

The drop-down also shows bookmarked sites by default; these are indicated with a star icon.

Question:

If you search in the Library window ("Show All History") by typing a in the search box at the upper left, do the sites you saw in the address bar autocomplete drop-down also show up there?

  • The order may well be different.
  • Search reaches across time and doesn't follow the currently selected category in the left column.

Regarding "Forget About This Site":

This should truly clear all history for a site, as well as deleting bookmarks, cookies, permissions, default zoom level, and other data for the site. I haven't heard of that one failing before.

''piersdelavison [[#question-1234315|said]]'' <blockquote>... the History - This Month tab. It's now empty. <br><br> However, when I type a single letter (e.g. "a") into the search box a huge list of URLs appears, many of them from this month. They include a number of sites, like my on-line banking, that I previously believed I had erased all trace of. <br><br> 1) Why are these URLs not shown in my history except when a search term is entered? <br><br> 2) Why does "Forget About This Site" not clear EVERYTHING for the site in question? </blockquote> Comment: The drop-down also shows bookmarked sites by default; these are indicated with a star icon. Question: If you search in the Library window ("Show All History") by typing ''a'' in the search box at the upper left, do the sites you saw in the address bar autocomplete drop-down also show up there? * The order may well be different. * Search reaches across time and doesn't follow the currently selected category in the left column. Regarding "Forget About This Site": This should truly clear all history for a site, as well as deleting bookmarks, cookies, permissions, default zoom level, and other data for the site. I haven't heard of that one failing before.

Modified by jscher2000

Question owner

FredMcD said

What you are seeing is not your history, but the address bar history. Type about:preferences#privacy<enter> in the address bar. The button next to History, select Use Custom Settings. Turn on Remember My Browsing And Download History At the bottom of the page, turn on Clear History When Firefox Closes. At the far right, press the Settings button. Turn on ONLY Cache and Form And Search History leaving the others off.

Hello,

Thanks for the suggestion. I had all of this set as you've described, except for ticking 'Form and Search History' as well as 'Cache'. I'll try this and see what happens.

Piers.

''FredMcD [[#answer-1155742|said]]'' <blockquote> What you are seeing is not your history, but the address bar history. Type '''about:preferences#privacy'''<enter> in the address bar. The button next to '''History, ''' select '''Use Custom Settings. ''' Turn on '''Remember My Browsing And Download History''' At the bottom of the page, turn on '''Clear History When Firefox Closes. ''' At the far right, press the '''Settings''' button. Turn on ONLY '''Cache''' and '''Form And Search History''' leaving the others off. </blockquote> Hello, Thanks for the suggestion. I had all of this set as you've described, except for ticking 'Form and Search History' as well as 'Cache'. I'll try this and see what happens. Piers.

Question owner

jscher2000 said

piersdelavison said
... the History - This Month tab. It's now empty.

However, when I type a single letter (e.g. "a") into the search box a huge list of URLs appears, many of them from this month. They include a number of sites, like my on-line banking, that I previously believed I had erased all trace of.

1) Why are these URLs not shown in my history except when a search term is entered?

2) Why does "Forget About This Site" not clear EVERYTHING for the site in question?

Comment:

The drop-down also shows bookmarked sites by default; these are indicated with a star icon.

Question:

If you search in the Library window ("Show All History") by typing a in the search box at the upper left, do the sites you saw in the address bar autocomplete drop-down also show up there?

  • The order may well be different.
  • Search reaches across time and doesn't follow the currently selected category in the left column.

Regarding "Forget About This Site":

This should truly clear all history for a site, as well as deleting bookmarks, cookies, permissions, default zoom level, and other data for the site. I haven't heard of that one failing before.

Hello,

I'm accessing my history by going to the History menu, and selecting 'Show all history', equivalent to ctrl-shift-H, which opens the history in a new window. The menu dropdown (before selecting 'Show All History') has the last 15 sites at the bottom of it, but that's not what I'm looking at.

Having opened the full window I'm highlighting 'History' at the top of the left hand column, not 'Downloads', 'Tags' or 'All Bookmarks'.

The search box (top right, not top left) says 'Search History' in it before I've typed anything. If I highlight 'All Bookmarks' instead it says 'Search Bookmarks'.

I am not searching in the autocomplete box in the main bar, the one that says 'Search or enter address'.

When in the Full History window, as I said, I right click and select 'Forget about this site', but this does NOT effect my stored bookmarks at all (I've tested that).

If I look in the autocomplete address box pulldown (which I never normally use) there are a small number of sites (5 of them) in it, and they do appear in amongst the search history, but they are only a small fraction of the total.

Thanks,

Piers.

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1155749|said]]'' <blockquote> ''piersdelavison [[#question-1234315|said]]'' <blockquote>... the History - This Month tab. It's now empty. <br><br> However, when I type a single letter (e.g. "a") into the search box a huge list of URLs appears, many of them from this month. They include a number of sites, like my on-line banking, that I previously believed I had erased all trace of. <br><br> 1) Why are these URLs not shown in my history except when a search term is entered? <br><br> 2) Why does "Forget About This Site" not clear EVERYTHING for the site in question? </blockquote> Comment: The drop-down also shows bookmarked sites by default; these are indicated with a star icon. Question: If you search in the Library window ("Show All History") by typing ''a'' in the search box at the upper left, do the sites you saw in the address bar autocomplete drop-down also show up there? * The order may well be different. * Search reaches across time and doesn't follow the currently selected category in the left column. Regarding "Forget About This Site": This should truly clear all history for a site, as well as deleting bookmarks, cookies, permissions, default zoom level, and other data for the site. I haven't heard of that one failing before. </blockquote> Hello, I'm accessing my history by going to the History menu, and selecting 'Show all history', equivalent to ctrl-shift-H, which opens the history in a new window. The menu dropdown (before selecting 'Show All History') has the last 15 sites at the bottom of it, but that's not what I'm looking at. Having opened the full window I'm highlighting 'History' at the top of the left hand column, not 'Downloads', 'Tags' or 'All Bookmarks'. The search box (top right, not top left) says 'Search History' in it before I've typed anything. If I highlight 'All Bookmarks' instead it says 'Search Bookmarks'. I am not searching in the autocomplete box in the main bar, the one that says 'Search or enter address'. When in the Full History window, as I said, I right click and select 'Forget about this site', but this does NOT effect my stored bookmarks at all (I've tested that). If I look in the autocomplete address box pulldown (which I never normally use) there are a small number of sites (5 of them) in it, and they ''do'' appear in amongst the search history, but they are only a small fraction of the total. Thanks, Piers.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8792 solutions 71910 answers

Hi Piers, I don't know why "Forget about this site" works differently on your Firefox.

Do you install Firefox directly from Mozilla or via Mint and its repository? (Just in case there is some difference there.)

Hi Piers, I don't know why "Forget about this site" works differently on your Firefox. Do you install Firefox directly from Mozilla or via Mint and its repository? (Just in case there is some difference there.)

Question owner

jscher2000 said

Hi Piers, I don't know why "Forget about this site" works differently on your Firefox. Do you install Firefox directly from Mozilla or via Mint and its repository? (Just in case there is some difference there.)

It's installed from the Mint repository.

I'd be surprised though if something as specific as this were to differ between the Linux and Windows / Mac versions...

''jscher2000 [[#answer-1155793|said]]'' <blockquote> Hi Piers, I don't know why "Forget about this site" works differently on your Firefox. Do you install Firefox directly from Mozilla or via Mint and its repository? (Just in case there is some difference there.) </blockquote> It's installed from the Mint repository. I'd be surprised though if something as specific as this were to differ between the Linux and Windows / Mac versions...
cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
17578 solutions 158993 answers

Bookmarks are the only thing that isn't affected by "Forget About This Site", so you need to handle this yourself. Passwords are included unless you use a master password and aren't logged in to the software security device (i.e. you get a MP prompt when you click Show logins). Fred might remember that he once asked me about this bookmarks exception.

Using "Forget About This Site" will remove all data stored in Firefox from this domain like history and cookies and passwords and exceptions and cache (bookmarks are excluded), so be cautious. If you have a password or other data from that domain that you do not want to lose then make sure to backup this data or make a note.

You can't recover from this 'forget' unless you have a backup of involved files.

If you revisit a 'forgotten' website then data from that website will be saved once again.

Bookmarks are the only thing that isn't affected by "Forget About This Site", so you need to handle this yourself. Passwords are included unless you use a master password and aren't logged in to the software security device (i.e. you get a MP prompt when you click Show logins). Fred might remember that he once asked me about this bookmarks exception. *https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-release/source/toolkit/components/cleardata/ClearDataService.js Using "Forget About This Site" will remove all data stored in Firefox from this domain like history and cookies and passwords and exceptions and cache (bookmarks are excluded), so be cautious. If you have a password or other data from that domain that you do not want to lose then make sure to backup this data or make a note. You can't recover from this 'forget' unless you have a backup of involved files. If you revisit a 'forgotten' website then data from that website will be saved once again. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-browsing-search-download-history-firefox