Where does Firefox store 'sites visited'?
This refers to Firefox 62.0 running under Windows 10 Pro.
In older versions of Firefox, one could effectively purge browsing history, either with a manual 'Clear History' command or by using a third-party utility like Ccleaner. Such a purge would clear any history of Websites visited, such that when you began typing-in a URL in the Address Bar, you'd have to type in the whole name; that is, Firefox would not auto-fill-in the rest of the site name after a few telling keystrokes. Of course some, if not all, search engines can be programmed to suggest sites, but in this case we're not talking about that, only what Firefox does all by itself.
Effective with some fairly recent update, it appears that Firefox will remember sites you've visited, regardless of whether you want it to or not. I can clear all history manually through Tools/Options/Privacy & Security/History: Clear History, plus run Ccleaner with all Firefox options checked. Then, even with the Internet temporarily disconnected, as soon as I type 'e' into the Address Bar, Firefox fills-in eBay.com. Same goes for 'a' and Amazon.com, 'g' and Google.com, and all manner of sites I've visited, even if they are not one of the 'usual suspects.' In fact, if I type in a couple of letters, up comes a site I believe I've visited only once.
From a security and privacy standpoint, this is disconcerting. Not that I have anything sinister to hide, but I tried the same thing with Internet Explorer and it does not do this. Evidently all these site visits are stored somewhere on my machine and cannot easily be purged. If I knew what specific file held this information, I could direct Ccleaner there to wipe it, or simply delete that file manually.
I thought this might have something to do with Bookmarks, that Firefox would look among bookmarked site names and suggest those, but I tested that possibility and it's not that. I can begin typing-in the site name of a bookmarked URL and the auto-fill does not function. But other sites I've visited, that are not bookmarked, will populate with a suggestion or two. Please, what can I do?
Additional System Details
- Shockwave Flash 26.0 r0
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:62.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/62.0
Separate Security Issue, please update your Flash 26.0 r0 by removing it with this tool : https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html If you use it Reinstall with Flash Player Version: 18.104.22.168 Current Version https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/ Step 1: Select Operating System Step 2: Select A Version (Firefox, . . . .) Note: Other software is offered in the download. <Windows Only>
If do not use anything in Tool--> Options--> Permissions delete and ban everything under every heading.
Since your using the word Tools you have the Menu Bar open, Go to History --> Show All History Delete everything if do not want it.
Thanks, pk; I've jettisoned Flash, but still have all those visited sites haunting me. There is _nothing_ in my History, yet even with the Internet disconnected, if I type an 'e' in the Address Bar, eBay.com fills-in automatically. I went to Permissions, and all those fields were empty too. How can I determine where this information is being held?
Modified by Electrojim
They are shared in your Profile along with your Bookmarks in
- bookmarks and history: places.sqlite
So when you have Options --> Privacy & Security --> Address Bar all checked then it searches your bookmarks also, plus recent so it does not mean your actually looking at History.
The only way to get rid of all history is backup your bookmarks and make a new profile.
Oh, wow. All right, I can deal with that. Many thanks.
With respect to that link for 'remove websites...', I gave that a try, hoping it might prove my salvation. But even following directions there, and choosing options to get rid of everything, I still get auto-fill in the 'awesome bar.' Oh, it's awesome, all right; it never forgets.
You may have to restart Firefox for changes . Which is File --> Exit or 3Bar Menu --> Exit
If this is not solved remove the solved solution.
Okay, thanks, removed 'solved.' Open to any suggestions or to try anything. I have backed-up my Bookmarks, but not sure how to find and delete that file that holds the profile.
Are the items you get as suggestions websites you have typed in the location bar? URLs you have typed are usually more persistent then visited websites.
You can try to rename the places.sqlite database file (and possible places.sqlite-shm and places.sqlite-wal temp files) with Firefox closed to remove all history. Firefox will rebuild the bookmarks from a jsonlz4 backup in the bookmarkbackups folder.
You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.
- Help -> Troubleshooting Information -> Profile Directory:
Windows: Show Folder; Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder
Oh, my word. THAT is very complicated. Fine for computer nuts, I'm sure, but following the linked instructions, I got to a point where my screen did not display what I was told to go to. Perhaps Firefox isn't the right browser for the simple-minded. Hmmm... I wonder if SeaMonkey is any better in this regard?
Here's a question for a possible workaround. If Firefox were totally uninstalled, and then reinstalled, would that action finally purge those visited sites? I can back up the Bookmarks and retrieve them, but if one wanted those visited sites gone, would that do it?
The following two articles have other places where Firefox suggests stuff. Switching to another Mozilla-derived product like SeaMonkey isn't going to make things better:
Anyhow please read the following and see if it helps:
Modified by Roland Tanglao