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How do you actually delete the entire history? I've deleted everything, used ccleaner, re-installed, deleted \user\appdata\mozilla\*.* yet still site suggestion

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I've deleted everything, used ccleaner, re-installed, deleted \user\appdata\mozilla\*.* yet still site suggestions appear, and I'm sure much more than that is stored along with it somewhere. Being able to wipe this data has been one of the biggest factors in my using firefox. Even after uninstalling/reinstalling it notes that there was a previous installation and proceeds to import bookmarks, history, etc, none of which show up in the normal sense, or clear by the normal methods. I don't know if that step is actually where the data gets loaded but I'd imagine it is. I now wonder for how long I thought I've been purging my data, only to have it not show up for me to see, but safely stored away for anyone who gains access and knows where to look. Huge change in security status, unannounced. Firefox used to leave only footprints that you could wipe clean fairly easy.

I've deleted everything, used ccleaner, re-installed, deleted \user\appdata\mozilla\*.* yet still site suggestions appear, and I'm sure much more than that is stored along with it somewhere. Being able to wipe this data has been one of the biggest factors in my using firefox. Even after uninstalling/reinstalling it notes that there was a previous installation and proceeds to import bookmarks, history, etc, none of which show up in the normal sense, or clear by the normal methods. I don't know if that step is actually where the data gets loaded but I'd imagine it is. I now wonder for how long I thought I've been purging my data, only to have it not show up for me to see, but safely stored away for anyone who gains access and knows where to look. Huge change in security status, unannounced. Firefox used to leave only footprints that you could wipe clean fairly easy.
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Question owner

Ok, I deleted these folders, and it appears to have lost the data

C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\LocalLow\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\

I say appears to because I have no way to verify the files are completely gone, as I don't know where exactly they're located, but it appears that at least a copy was located somewhere in there. I previously deleted only the one in "Local" with no joy. Obviously this will destroy other data, so don't do it without a backup of anything you care about.

I would really like to hear from someone who understands these things. Am I right to believe that it looks like firefox has taken a step away from privacy and security and towards marketability of our data? Did what I did above really remove my data? Are there certain files I could delete instead to preserve other settings? Thanks in advance for any input here.

Ok, I deleted these folders, and it appears to have lost the data C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\LocalLow\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\ I say appears to because I have no way to verify the files are completely gone, as I don't know where exactly they're located, but it appears that at least a copy was located somewhere in there. I previously deleted only the one in "Local" with no joy. Obviously this will destroy other data, so don't do it without a backup of anything you care about. I would really like to hear from someone who understands these things. Am I right to believe that it looks like firefox has taken a step away from privacy and security and towards marketability of our data? Did what I did above really remove my data? Are there certain files I could delete instead to preserve other settings? Thanks in advance for any input here.
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cor-el
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The main profile folder with your personal data is in "C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\". If you delete that folder then session data like the browsing history and cookies and local storage is lost. CCleaner might consist other data files like SiteSecurityServiceState.txt that stores HSTS (Strict-Transport-Security) data as cookies. The location in "C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\" stores temporary data like the disk cache and data used for phishing protection and thumbnails for the Firefox Home page (new tab) and some other data.

You can find buttons to go to both these locations on the about:profiles page.

The main profile folder with your personal data is in "C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\". If you delete that folder then session data like the browsing history and cookies and local storage is lost. CCleaner might consist other data files like SiteSecurityServiceState.txt that stores HSTS (Strict-Transport-Security) data as cookies. The location in "C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\" stores temporary data like the disk cache and data used for phishing protection and thumbnails for the Firefox Home page (new tab) and some other data. You can find buttons to go to both these locations on the about:profiles page. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Profiles
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jscher2000
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Hi Me_Man, for future reference, if the lingering data is in address bar suggestions, try deleting just the places.sqlite file, which stores history and bookmarks. When Firefox rebuilds the file, it will import one of your bookmark backups.

See: Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data

Hi Me_Man, for future reference, if the lingering data is in address bar suggestions, try deleting just the '''places.sqlite''' file, which stores history and bookmarks. When Firefox rebuilds the file, it will import one of your bookmark backups. See: [[Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data]]
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Question owner

Thank you both. That's more than I expected to get back and faster. So I'm thinking now 1) delete all 3 again 2) set up things the way I want then make copies of the three folders 3) make a batch file to launch firefox to: (a)copy the backed up folders into place, then (b) run firefox, and (c) delete the folders from the appdata folder afterwards. I never really looked into how any of this was structured before, I never looked as it always seemed easier to delete traces of activity. Was it always there and I just didn't know it, or is personal data harder to delete now?

Thank you both. That's more than I expected to get back and faster. So I'm thinking now 1) delete all 3 again 2) set up things the way I want then make copies of the three folders 3) make a batch file to launch firefox to: (a)copy the backed up folders into place, then (b) run firefox, and (c) delete the folders from the appdata folder afterwards. I never really looked into how any of this was structured before, I never looked as it always seemed easier to delete traces of activity. Was it always there and I just didn't know it, or is personal data harder to delete now?

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jscher2000
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I don't know if history is more difficult to delete now; I keep my history. If there's something I want to be hidden, I use a private window. I think cookies and cache have worked the same for a long time.

I don't understand the copy/paste bit. ??

I don't know if history is more difficult to delete now; I keep my history. If there's something I want to be hidden, I use a private window. I think cookies and cache have worked the same for a long time. I don't understand the copy/paste bit. ??
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Question owner

I guess I didn't put that very well. I mean to set up the few custom touches I like (choice of search engine, options) then exit the program and save those folders as to start the program fresh, but with those few changes each time. Private windows are good yes, It's just that I've always liked to periodically delete all cookies, cache, history, etc. I was surprised to see that deleting history, running ccleaner, and even uninstalling did not clear the data. I just noticed this earlier today, though it may have been that way for quite awhile.

I guess I didn't put that very well. I mean to set up the few custom touches I like (choice of search engine, options) then exit the program and save those folders as to start the program fresh, but with those few changes each time. Private windows are good yes, It's just that I've always liked to periodically delete all cookies, cache, history, etc. I was surprised to see that deleting history, running ccleaner, and even uninstalling did not clear the data. I just noticed this earlier today, though it may have been that way for quite awhile.
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cor-el
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There are two builtin means to delete history apart from doing this manually in the History Manager or the history sidebar. One is "Clear Recent History" and another is "Forget About This Site". With the former you cane set what specific data to remove via the Details button in the dialog. The latter removes all data except bookmarks.

You can remove all data stored in Firefox from a specific domain via "Forget About This Site" in the right-click context menu of an history entry ("History -> Show All History" or "View -> Sidebar -> History").

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, 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.

See also:

There are two builtin means to delete history apart from doing this manually in the History Manager or the history sidebar. One is "Clear Recent History" and another is "Forget About This Site". With the former you cane set what specific data to remove via the Details button in the dialog. The latter removes all data except bookmarks. You can remove all data stored in Firefox from a specific domain via "Forget About This Site" in the right-click context menu of an history entry ("History -> Show All History" or "View -> Sidebar -> History"). 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, 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. See also: *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-browsing-search-download-history-firefox
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Question owner

Clearing history through normal means doesn't work. It deletes some of it, history is gone, shows no data, yet it continues auto-completing web addresses I've been to, meaning the data's not really deleting everything. Clearing the generic temp folders doesn't help either, nor did re-installing. Jscher2000 above informed me that the "places.sqlite" file holds THIS data, however when I tell it clear history > delete everything, I want it to clear the history, by deleting everything. Whatever is left behind does not need to be.

As I stated above, if anyone really wants to delete their history, data, etc. completely, deleting these folders: C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\LocalLow\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\ seems to do it fairly completely, though data may remain elsewhere.

For what it's worth, and if It helps anyone who may be looking for the same thing I was (a real "Refresh Firefox" option) this seems to get it done, simply delete those directory trees and Firefox starts as it did when installed for the first time. If you plan to do this often, and have custom settings you like, you can easily clear everything as above, set things up the way you like, make backup copies of the folders above (quite small before doing extensive browsing) then delete those in the real AppData folder and copy in your backups. I've made a simple batch file in case any are interested. it's contents are:

rd /q /s C:\users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\ /q rd /q /s C:\users\me\AppData\LocalLow\Mozilla /q rd /q /s C:\users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla /q cd c:\users\me\AppData\ xcopy c:\users\me\desktop\firefoxreset\AppData /e

in this case the batch file is in a folder on the desktop called firefoxreset, that folder also contains it's own appdata folder which contains the backed up files in their original directory structure. Of course unless your username happens to be "me" you'll need to replace it. While I shouldn't have to do this (delete everything should mean delete everything) I'm happy with this for now.

Clearing history through normal means doesn't work. It deletes some of it, history is gone, shows no data, yet it continues auto-completing web addresses I've been to, meaning the data's not really deleting everything. Clearing the generic temp folders doesn't help either, nor did re-installing. Jscher2000 above informed me that the "places.sqlite" file holds THIS data, however when I tell it clear history > delete everything, I want it to clear the history, by deleting everything. Whatever is left behind does not need to be. As I stated above, if anyone really wants to delete their history, data, etc. completely, deleting these folders: C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\LocalLow\Mozilla\ C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\ seems to do it fairly completely, though data may remain elsewhere. For what it's worth, and if It helps anyone who may be looking for the same thing I was (a real "Refresh Firefox" option) this seems to get it done, simply delete those directory trees and Firefox starts as it did when installed for the first time. If you plan to do this often, and have custom settings you like, you can easily clear everything as above, set things up the way you like, make backup copies of the folders above (quite small before doing extensive browsing) then delete those in the real AppData folder and copy in your backups. I've made a simple batch file in case any are interested. it's contents are: rd /q /s C:\users\me\AppData\Local\Mozilla\ /q rd /q /s C:\users\me\AppData\LocalLow\Mozilla /q rd /q /s C:\users\me\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla /q cd c:\users\me\AppData\ xcopy c:\users\me\desktop\firefoxreset\AppData /e in this case the batch file is in a folder on the desktop called firefoxreset, that folder also contains it's own appdata folder which contains the backed up files in their original directory structure. Of course unless your username happens to be "me" you'll need to replace it. While I shouldn't have to do this (delete everything should mean delete everything) I'm happy with this for now.
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