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Restoring Deleted History and Cache.

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  • Last reply by cor-el

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I added a plugin that enabled privacy.clearonshutdown for a number of settings and I have lost my Cache and History. Is there a way for me to restore that data? I haven't restarted my computer yet.

I was looking at other options: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1290163 and apparently there is an index.dat thing I could use as well, but I can't find it. I really can't afford to lose yet more data after my last mistake.

I added a plugin that enabled privacy.clearonshutdown for a number of settings and I have lost my Cache and History. Is there a way for me to restore that data? I haven't restarted my computer yet. I was looking at other options: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1290163 and apparently there is an index.dat thing I could use as well, but I can't find it. I really can't afford to lose yet more data after my last mistake.

All Replies (8)

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Unless you have a backup somewhere, that data is gone.

We do not recommend using other programs to clean Firefox because they could corrupt the files. Also, the browser can clean itself.


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

Turn off Always Use Private Browsing Mode 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.

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What about the index.dat stuff that was talked about in the link? Is that off the table?

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Also if I have my phone synced as well, but it doesn't have all it's data deleted can I retrieve both PC and Phone history from it? I tried syncing but nothing is showing up.

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The index.dat file is a MS IE (internet explorer) thing and doesn't apply to Firefox.

Firefox uses places.sqlite in the main profile location in "AppData\Roaming" to store bookmarks and history, so if you have an older copy of this file then you can possibly recover deleted history. The disk cache is stored in a secondary location in "AppData\Local" and once the disk cache is cleared then this data is lost.

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I have my Firefox Profile stored on my D: drive not my C: drive, so does this disk cache still exist in the AppData file? Also, when I have privacy.clearOnShutdown.Cache as true, is this Disk Cache cleared? I am hoping against hope it is a backup cache.

Also, like I said my phone has a sync and it's history is still available so will my cleared history affect it as well or can I sync from it?

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If you didn't explicitly create the Firefox profile folder on the D: drive then the profile folder is still on the C: drive.

You can use the button on the "Help -> More Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page (Root directory).

Firefox uses two locations for the Firefox profile folder. One location for your personal data (e.g. bookmarks) and another location for temporary files like the disk cache.

Location used for the main profile that keeps your personal data (Root Directory on about:profiles).

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>

Location used for the disk cache and other temporary files (Local Directory on about:profiles).

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile>
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I unfortunately did put my profile explicitly in D:

D:\Desktop Stuff\Alte Firefox-Daten\y79i8od5.default-release is its location.

I checked the AppData/Local and AppData/Roaming just in case and they are empty.

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There is nothing wrong with placing the profile folder on the D: drive, only the profiles.ini should still be on the C: drive in "AppData\Roaming".

But that still leaves my above comments valid about the places.sqlite database and the disk cache although in this case the secondary location with the disk cache will be in the same profile folder with the other files.

You can look a utility to browse System Restore points to see if you can find an older copy of places.sqlite.

That way you might be able to access older history (newer history that is not in the file will be lost). You can use the Nirsoft utility to check the history stored in the file.

Make sure you keep a backup copy of your current places.sqlite if you proceed to replace places.sqlite with an older copy. You can consider to try this out in a new profile to prevent messing up your current profile. You will also have to restore the bookmarks as those will be replaced as well.