Remove recent browsing, search and download history

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As you browse the web, Firefox helpfully remembers lots of information for you – sites you've visited, files you've downloaded and more. All of this information is called your history. However, if you are using a public computer or share a computer with someone, you may not want others to be able to see these kinds of things.

This article explains what information is stored in your history and gives you step-by-step ways to clear all or part of it. To temporarily have Firefox not store any history, see Private Browsing - Browse the web without saving information about the sites you visit.

What things are included in my history?

  • Browsing & Download History: Browsing history is the list of sites you've visited that are shown in the History menu, the Library window's History list, and the Location bar autocomplete's address list. Download history is the list of files you've downloaded that are shown in the Downloads window.
  • Form & Search Bar History: Form history includes the items you've entered into web page forms for Form autocomplete. Search Bar history includes items you've entered into Firefox's Search bar.
  • Cookies: Cookies store information about websites you visit, such as site preferences or login status. This includes information and site preferences stored by plugins such as Adobe Flash. Cookies can also be used by third parties to track you across sites. For more info about tracking, see How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature?.
    Note: In order to clear cookies set by Flash you must be using the latest version. See Updating Flash for instructions.
  • Cache: The cache stores temporary files, such as web pages and other online media, that Firefox downloaded from the Internet to speed up loading of pages and sites you've already seen.
  • Active Logins: If you have logged in to a website that uses HTTP authentication since you most recently opened Firefox, that site is considered "active". Clearing this logs you out of those sites.
  • Offline Website Data: If you've allowed it, a website can store files on your computer so that you can continue to use it when you are not connected to the Internet.
  • Site Preferences: Site-specific preferences, including the saved zoom level for sites, character encoding, and the permissions for sites (like pop-up blocker exceptions) described in the Page Info window.

How do I clear my history?

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the History menu and select Clear Recent History....
    For Windows XP: At the top of the Firefox window, click the Tools menu and select Clear Recent History....
    On the menu bar, click the Tools menu, and select Clear Recent History....At the top of the Firefox window, click the Tools menu, and select Clear Recent History....
    History Win1
    History Mac1
    History Lin1
  2. Select how much history you want to clear:
    • Click the drop-down menu next to Time range to clear to choose how much of your history Firefox will clear.
    History Win2 History Mac2 History Lin2
    History Win3 Fx11 History Mac3 Fx11 History Lin3 Fx11
  3. Finally, click the Clear Now button and the window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.
  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the History menu and select Clear Recent History....On the menu bar, click the History menu, and select Clear Recent History....At the top of the Firefox window, click the History menu, and select Clear Recent History....
    History Win1
  2. Select how much history you want to clear:
    • Click the drop-down menu next to Time range to clear to choose how much of your history Firefox will clear.
    History Win2 History Mac2 History Lin2
    History Win3 Fx11 History Mac3 Fx11 History Lin3 Fx11
  3. Finally, click the Clear Now button and the window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu , choose History, and then Clear Recent History....
  2. Select how much history you want to clear:
    • Click the drop-down menu next to Time range to clear to choose how much of your history Firefox will clear.
    History Win2 History Mac2 History Lin2
    History Win3 Fx11 History Mac3 Fx11 History Lin3 Fx11
  3. Finally, click the Clear Now button. The window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.

How do I make Firefox clear my history automatically?

If you need to clear your history every time you use Firefox, you can set it to happen automatically on exit so you don’t forget.

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select OptionsAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu and then select OptionsOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Preferences...At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Edit menu and select Preferences

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose OptionsPreferences

  2. Select the Privacy panel.

  3. Set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history. Custom History Fx 5 - Win Custom History - Mac Custom History - Linux Custom History Fx21 WinXP Custom History Fx21 Win7 Custom History Fx21 Mac Custom History Fx21 Linux
  4. Check the box for Clear history when Firefox closes. History Win4 History Mac4 History Lin4
  5. To specify what types of history should be cleared, click the Settings... button next to Clear history when Firefox closes.
  6. In the Settings for Clearing History window, check the items that you want to have cleared automatically each time you quit Firefox.
    History Win5 History Mac5 History Lin5
  7. After selecting the history to be cleared, click OK to close the Settings for Clearing History window.
  8. Click OK to close the Options windowClick Close to close the Preferences windowClose the Preferences window

How do I remove a single website from my history?

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the History menu and select Show All History to open the Library window.On the menu bar, click the History menu and select Show All History to open the Library window.At the top of the Firefox window, click the History menu and select Show All History to open the Library window.

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu , choose History and then click the Show All History link at the bottom of the list to open the Library window.

  2. Search for the website you want to remove from your history by typing its name in the Search History field in the top-right corner and then pressing EnterReturn.
  3. Then, in the search results, right-clickhold down the Ctrl key while you click on the site you want to remove, and select Forget About This Site.
    All history items (browsing and download history, cookies, cache, active logins, passwords, saved form data, exceptions for cookies, images, pop-ups) for that site will be removed.

    History Win6 History Mac6 History Lin6
  4. Finally, close the Library window.



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