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How do I tell Firefox to clear the list of downloaded files on exit?

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When I was using Firefox 3.x, I configured it to clear the list of downloaded files at exit. Now, I've "upgraded" to Firefox 7.0.1 and it's stopped doing it. Not only that, there doesn't seem to be a way to get that functionality back. Is there some setting I've missed, or have the Firefox devs decided that users don't need/want to have Firefox do this any more?

When I was using Firefox 3.x, I configured it to clear the list of downloaded files at exit. Now, I've "upgraded" to Firefox 7.0.1 and it's stopped doing it. Not only that, there doesn't seem to be a way to get that functionality back. Is there some setting I've missed, or have the Firefox devs decided that users don't need/want to have Firefox do this any more?

Chosen solution

You should still be able to only clear the Download history when you close Firefox.

  • Firefox/Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history" > [X] Clear history when Firefox closes > Settings
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cor-el
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See: *https://support.mozilla.com/kb/Clear+Recent+History

Question owner

I want to clear my Download history at exit AND ONLY my Download history, just like I could in Firerfox 3.x. Clearing all of my history is too heavy handed. No, pointing me to the wrong answer isn't helping. me in the slightest.

I want to clear my Download history at exit AND ONLY my Download history, just like I could in Firerfox 3.x. Clearing all of my history is too heavy handed. No, pointing me to the wrong answer isn't helping. me in the slightest.
cor-el
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17578 solutions 159013 answers

Chosen Solution

You should still be able to only clear the Download history when you close Firefox.

  • Firefox/Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history" > [X] Clear history when Firefox closes > Settings
You should still be able to only clear the Download history when you close Firefox. *Firefox/Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history" > [X] Clear history when Firefox closes > Settings

Question owner

There isn't any "Options" under Tools in the Linux version of Firefox. Instead, I went to Edit Preferences. Once I'd selected "use custom settings for history," I unchecked Remember download history, and nothing else. Thank you.

There isn't any "Options" under Tools in the Linux version of Firefox. Instead, I went to Edit Preferences. Once I'd selected "use custom settings for history," I unchecked Remember download history, and nothing else. Thank you.
cor-el
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You're welcome.

Sorry for providing a Windows link, I had forgotten to check your Operating System.

You're welcome. Sorry for providing a Windows link, I had forgotten to check your Operating System.

Question owner

This worked for Firefox 7.x. Now, I'm using 10.0.1 and it's stopped working. I have Firefox set to clear my download history at exit, but it simply ignores the setting. I don't know if it's something wrong with my copy or a bug, but what good is there having a setting if the program doesn't pay any attention to it?

This worked for Firefox 7.x. Now, I'm using 10.0.1 and it's stopped working. I have Firefox set to clear my download history at exit, but it simply ignores the setting. I don't know if it's something wrong with my copy or a bug, but what good is there having a setting if the program doesn't pay any attention to it?
cor-el
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17578 solutions 159013 answers

Do other setting of Clear Recent History work?

You can try to delete the downloads.sqlite file in the Firefox Profile Folder in case there is a problem with the file.

Do other setting of Clear Recent History work? *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Clear+Recent+History You can try to delete the downloads.sqlite file in the Firefox Profile Folder in case there is a problem with the file.

Question owner

I'm sure that would work, once, but I want a permanent solution. And, I'm not sure that there's anything wrong with the file because new downloads still get listed, and I can remove one manually; I just can't get the list to clear itself on exit.

I'm sure that would work, once, but I want a permanent solution. And, I'm not sure that there's anything wrong with the file because new downloads still get listed, and I can remove one manually; I just can't get the list to clear itself on exit.
cor-el
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17578 solutions 159013 answers

Did you check if Clear Recent History is working for other items?
You can make a backup of the affected files and restore that data if necessary.

Can you clear the download history manually via Firefox/Tools -> History -> Clear Recent History or isn't that working as well?

If Firefox isn't closing properly then it is possible that not all files get cleared.
You may also have security software that is preventing Firefox from deleting the file.

Did you check if Clear Recent History is working for other items?<br /> You can make a backup of the affected files and restore that data if necessary. Can you clear the download history manually via Firefox/Tools -> History -> Clear Recent History or isn't that working as well? If Firefox isn't closing properly then it is possible that not all files get cleared.<br /> You may also have security software that is preventing Firefox from deleting the file.

Question owner

If I click on Tools->Downloads->Clear List, it clears.

If I click on Tools->Downloads->Clear List, it clears.
cor-el
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If there is a problem with using Clear Recent History then you need to use CRH to check out what works and what doesn't work. If you can clear that history in the download manager then that doesn't mean that CRH also works as intended.

If there is a problem with using Clear Recent History then you need to use CRH to check out what works and what doesn't work. If you can clear that history in the download manager then that doesn't mean that CRH also works as intended.

Question owner

True. However, it proves that the only part of CRH that I want to work does.

True. However, it proves that the only part of CRH that I want to work does.

Question owner

The situation has gotten worse: now, dowloaded files vanish from the list the moment the download ends.

The situation has gotten worse: now, dowloaded files vanish from the list the moment the download ends.
cor-el
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Does Firefox still remember the download history?

  • Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history" > "Remember download history"

Does Firefox still remember the download history? *Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history" > "Remember download history" ---- *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Downloads+window

Question owner

Of course not. I'd turned that off AT YOUR SUGGESTION trying to solve the original issue. And, stop telling me how to find things on a Winderz box when I use Linux.

Of course not. I'd turned that off '''''AT YOUR SUGGESTION''''' trying to solve the original issue. And, stop telling me how to find things on a Winderz box when I use Linux.
cor-el
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Sorry again for the Windows menu paths, on Linux use Edit > Preferences instead of Firefox/Tools > Options as I've posted before.

I never told you to disable settings in that part to the history settings, you did that yourself ([/questions/897299#answer-276610]).
I told you to check the settings in "Clear history when Firefox closes"

Did you try to delete the downloads.sqlite file in case there is a problem with the file?

Did you check the permissions for all files in the Firefox Profile Folder?


Create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problems.

See "Basic Troubleshooting: Make a new profile":

There may be extensions and plugins installed by default in a new profile, so check that in "Tools > Add-ons > Extensions & Plugins" in case there are still problems.

If that new profile works then you can transfer some files from the old profile to that new profile, but be careful not to copy corrupted files.

See:

Sorry again for the Windows menu paths, on Linux use Edit > Preferences instead of Firefox/Tools > Options as I've posted before. I never told you to disable settings in that part to the history settings, you did that yourself ([[/questions/897299#answer-276610]]).<br /> I told you to check the settings in "Clear history when Firefox closes" Did you try to delete the downloads.sqlite file in case there is a problem with the file? Did you check the permissions for all files in the Firefox Profile Folder? *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox ---- Create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problems. See "Basic Troubleshooting: Make a new profile": *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Basic+Troubleshooting#w_8-make-a-new-profile There may be extensions and plugins installed by default in a new profile, so check that in "Tools > Add-ons > Extensions & Plugins" in case there are still problems. If that new profile works then you can transfer some files from the old profile to that new profile, but be careful not to copy corrupted files. See: *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Firefox

Question owner

I hadn't noticed that there were special settings for clearing history at exit. I'm almost certain that I set that up correctly for 7.x and it reset itself later.

I hadn't noticed that there were special settings for clearing history at exit. I'm almost certain that I set that up correctly for 7.x and it reset itself later.