Settings for privacy, browsing history and do-not-track

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This article describes the settings that are available in the Firefox OptionsPreferences Privacy panel.

The Privacy panel allows you to:

  • Control how Firefox handles your history, which includes what pages you've visited, what files you've downloaded, what you've entered into forms, and what cookies sites have sent you.
  • Control what sites can send you cookies and remove cookies that sites have sent you.
  • Control how the Location bar (address bar) uses your history to suggest matches for what you type in it.

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Tracking

Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked: Checking this box will tell websites that you wish to opt-out of tracking by advertisers and other third-parties. Honoring this setting is voluntary — individual websites are not required to respect it. See How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature? for more information.

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Tracking

Request that sites not track you: Checking this box will tell websites that you wish to opt-out of tracking by advertisers and other third-parties. Honoring this setting is voluntary — individual websites are not required to respect it. See How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature? for more information.

Use tracking protection in Private Windows: Checking this box will make Firefox actively block domains and sites that are known to track users while browsing with Private Windows. Click Change Block List to choose the list Firefox uses to block trackers. See Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history and Tracking Protection in Private Browsing for more information.

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Tracking

Use tracking protection in Private Windows: Checking this box will make Firefox actively block domains and sites that are known to track users while browsing with Private Windows. Click Change Block List to choose the list Firefox uses to block trackers. See Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history and Tracking Protection in Private Browsing for more information.

You can also manage your Do Not Track settings. The Do Not Track feature is turned off by default. To turn it on, click manage your Do Not Track settings and then check the box, Use Do Not Track.

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You can also manage your Do Not Track settings. The Do Not Track feature is turned off by default except in Private Browsing where it is always on. To turn it on, click manage your Do Not Track settings and then check the box, Always apply Do Not Track.

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See How do I turn on the Do Not Track feature? for more information.

History

The Firefox will setting controls how Firefox saves information about your web browsing.

Remember history

When Firefox will is set to Remember history:

Click on:

Never remember history

When Firefox will is set to Never remember history:

Using Never remember history is equivalent to always being in Firefox Private Browsing mode. For more information, see Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history.

Click on clear all current history to open the Clear Recent History window, which allows you to erase some or all of your history quickly. For more information, see Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox.

Use custom settings for history

Use custom settings for history

When Firefox will is set to Use custom settings for history, the following settings will be available:

  • Always use private browsing mode:
    If selected, Firefox will not remember any new history the next time it starts. For more information, see Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history.
  • Remember my browsing and download history:
    If selected, Firefox will keep a list of the pages you've visited and the files you've downloaded. For more information about downloaded files, see Where to find and manage downloaded files in Firefox.
  • Remember search and form history:
    If selected, the text you enter into form fields or the search bar will be remembered so you can use those entries again. For more information, see Control whether Firefox automatically fills in forms.
  • Accept cookies from sites:
    If selected, Firefox will accept cookies from sites. Click Exceptions… to control whether some sites are not allowed to set cookies. For more information, see Block websites from storing site preferences or login status in Firefox.
    • Accept third-party cookies:
      Always: Firefox will always accept cookies from http://site2.com when you are visiting http://site1.com.
      From Visited: If you have visited http://site2.com previously, Firefox will accept cookies from this site when you are visiting http://site1.com, otherwise Firefox will not accept them.
      Never: Firefox will never accept cookies from http://site2.com when you are visiting http://site1.com. For more information, see Disable third-party cookies in Firefox to stop some types of tracking by advertisers.
    • Keep until:
      they expire: If selected, Firefox will allow the sites you visit to specify how long Firefox should keep their cookies.
      I close Firefox: If selected, your cookies will be deleted when you close Firefox.
      ask me every time: If selected, Firefox will ask you how long to keep a cookie each time a site tries to set one.Click Show Cookies… to display the Cookies window. For more information on the Cookies window, see Delete cookies to remove the information websites have stored on your computer.
  • Clear history when Firefox closes:
    Certain saved items will be deleted when you close Firefox. Click Settings… to control what items are deleted.

Location Bar

The Location Bar is the field where you enter a site's web address (URL). The Location Bar suggests results as you type in a search based on the following:

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  • History: If selected, sites you've previously visited will appear on your results list.
  • Bookmarks: Sites you've bookmarked will appear on your results list. These results appear with the blue star next to them.
  • Open tabs: Select this if you want tabs that are currently open to appear in your results list. This is especially useful if you have many tabs open.

Click on Change preferences for search engine suggestions… to go to the Search OptionsPreferences panel, where you can enable or disable search suggestions from your preferred search engine. See How can I control what results the location bar shows me? for details.

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