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New tab shows browsing history

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New User

New tab shows browsing history

Hi, I have a thing that's been bugging me for a while. I have Firefox locked down pretty tight. Do not track, no browser history stored and no cookies etc etc.

HOWEVER, whenever I open a new tab I get the blocks of "previously visited websites to chose from" with some sites I have visited in the past (though not all) even though I'm basically running in private mode all the time. I can go to the security settings and select "clear history" and they go away and I get blank boxes again. But every time it builds up and they come back. How do I stop this from happening? Because clearly it's saving my browsing history somewhere, somehow even though I'm asking it not to.

Any help would be appreciated.

20 REPLIES
Site Moderator

Re: New tab shows browsing history

See this article about the New Tab page (about:newtab):

You can create these Boolean prefs on the about:config page if you want to disable the thumbnails on the about:newtab page.

  • name: browser.pagethumbnails.capturing_disabled with value: true
  • name: pageThumbs.enabled with value: false

You may need to delete the thumbnails folder in the Firefox profile folder to remove already stored icons.


New User

Re: New tab shows browsing history

Hi there, thanks for that. But does this actually stop the information from being stored? Obviously it stops it being displayed. But I want to make sure that the information isn't being stored somewhere that I'm unaware of and just isn't being displayed. Otherwise "private" browsing isn't very private. :)

Site Moderator

Re: New tab shows browsing history

Creating those prefs will no longer make Firefox create thumbnails even if the about:newtab page isn't used.
You would still have history unless you use Private Browsing mode, so you get empty squares with only the URL ,but with no thumbnails.

New User

Re: New tab shows browsing history

That seems a bit backwards. I have "Never save history" set under the privacy tab in settings, but you're telling me that Firefox does still save history with that set unless I use the more restrictive "private browsing" mode?

I get the blank icons with just URLs now. I want it to never save the URLS either.

Site Moderator

Re: New tab shows browsing history

No, Firefox doesn't save history if you use PB mode (never remember history) and shouldn't create thumbnails as well in this case (no disk cache used).

New User

Re: New tab shows browsing history

Then this is a problem. Because I have "Never save history" selected in my settings (see attached picture) But I'm still getting (blank) boxes on the new tab page that contain URLs of pages I have visited that persist between re-starts of firefox. So it's clearly saving some history somewhere.

2013-05-29-20-32-29-e28c52.png
New User

Re: New tab shows browsing history

I'll quickly add that these URLs on the new tab window go away when I click "clear all current history"

Site Moderator

Re: New tab shows browsing history

If you open a New Private Window then Firefox won't store history and other data from this window, but this won't effect history data that is already stored and you need to remove that yourself.

New User

Re: New tab shows browsing history

So, what you're saying is that the "never remember history" button under privacy doesn't actually do anything useful?