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"Clear recent history" does not clear recently closed tabs & windows

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New User

"Clear recent history" does not clear recently closed tabs & windows

I've seen quite a few threads about this on here, and I'm now wondering if this actually ought to be reported as a bug...

I've always liked Firefox's better privacy options compared to other browsers, but this particular issue kind of renders them useless.

If I go to Tools>Clear Recent History>Everything (with ALL boxes checked) this does not have any effect whatsoever on the list of recently closed tabs & windows.

ie, If I then go to History>Recently Closed Tabs> all the previous sites I have visited are still there, despite having cleared "everything" from history.

Other threads I've seen on this topic, replies often suggest fiddling with settings in about:config or deleting/renaming sessionstore files...

Does anyone know of a more straightforward way to *actually* clear all browsing history?

Having an option to clear everything from the history is pretty useless if the next person using the computer can simply look at the 'recently closed windows' list and immediately see the sites you've been reading..

3 REPLIES
SUMO Contributor

Re: "Clear recent history" does not clear recently closed tabs & windows

Apparently this is one of the differences between using "Clear Recent History" (while Firefox is running) and using "Clear history when Firefox closes". I haven't researched the reason for the difference, but if you want to do this routinely, you can set up the latter.

(MAC) Firefox > Preferences > Privacy
(WIN) orange Firefox button or classic Tools menu > Options > Privacy

Note: Restarting and reexiting Firefox twice also should rotate out the sessionstore files you want to clear.

Site Moderator

Re: "Clear recent history" does not clear recently closed tabs & windows

You can (temporarily) set the browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo pref to 0 to clear the "Recently Closed Tabs" list.
If you want to re-use the "Recently Closed Tabs" feature (Undo Closed Tabs) then you can reset the browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo pref to the default value via the right-click context menu.

You can temporarily set the browser.sessionstore.max_windows_undo pref to 0 to reset the "Recently Closed Windows" list.

Firefox will remember one window if you open additional windows and close that window while tabs are open in that window and the max_windows_undo is set to 0.

Close all tabs in a window before closing that window to prevent the window from appearing in the recently closed windows list.

  • Note that this may not be possible with a pop-up window.

Set the browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab pref to false on the about:config page to prevent closing the last tab from closing that window.

New User

Re: "Clear recent history" does not clear recently closed tabs & windows

People, you don't need to change any settings in about:config, you just need to make sure you close all your tab groups except the current one before trying to clear the history, because if you have 2 or more groups the history will not be cleared.