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

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

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 uses history to suggest matches for what you type. For more information, see Awesome Bar - Search your Firefox bookmarks, history and tabs from the address bar.

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Tracking

Tell web sites 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.

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Tracking

  • Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked: Choosing this option 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.
  • Tell sites that I want to be tracked: Choosing this option will tell websites that you want to be tracked by advertisers and other third-parties. You should be aware that many companies build a profile of sites you visit. Checking this option means that you are ok with that.
  • Do not tell sites anything about my tracking preferences: This is the default setting. Choosing this option will not tell websites anything about your preferences. You should note that this does not mean that you will not be tracked. In fact it's effectively the same as the previous option, and you are likely going to be tracked.

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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.

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

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

Use custom settings for history

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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

  • When using the location bar, suggest:
    The Location Bar is the horizontal bar that displays a site's web address (URL). When you type in the location bar, Firefox can display results that match what you type:
    • History and Bookmarks: If selected, the Location bar will display results from the list of sites you've visited and the pages you've bookmarked.
    • History: If selected, the Location bar will display results from the list of sites you've visited. Sites you've bookmarked but haven't visited will not show up.
    • Bookmarks: If selected, the Location bar will display results from the list of pages you've bookmarked.
    • Nothing: If selected, the Location bar will not display results that match what you type.

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:

  • 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.

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