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Did Firefox recently separate ClearCache?

  • 21 uphendule
  • 1 inale nkinga
  • 65 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu cor-el

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For YEARS I had been relying on Firefox not only to clear "history" but also to clear the cache immediately when I exit Firefox. Recently started having major problems with running ANYTHING after streaming some video. Complained to the streaming web site but then realized it might be that Firefox had been changed somehow with all its "updates". When I looked into Firefox cache clearing I discovered there was already 1.0 Gigabytes of garbage in my cache from a very brief video streaming access following from a warm reboot of my computer needed to get anything at all to run properly. Downloaded the apparent "new" addon called "ClearCache" but wanted to check whether my guess is correct that the years functional cache clearing has now been separated out and that the new addon will solve my operational problem after streaming video.

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

@crankygoat Part of the original problem was the obnoxious "picture-in-a-picture" function which was added without notice to me nor any consent from me. That was uncovered while I was chasing around modifying other things and has not recurred. The key part of the solutions presented here which appears to have worked was the set of changes indicated by @cor-el who mentioned that my Firefox had been set to "Private Browsing" mode with me having not understood the uselessness of that permanent private browsing mode. I made those changes as indicated 1/14/20 at 7:17pm. As for the /doomed or /entries folders, my Windows 7 search says I have neither such folders. At no time was this a cookies problem (which were being cleared) but always site data failing to get cleared from the cache where it was being retained. It is in fact the site data which absolutely must be cleared out of the cache for anything else to function. In any event as of today January 18 I am no longer able to replicate the accumulation of garbage NOT going away when I exit Firefox, do nothing for awhile, and then bring up a new incidence which is *now* always showing something in the range of 26.0 to 28.0 Kb upon startup. I'm going to treat the problem as SOLVED because of that set of corrections in my settings and can only hope that any future "updates" refrain from modifying any aspect of my settings.

Funda le mpendulo ngokuhambisana nalesi sihloko 👍 0

All Replies (20)

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This problem is turning out to be worse than I thought it was. The "new" addon styling itself as "ClearCache" demands that I press a special key <F9> in order to get it to do anything at all. What I need is for the apparently original which had been working for years AUTOMATIC CACHE CLEARING to be restored to Firefox

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It should work without this addon.

Check in options if the Clear history when Firefox closes is ON.

Also press the Settings... button on the right and check if Cache is selected in the Settings for Clearing History window.

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To see all History and Cookie settings, choose:

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The "clear history" is ON. But there is no "settings" button on the right and no choice to check if Cache is selected for Settings for Clearing history in my current version 72.0.1. Instead when I look in that area all I get is a notification of such things as there being 1.0 GIGABYTES of garbage remaining in the cache. No apparent means of *setting* it to automatically clear the cache as it always USED TO DO. The description of clearing cache on the web site is also out of date showing a picture of something which no longer exists. Difficult thing for me is that the automatic clear cache was always the uniquely advantageous feature of Firefox as compared to other browsers since most other features are only "promises" of security functions which certain others are known for sure to violate.

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To clarify my situation I took a screen shot of the area in question in my Firefox v72.0.1 browser. It is attached. Notice please that the tick mark on "Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed" has been greyed out (which means it is NOT OPERATIONAL.

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You're in the permanent private browsing mode.... :/

Okulungisiwe ngu TyDraniu

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Went looking through all available resources. Among other things found no way to shut off @TyDraniu's "permanent private browsing mode", not even the suggested creation of a "distribution\policies.json" directory and file. Although the history aspect does seem to be working, I'm still getting massive accumulations in the cache, perhaps because the instruction to "Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed" remains greyed out. Explored @TyDraniu's pointer further and discovered that somehow my browser was set to ALWAYS USE PRIVATE BROWSING MODE. Undid that and may have solved the entire problem since the screen shot area now does allow the "delete" instruction to appear in full and it appears to be working. Not sure what I'm missing by NOT being in private browsing mode, permanent or otherwise, but that is the way my browser is now set and my serious problem (overloaded cache) seems to have disappeared.

Okulungisiwe ngu bobgru

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Correction to my earlier enthusiasm. It "looked like" the problem might have been solved, but it wasn't. On my next subsequent bringing up of the Firefox browser, it immediately showed what is shown in the attached screen shot. That is to say, the real problem of cache accumulation has NOT BEEN SOLVED.

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You can't clear the disk cache and other data stored in the profile folder as long as you are in Private Browsing mode.

You need to look further down under History and find "Clear history when Firefox closes" if you want to clear the cache when you close Firefox.

Can't you remove the checkmark on "Always use Private Browsing mode" ?

  • Options/Preferences -> Privacy & Security
    Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history"
  • remove checkmark: [ ] "Always use Private Browsing mode"

What is the value of this pref on the about:config page ?

  • browser.privatebrowsing.autostart

Is this pref locked or can you modify its value?

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I accept the risk!" to continue.

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@cor-el Your latest response may have moved things along in the right direction. In the area "Clear History when Firefox closes" I had already removed tickmark for "always use private browsing mode" but still had tickmarks for "remember browsing and download history" and "remember search and form history". Removed those as part of checking out your suggestions. When I went into the "about.config" page as you indicated, the entry for browser.privatebrowsing.autostart was already "false" because of my previous unticking of "always use private browsing mode" and I didn't attempt to modify it because I apparently don't want private browsing at all because it appears that interferes with clearing cache. Having made the noted changes by unticking the two remaining items in "Clear History when Firefox closes" my new incidence of Firefox came up with the apparent minimum 26.0 Kb of stuff which has never been lower under any prior bringing up an incidence of Firefox. I shall continue to monitor the situation. But if these latest changes accomplish my intent of automatic clearing of the cache, I shall mark this inquiry then as solved.

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When I exit Firefox and twiddle my thumbs for awhile, then fire it up again to check Options\Privacy & Security, I'm still finding as much as MEGABYTES of garbage that haven't been cleared from my cache. After all the alterations I've made in the "apparent" controls, it seems to me that an inherent defect has been introduced into Firefox during the various recent "updates". Fact is until a couple of weeks ago, I never had any of these problems. The only problem that has been cleared away is the obnoxious, never authorized by me to be installed at all on my computer, "picture in a picture" function which was inflicting its disruptions on every video that I attempted to stream until I accidentally ran across it and shut it off during my scramblings to try to resolve this apparent new defect in the way that Firefox operates. That was no "improvement" but a major imposition on Firefox afficianados such as myself. At most it might have been offered as an "addon" or "extension" not as a forced modification of the way Firefox is supposed to work. As noted, this ongoing failure to clear the cache on exit is something that was radically changed to make it defective during the last several "updates".

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Controlling P-i-P: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/about-picture-picture-firefox

When I exit Firefox and twiddle my thumbs for awhile, then fire it up again to check Options\Privacy & Security, I'm still finding as much as MEGABYTES of garbage that haven't been cleared from my cache.

You might check in Task Manager, Processes tab, to ensure all the Firefox processes have terminated. If Windows is keeping it loaded yet, the cache may not be cleared. If you are checking the size of the cache after starting Firefox, plenty of things may have already been fetched from the web. You might look at the size of the cache folders, or see cache size and contents with an external tool like CCleaner or MZCacheView.

Megabytes are nothing for one web page even, anymore, sadly. But the cache is overwritten whenever necessary, if it is in need of space.

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@crankygoat Your suggestion to check the Task Manager/Processes was a good one so I brought up the Task Manager (always set to Processes anyway since that's the only relevant aspect) then brought up Firefox. There were four processes shown as "firefox.exe" in the list while Firefox was running. They all disappeared instantly when I exited Firefox so our (yes I was wondering about that too) suspicion about belated exit wasn't borne out. As for the notion of "already been fetched from the web", unless Firefox has been redefined in such a way as to go out on its own (my home page is "about:blank") to gather trash from the wubb, the notion of having "already" gathered garbage doesn't hold. The baseline 26.0 Kb appears to be only Firefox's *own* use of cache. It's the MEGABYTES of *carryover* garbage, reaching a full GIGABYTE at one time early in this inquiry process, that are my concern. It's quite clear that the cache is *not* being overwritten and that the sabotaging of bringing up any other program after Firefox *leaves* it excessively large is THE PROBLEM. I looked into my installation records and unfortunately didn't record the v72.0.1 "upgrade". Last one I did record was v71.0 in the week ending 191206. So my bottom line remains that a DEFECT WAS INTRODUCED during the "upgrade" to v72.0.1 which defeats the years and years of proper operation clearing cache upon exit.

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Ha, i usually use about:blank myself. So if you are opening on that, one would hope that none of the prefetch operations should be occurring.

When I exit Firefox and twiddle my thumbs for awhile, then fire it up again to check Options\Privacy & Security, I'm still finding as much as MEGABYTES of garbage that haven't been cleared from my cache.

I haven't seen any issues while testing this. How are you determining the size of the cache remained after clearing? You don't have to wait for cache to clear at shutdown, you can clear it any time. Make sure you have no other web pages open other than your Preferences page, or a blank page when clearing cache, as an open page cannot be cleared.

There are multiple ways to access the Clear History. You seem to favor opening Preferences → Privacy and Security. Once you click on Clear History, you have choices. Make sure at least that Cache is checked, and the Time Range to Clear is set to Everything. Click Clear Now.

At no time do i get a size report of anything. Checking folders under /Cache2 gives me an empty /entries folder and about 2.2MB in /doomed folder.

If your excessive cache storage is in the /doomed folder, yes this could be a problem. This is supposed to be for open/active pages, including the Firefox Home or any home page. These are set to be deleted, but when is not specified - apparently not very soon at all in some cases. (This is even listed as a bug, as it should be.) This, however, has been the behavior for years, so i do not know if it addresses your issue. You can manually delete these if Firefox is closed, if it helps.

If you type about:cache in the address bar and Enter, in the Disk section you can see the location of your cache2 folder, and also list any cache entries.

A last thought: Unless you are radically short on disk space, application temporary caches are not going to interfere with the operation of other programs. This doesn't excuse Firefox if it is misbehaving, but it does point to an issue that a change to Firefox will not fix.

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@crankygoat As you noted (and of which I have previously posted screen shots) I am using Options/Privacy and Security to tell me how MUCH garbage has been retained. I run these relevant tests immediately upon bringing up a new incidence of Firefox since that is when the huge accumulations have been sabotaging the operability of everything else on my computer. The point is that until the garbled v72.0.1, I could always rely on Firefox to zero out the entire cache. I should not now be compelled, after years of proper operation of the program, to go through three wrist painful clicks to get the thing to finally get around to clearing its accumulated GARBAGE. Your reference to a "doomed" folder has no equivalent on my Windows 7 computer. It isn't that I'm short on disk space, it is that v72.0.1 of Firefox is accumulating SO MUCH GARBAGE and refusing to clear it that the cache is interfering with even bringing up other programs. Your assertion that a full GIGABYTE of GARBAGE or large MEGABYTES of such "are not going to interfere with the operation of other programs" is contradicted by my real world experience which has repeatedly shown that Firefox's recently inflicted refusal to clear cache is in fact sabotaging my entire computer, even requiring a warm reboot to get anything else to run. Incidentally I have tried several of the self styled "clear cache" addons or extensions and absolutely none of them comes anywhere close to clearing the garbage collection. Only the five painful clicks using my long since crippled wrists to get to and via the Options/Privacy and Security area has been able to get rid of the garbage which Firefox insists on accumulating and RECENTLY BEGAN REFUSING TO CLEAR.

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If you are going by the number shown in your screenshots, that isn't the cache. That is only cookies and site data. You said you don't have a /doomed folder, but did not say whether there are cache items in the /entries folder. From now i am going to look at this not as a cache problem, but as a cookies and site data problem.

Show us the megabytes or gigabytes of data in cookies and site data not deleted after closing the browser with your settings as they are.

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You can check the size of the storage folder (storage\default) in the profile folder for data stored in local storage (IndexedDB).

You can use the button on the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page to go to the current Firefox profile folder or use the about:profiles page.

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

@crankygoat Part of the original problem was the obnoxious "picture-in-a-picture" function which was added without notice to me nor any consent from me. That was uncovered while I was chasing around modifying other things and has not recurred. The key part of the solutions presented here which appears to have worked was the set of changes indicated by @cor-el who mentioned that my Firefox had been set to "Private Browsing" mode with me having not understood the uselessness of that permanent private browsing mode. I made those changes as indicated 1/14/20 at 7:17pm. As for the /doomed or /entries folders, my Windows 7 search says I have neither such folders. At no time was this a cookies problem (which were being cleared) but always site data failing to get cleared from the cache where it was being retained. It is in fact the site data which absolutely must be cleared out of the cache for anything else to function. In any event as of today January 18 I am no longer able to replicate the accumulation of garbage NOT going away when I exit Firefox, do nothing for awhile, and then bring up a new incidence which is *now* always showing something in the range of 26.0 to 28.0 Kb upon startup. I'm going to treat the problem as SOLVED because of that set of corrections in my settings and can only hope that any future "updates" refrain from modifying any aspect of my settings.

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I hope this remains resolved for you! I understand the desire to have everything cleared when you want it cleared. I also understand that settings introduced or changed without your consent is troublesome.

If your Windows search did not turn up /entries or /doomed folders, then the cache itself was probably being emptied, unless those folders are among those not set to be included in the type of search. The cookies and, more importantly for size, the site data, can become quite large.

If you feel an update has changed your settings again, please scroll past the Cookies and Site Data section of Options, and check the History section. Make sure History is set to Use custom settings for History, and that the Clear history when Firefox closes box is checked. This will activate (un-grey-out) the Settings button. Click on that and make sure all of the boxes are checked.

Also note that if you use Never Remember History, or if you use the Permanent Private Browsing mode, all of this should be cleared anyway. Not sure why it wasn't, but clearly you managed to fix a stuck setting in with your labors.

Best wishes going forward.

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