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Any way to recover my entire Firefox history (dating back several months)?

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Hi,

I'm running Firefox 14.0.1 on a 3-year-old Macbook with Snow Leopard.

I recently noticed that Firefox doesn't keep my Internet history forever (which I'd set it to do), but instead deletes my history when it's a few months old. It's August 12th and I just now saw that my history dates back only to May. So anything from April and earlier is gone--unless I bookmarked it, which I don't always do. The fact that they're gone forever is killing me.

Is there any way I can recover my deleted history dating back months, or even years? I'd even be willing to pay for software that would do this.

Many thanks for any help!

C

All Replies (6)

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That would require to restore copies of the places.sqlite database file.

If you have copies of place.sqlite in the Time Machine then you can give it a try and restore them one at a time and copy and paste history items to a bookmarks folder and export the bookmarks to save that data to a file before continuing with an other copy of places.sqlite.
Maybe best to start as long ago in the past as needed and work back to the present until you have what you want.

See also:

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yikes--what if i haven't backed up with time machine (or at all)? am completely i out of luck?

thanks for replying!

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also, it's not my bookmarks (which seem to be fine) but my entire internet history from before May that's gone...

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The history and bookmark are both stored in the places.sqlite database file.
So restoring a previous copy of a places.sqlite file also means that you restore the bookmarks that you had at that time and you will have to take measures to backup the current places.sqlite file to be able to restore the current bookmarks after you've restored the history. If you do not have copies of places.sqlite in the Time Machine or elsewhere then that history is lost.

There is also the possibility to use the SQLite Manager extension to export history items without replacing the current places.sqlite.

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That's terrible news, but thank you for the help.

Is there a way to have my Firefox history permanently saved, always, unless I delete it? I thought I set it that way ages ago, though I can't remember how I did it (maybe through TabsMixPlus).

Thanks again, C

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Firefox 4+ versions do not have a time limit for the history.
Firefox determines automatically how many pages can be kept without affecting the performance.
You can see the current value via the read-only pref places.history.expiration.transient_max_pages on the about:config page.
You can reset no longer used browser.history_expire_days* prefs from older Firefox versions, if you still have them, to remove them on the next start.

See Marco Bonardo's blog about this: