Manage Browsing History and Private Data in Firefox

Clear your history, cache, and other data

As you browse the web, Mozilla's Firefox web browser helpfully collects details about your internet usage. It remembers the websites you visited, information about file downloads, and more private data to make for an easy and smooth online experience.

But If you're on a public computer or a shared computer, or you just prefer more privacy, you may not want Firefox to keep so much of your personal data. Fortunately, Firefox makes it easy to clear your history, cache, cookies, saved passwords, and other data.

This article's information applies to Mozilla's Firefox browser on WindowsmacOS, and  Linux.

Clear Your Firefox Browsing History

If you want to delete Firefox's record of all searches made through its integrated search bar, as well as other data:

  1. Open the Firefox web browser and select the Menu button (three horizontal lines) from the top right.

    Firefox hamburger menu
  2. Select Preferences.

    Firefox preferences
  3. Firefox's Preferences window will open. Select the Privacy & Security tab to the left.

    Privacy & Security
  4. Scroll down to the History section. Next to Firefox will, the option to Remember history is set by default. Select Never remember history to stop Firefox from recording any browsing history, or select Use custom settings for history to customize Firefox's history-related settings. (More on using custom settings below.)

    History settings
  5. Select Clear History to bring up the Clear Recent History dialog window.

    Clear History
  6. Next to Time range to clear, select Everything to clear all data, or choose Last Hour, Last Two Hours, Last Four Hours, or Today to clear data from those periods.

    Clear Recent History window
  7. Under History, place a check next to the data components you want to delete.

    • Check Browsing & Download History to remove the names and URLs of all web pages you visit, as well as a log of all files that you download through the browser.
    • Check Form & Search History to delete autofill information and search keywords.
    • Check Cookies to eliminate user-specific preferences, login credentials, and more.
    • Check Cache to delete temporary files that are used to speed up page load times.
    • Check Active Logins to be logged out of any sites that you are currently logged into.
    • Check Offline Website Data to delete website files used to facilitate the use of the site even when an internet connection is not available.
    • Check Site Preferences to delete settings specific to individual websites.
  8. When you've made your selections, select OK. Firefox will clear the designated data.

Remove Individual Cookies

Cookies are text files utilized by most websites to set user-specific preferences and login credentials. You may want to retain some cookies and delete others. Here's how to manage your cookies manually:

  1. Open the Firefox web browser and select the Menu button (three horizontal lines) from the top right.

    Firefox hamburger menu
  2. Select Preferences.

    Firefox Preferences
  3. Scroll down to Cookies and Site Data and select Manage Data.

    Manage Data
  4. Select the websites from which you'd like to remove cookies, and then select Remove Selected. (Select Remove All if you want to remove all cookies.)

    Manage Cookies

    Press Ctrl+Click (Windows) or Command+Click (Mac) to select more than one website.

  5. Press Save Changes. You've deleted cookies from the selected websites.

Use Custom Settings for History

When you select Use custom settings for history from Firefox's history preferences, you'll see the following customizable options:

  • Always use private browsing mode: When enabled, Firefox will automatically launch in Private Browsing mode.
  • Remember browsing and download history: When enabled, Firefox will maintain a record of all websites you've visited as well as files you've downloaded.
  • Remember search and form history: When enabled, Firefox will store most information that is entered into web forms as well as keywords submitted to a search engine via the browser's search bar.
  • Clear history when Firefox closes: When enabled, Firefox will automatically delete all history-related data components each time the browser is shut down.
Use custom settings for history