If you are using the mobile version of the Firefox web browser on your Android device, you have probably noticed that it does a couple of things different from how they are handled on the desktop version of Firefox.
When you open a new tab for example, or start the browser app anew, you are automatically taken to a listing of top sites.
The algorithm that picks those sites is similar to the one used by desktop Firefox. Usually, top sites are sites that you have visited the most in the mobile browser since the last reset of the data.
The listing may look different depending on what you open. If you open a new tab, the top sites listing is displayed as text links only, but if you load about:home, you get thumbnail representations of the websites you visited instead.
With that said, the listing itself is identical regardless of where it is opened.
It can happen that you encounter a site in the top sites listing, or in the bookmarks or history, that you do not want to see there. Maybe you are certain that you will never open it again, or do not want another person that is using your smartphone or tablet occasionally to find out about it.
Removing Top Sites, Bookmarks or History entries
You can remove entries that Firefox Mobile displays on the new tab page or the homepage in the following way:
- Move your finger over the entry that you want to delete and hold it down on it until a menu appears.
- Select Remove from the context menu to delete it from the display.
- A page removed message appears indicating that it has been successfully been deleted.
Note: Firefox ships with four internal pages (Firefox: Support, Firefox Customize with add-ons, Firefox: Start and Firefox: About your browser) that cannot be removed from the top sites listing. If you long-press on any of those, a remove option is not displayed in the context menu. You can remove those entries if you switch to Bookmarks on the other hand, as a Remove option is displayed here then that you can invoke to delete the links.
A removed tab may appear again in the top sites listing when you open it the next time, or as often as necessary to make it appear again here depending on how often you have opened other sites displayed here.
Clearing private data will remove all sites from the top sites listing that are not bookmarked as well. To clear the data, do the following:
- Tap on the menu button while the home page is displayed, or while a website is displayed in a tab in Firefox for Android.
- Select Settings from the options, and on the next page Privacy.
- Tap on Clear private data and there on clear data to remove all temporary data from the mobile browser.
Update: It appears that Mozilla has removed the option to remove the first six topsites displayed in Firefox for Android. It is not clear why the company made the decision to do so.
There is a workaround for that, but it is not pretty. If you do not use topsites at all, you can clean them by tapping on menu, selecting Settings, then Privacy, and there Clear private data. Unlike in Firefox for desktop systems, there is no option to do that every time you close the application.
The other option is to pin six pages to the topsites, so that they are always displayed on top. All other popular pages that you open are displayed beneath the selection, and they can still be removed with the long-tap.