Firefox 33 for Android gets option to clear private data on exit

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 27, 2014

If you are running a version of Firefox for Android right now on a smartphone or tablet, you may have noticed that it lacks an option to automatically clear private data.

While you can clear private data manually, there is no option to configure the mobile browser to perform the operation automatically for you like you can do on the desktop version of Firefox.

Private data includes the browsing history, cache, cookies, downloads or the search history.

While this may not be a huge issue if you are the only user and never hand over your phone to anyone else, you may still prefer to clear the data regularly.

For one, if you are traveling border agents may take a closer look at your phone, and if your phone gets stolen, important data may also be revealed to others.

There is another reason: maybe you want certain information to be removed regularly from the browser. It may make sense to clear the downloads list regularly for instance to improve the overview of new downloads, or the cache to free up disk space on the device.

Firefox 33 clear private data automatically

firefox clear private data exit

Mozilla has added an option to Firefox 33 for mobile devices. The feature is currently available in Nightly builds for example, but will find its way into beta and stable versions of Firefox in the coming 12 week period.

Here is how you can configure it:

  1. Open Firefox on your mobile device and tap on the three dots in the upper right corner to open the context menu.
  2. Select Settings here, and on the next page Privacy.
  3. The Clear Private Data option is listed at the bottom of that page.
  4. Here you find the Clear Now button which is already available in all versions of Firefox, and the new "Always clear when quitting" preference.
  5. Tap on the box and select the elements that you want cleared when you close Firefox on your mobile device.
  6. You can select one, multiple or all options here by tapping on boxes on the screen.
  7. Once done, select Set and Firefox will handle everything from that moment on.

The feature will land in Firefox for mobile Beta on September 2, 2014, and in Firefox for mobile Stable on October 14, 2014. (via Sören)

Firefox 33 for Android gets option to clear private data on exit
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Firefox 33 for Android gets option to clear private data on exit
Firefox 33 users on Android can configure the mobile browser to clear private data such as downloads or the browsing history on exit.

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  1. John Sumner said on January 12, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Thank you for this help. It is now 12th Jan 2015 and I am using Firefox for Android 34.0.1
    The “Quit” menu option is available and it appears that you must use this menu exit for “Always clear when quitting” to work correctly.
    If you close Firefox by backing, out or by stopping it from the screen that shows up after a long press on the home button, the history is retained until you exit by using the “Quit” option.

  2. ed said on July 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    This is good news.

    I think the bigger news might be that it appears they are bringing back the exit (quit) menu option???

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