How to erase traces of sites visited in Firefox
Whenever you visit a website in the Firefox browser, traces of that visit are stored by the browser automatically.
This happens when you use the regular browsing mode but also private browsing mode. In addition to that, information about the visit may also be saved manually, for instance in form of bookmarks or through extensions that interact with a website.
For instance, if you run NoScript and allow scripts to run on a site permanently, that option remains visible even if you used it in private browsing mode.
Generally speaking, there are several locations that data gets saved to when you access websites. While that's reduced when you use private browsing mode, there is still the possibility that information about the visit are saved.
The following guide lists several areas of the browser that data gets stored in on site visits.
Cache, Cookies and other (temporary) data
Whenever you visit a website in Firefox, contents of it may be stored on the local system. The data is stored temporary only, for the session in private browsing mode, or longer if you are not using the privacy-focused mode.
To clear the browsing history in Firefox, do the following:
- Use the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Del to open the "Clear All History" menu.
- Select "everything" as the time range, check all boxes and hit the "clear now" button afterwards.
This removes cookies, cache, the browsing history and offline website data from Firefox.
Tip: You may configure clean-ups to run regularly, for instance when Firefox closes on the about:preferences#privacy page.
Removing traces of specific websites
Sometimes, you may not want to remove all data from Firefox but only traces of select websites that you have visited in the past.
This can be done as well using the browser's permissions manager. Load about:permissions in the browser's address bar to open it.
It displays a list of sites you have visited including the total number of visits and site permissions. Permissions list the number of passwords stored for the site as well as extra permissions that you have configured for it (e.g. use of microphone or camera).
These settings persist even if you visited the site in private browsing mode.
To erase all traces of a site listed click on the "forget about this site" button. Please note that this resets all permissions for the site, erases the visit count, saved passwords, and data such as cookies from Firefox.
Tip: Make sure you check for multiple entries, e.g. a site listed as www.example.com and example.com as Firefox handles those different in the permissions manager. The easiest option is to use the search to find all traces of a site.
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