Delete Firefox's History automatically after set days

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 30, 2015
Updated • Jun 25, 2017
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Expire history by days is a free add-on for the Firefox web browser that adds a new option to the browser that enables you to have it clear the browser history automatically based on a set number of days that you specify.

Firefox ships with options to clear the browsing history manually or automatically. If you do it manually, by tapping on the Alt-key and selecting History > Clear Recent History from the menu, you may clear it all or select a time range (last hour, last two hours, last four hours, today) instead for that, and may select the history items that you want deleted.

The automatic option runs the process on shutdown of the browser, but some options can only be used if you don't use the browser's session restore feature as it interferes with it.

There are clear benefits to clearing the history regularly. You may free up disk space on your system, or remove records of old sites that you are no longer interested in. The latter is useful as those may be displayed to you when you type in the address bar.

Expire History by Days

The Firefox add-on has been designed to automate the process for users of the browser. Instead of having to select between the automatic "clear everything on exit" or manually clearing the history regularly, you simply configure it to delete all history items older than a set number of days.

expire history by days

The extension needs to be configured after it is installed in the browser. Load about:addons in the Firefox address bar and select the option button next to the Expire history by days add-on.

Locate the "expire visits older than these days" and enter a number in days in the field next to it. You may only add days but they don't appear to be limited so 7, 30 or 365 all appear to work well in the field.

The add-on will run the cleanup when the browser is idle. The author notes that it won't be instant, and that the first run may slow down Firefox depending on how big the history of the browser is. Consecutive runs will be faster as there is (usually) less to clean up depending on the days set in the options.

You find a second setting in the add-ons options: disable places expiration. I'm not entirely sure what it does, and the author's description does not help either. It seems to be linked to the Places Expiration algorithm that determines when expiration takes place based on hardware specs.

This should be left alone according to the author unless you require the function.

Closing Words

Expire history by days adds an interesting option to Firefox, as it enables you to expire history items automatically after a set number of days.

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Expire history by days
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  1. qahtani said on October 15, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Does this delete my cookies and saved passwords, or merely the visited pages? I do not want to install and test it until I know this for sure, as I do not want my cookies and passwords cleared.

  2. Dave said on January 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I didn’t notice that this option was missing from Firefox now. This feature was definitely in Firefox 2.

  3. Raphael Tsavkko Garcia said on December 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Is there a way to export Firefox history and “read” it in another app?

    1. Anonymous said on December 31, 2015 at 1:46 am

      How about NirSoft’s BrowsingHistoryView or MozillaHistoryView?

  4. juju said on December 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    CIA homos are trying to create a world where you become someone like the main antagonist of Memento movie. Do not destroy your history unless you’re doing something wrong (like those who do rainbow parades or card carrying NAMBLA members). History is something that is part of your life.

  5. Henk van Setten said on December 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Note: if you use Pale Moon, you cannot install the latest version (1.1.2) of this add-on. The Install button on the web page will be disabled with a warning “Not available for Firefox 24.9”.

    But instead, you can easily install the previous version (1.1.1) which will work in Pale Moon just as well. To download and install this version, scroll down on the add-on’s web page and expand “Version Information”. Then click the link “See complete version history” in the bottom right corner. This will open another page from where you can install the previous version 1.1.1.

  6. Richard Allen said on December 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Nice! FF has needed this function for a while now. I vaguely remember an addon that worked until maybe about the time FF v29 was released. For some time now I’ve been using an about:config entry that provides the same basic function. Wouldn’t at all be surprised if the tip came from you Martin. ;)
    For anyone interested the entry will be a new integer: places.history.expiration.max_pages
    and I use 400 which ‘for me’ ends up being ‘about’ one weeks worth of entries and 1500 is ‘about’ one month. Adding the new about:config entry will also change “places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages” to the same value that is used in the new entry. Works for FF, Pale Moon and I would imagine any other FF forks. I personally will continue to use the about:config entry in my feeble attempt to reduce the number of add-ons installed (20+). Glad to see that there is an addon option now.

  7. RossN said on December 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Excellent idea. Now if only someone could do the same for the Windows RECYCLE BIN. I’ve searched several times, but come up empty-handed.

    1. Anonymous said on February 5, 2021 at 11:14 pm

      Use windows storage sense

    2. All Things Firefox said on January 6, 2016 at 3:29 am

      Try Eraser ( and schedule it to erase the Recycle Bin every so often via Tasks.

    3. afnan said on December 30, 2015 at 9:58 am
      1. RossN said on December 30, 2015 at 10:49 pm

        Thanks. It is buggy (Win 10 64-bit) – shows some files that are not in the recycle bin and don’t actually exist, and can’t read filenames or paths, but does pick up file types and sizes. I’ll risk using it and see how it goes.

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