How to clear the cache, cookies, and browsing history in Firefox

Help protect your privacy with these simple tips!

David Bisson
@DMBisson

Regular readers learned a lot about cookies and browsing history in a previous article. They now know, for example, what types of information web browsers add to each user’s stored “history” and why privacy is just one of the reasons why they might want to delete this data.

All that remains is an explanation of how to actually clear their histories

That’s where we come in! To help users strengthen their privacy online, we now provide a guide on how users can clear their caches, browsing history, and cookies stored by the most popular web browsers. We’ll start with Mozilla Firefox.

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Cache

  1. In your browser window, click on the icon of the three horizontal lines arranged on top of one another. (The icon should be near the top right corner of your display.) Click ‘Preferences.’
  2. Select the ‘Advanced’ panel.
  3. In the Network tab, click ‘Clear Now‘ under the Cached Web Content section.
  4. Close the tab. The changes will save automatically.

Browsing History

  1. In your browser window, click on the icon of the three horizontal lines arranged on top of one another. Click ‘History.’
  2. Select “Clear Recent History….
  3. Using the “Time range to clear” and “Details” options, select how much history stored by Firefox and what types of information you’d like to delete.
  4. Click the ‘Clear Now‘ button and close your browser window.

 

Cookies

  1. Refer to the Browsing History guide above. Under Step 3, set “Time range to clear” to ‘Everything‘ and “Details” to ‘Cookies.’ Then complete Step 4.

Automatically Clear Cache, Browsing History, and Cookies

For those wanting to clear their Firefox history each time they end a browsing session, here’s how you can do it:

  1. In your browser window, click on the icon of the three horizontal lines arranged on top of one another. Click ‘Preferences.’
  2. Select the ‘Privacy‘ panel.
  3. Under the History section, specify “Firefox will” to “Use custom settings for history.”
  4. Check the box that read ‘Clear history when Firefox closes.’
  5. Use the Settings… option, select “Cache,” “Browsing & Download History,” “Cookies,” and any other types of information you’d like to delete.
  6. Click ‘OK‘ to close the Settings window.
  7. Close the tab. The changes will save automatically.

In an upcoming article, I’ll cover how to clear the cache, browsing history, and cookies in another well-known web browser.

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David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Tripwire's "The State of Security" blog.

4 comments on “How to clear the cache, cookies, and browsing history in Firefox”

  1. Hi Graham, first of all, thank you for what you're doing!

    My cache is automatically cleaned when FF closes, and I don't allow third-part cookies, so my browser is usually clean. BUT… I'm using "HTTPS everywhere" addon on firefox, and it seems like when enabled, it automatically takes 3.5Mo in the browser's cache; cache cannot be cleaned to 0Mo as long as HTTPS Everywhere is enabled; so, I'm wondering if this addon keeps things that I should be concerned of?

    1. Hi Ben,

      Firefox has another great add-on called
      "Self Destructing Cookies" which erases site cookies just after you no longer need them or has a convenient whitelist option when you open settings. Also, I recommend
      "Ublock Origin" adblocker. The default settings work really well, but stricter settings can be enabled if desired. It's open source and free to use. Donation can be made from GitHub page if you like. Https is my last add-on I use.
      Oh, I have Java turned off from the "about: config" settings, as well a few others like website'd can not access battery info.

      1. Hi David,

        yup, I used SDC a few month ago, but I should reinstall indeed, and see if it cleans my cache even when HTTPS Everywhere is enabled, and ow btw, I'm using Ublock Origin in advanced mode since its release (the best imho) and of course Java is already turned off, no Flashplayer, no useless addons .. it seems like we get the same good advices ;))

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