Viewing the browsing history - Firefox

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Revision as of 23:04, 30 August 2008 by Alice Wyman (Talk | contribs) (History sidebar: added Image:Fx3HistorySidebar-selections.png)

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In Firefox, the History menu displays a short list of recently visited web pages. You can view your complete browsing history by opening the History sidebar or, in Firefox 3, by selecting History in the Places Library.

History sidebar

In Firefox 2, the History sidebar is accessible from the History menu, by selecting "Show in Sidebar". This menu item is no longer included in the Firefox 3 History menu but you can open the History sidebar in other ways, as explained below.

Note: Selecting "History -> Show All History" in Firefox 3 opens the Places Library window (see below) , where you can view the History as a list of visited web pages. This is may not be as useful to you, however, as the History sidebar, where you can view visited pages sorted into folders for each day of browsing, with sub-folders for each visited site. [1]

Opening the History sidebar

  1. In the Firefox menu, click on View
  2. Select Sidebar
  3. Click on History.

You can customize the toolbar by adding a History button, so that you can open the History sidebar with one click.

You can also open the History sidebar using the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+H" (Windows and Linux) or "Cmd+Shift+H" (Mac OS).


Changing the view order

To change how the History sidebar displays visited pages, open the History sidebar and click on View (to the right of the Search box). A drop-down menu will open with the view options listed, as shown above in Firefox 3. You can sort the list of visited pages by Date and Site (default), by Site, by Date, by Most Visited, or by Last Visited.

Deleting history items


You can delete selected History items, which is useful if you want to remove unwanted items or reduce clutter in the Location Bar autocomplete drop-down list (this will not affect your bookmarks).

Note: You can select an individual item without invoking the webpage by clicking to the left of the item's favicon (webpage icon) in the History sidebar list of visited pages.

After selecting the unwanted items, open the context menu (i.e., right-click a selected item) and click "Delete", as shown here for Firefox 3 on Windows (or press the Delete key) to remove them from your browsing history. You can alternately context-click (right-click) on individual items and select "Delete" from the context menu.

Clearing the browsing history

If you want to clear all of your browsing history, you can do so in your Firefox options/preferences ("Tools -> Options -> Privacy / Private Data -> Settings") but it might be easier to just bring up the History sidebar, use "Ctrl+A" (use "Cmd+A" on Mac OS) to select all listed items, then press the Delete key.

History - Places Library

In Firefox 3, selecting "History -> Show All History" opens the Places Library window, where you can select "History" to view a list of visited web pages.

You can also access History in the Places Library window via "Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks" or with "Ctrl+Shift+H".


Note that Bookmarks and History are stored in the same location in Firefox 3 (in the "places.sqlite" database file) and both History and Bookmarks are accessible from the Places Library. The search box searches on both Name (page title) and Location (web address).

In the Places Library, you can double-click on any column to sort by that column, and you can rearrange columns by dragging the column header. You can access other columns by right-clicking on a column heading. In addition to Name and Location, you can also select Visit Date (last) and Visit Count. The other items are for bookmarks: Tags, Keyword, Description, Added (date), and Last Modified.