Viewing the browsing history - Firefox

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Revision as of 01:06, 3 June 2009 by Dickvl (talk | contribs) (some rewording and some typos corrected)
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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 viewing the History from the Places Library.

History - Places Library

In Firefox 3, selecting "History -> Show All History" opens the Places Library window with History selected and displays a list of visited web pages, as shown below. You can also open the Places Library window via "Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks" and select "History" in the left pane or you can use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Shift+H".

History - Places Library:

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 click on any column header to sort by that column (click a second time to reverse the order), and you can rearrange columns by dragging the column header. You can access other columns by right-clicking on a column heading or via the Views menu (Show Columns). 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.

Your sort column choice will be retained for the next time you bring up the Library List. If you do not want to sort on any column then use the Views menu (in the Library List), Sort, Unsorted -- then listing will be in the same order as your bookmarks (and history) sidebar, and the left side of the Library list. Sorting in the Library has no effect of the actual order of your bookmarks in the sidebar and is only meant for viewing in a different order in the 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 above), 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 (bug 422163).

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).

History sidebar:

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.

Selecting history items

Selections without invoking the page can be made within the History display, by clicking to the left of the favicon (webpage icon) in the list.

Adding additional selections - multiple selections

You may then use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+A" (use "Cmd+A" on Mac OS) to select all that are shown, or you can add more with Ctrl+click again at the left of another item's favicon, or extend a selection with Shift+click.

For multiple selections, the context menu displays "Open All in Tabs", "Copy", and "Delete". When using "Open All in Tabs" suggest you proceed from a new tab ("Ctrl+T"), as the first item in the selection will load into the active tab.

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).

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.

Deleting most recent of browsing history, or a time interval of browsing history

Use View menu to sort by "By Last Visited" then select and delete the recent range of activity.

Deleting Google searches from browsing history so not shown in Location bar Autocomplete

Eliminate Google searches "" from history and then do the same for ""

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.

View History in a tab or window

You can enter the following chrome URL in the Location Bar, to view the History in a tab or window instead of in the History sidebar:


Chrome URLs can be bookmarked and used in keyword bookmarks, but can't be used in links.

See also

External links

Related bug reports