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How to Auto Delete Firefox History Without Using Private Mode

by Gaurav Bidasaria
firefox in trash can

Firefox is known for its sheer dedication to security and more importantly, privacy. One way popular sites and advertisers track users across the web is cookies and cache. Then there is the browsing history that anyone can see to know what you have been up to recently. While Private Mode solves this problem by deleting all browsing history and cache files, it is cumbersome. So, how to auto-delete Firefox history without Private Mode in Firefox?

If you are unaware, here is why you should consider not using the Private Mode in the first place. All your browser addons are disabled in Private Mode which can be troublesome. That means no password manager, ad blocker, VPN, and so on. Surprisingly, Chrome offers an option to delete all browsing history automatically when you exit the app. Firefox, who has built a reputation for taking privacy and security seriously, also offers this feature out of the box but there is no way to customize the experience.

So, what can be done? Addons. That’s the answer. But first…

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1. Firefox Settings

Open Firefox and go to Options from the menu icon. This is called Settings in other browsers but also preferences in Firefox for some reason. Click on Privacy & Security and toggle on Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed option. You can choose to either delete all cache files manually here, click on Manage Data to delete individual site cache files selectively or choose to delete them all automatically when you close Firefox.

delete cache in firefox automatically

Scroll a little more and you will find History heading. Enable Clear history when Firefox closes and disable all other options. That’s when you will see the Settings button appear on the right. Click on that.

auto delete firefox history 6

In the pop-up that follows, you can control exactly what you want to be deleted automatically in Firefox when you shut it down. This includes browsing and download history, cache, cookies, what you entered in forms or search bars, and active login sessions. You can now auto delete Firefox history along with some other types of sensitive data.

auto delete firefox history 7

That’s a lot of control and while all that is cool, there is no way to control the number of days you want to do it for. For example, what if you want to auto delete Firefox browsing history and cache after a certain number of days? Different users, different needs. This is why we are now going to look at some addons and see if we can find a better way to manage our data.

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2. History Cleaner

History Cleaner is the first addon in the list that will help you auto delete Firefox history on exit without using Private Mode. Click on the link below to open the addon page and download and install it.

firefox install addon

Open the addons page on Firefox. You can go to the settings page directly or type about:addons and hit Enter in the address bar. Click on Options next to the History Cleaner. You won’t see the addon icon in the browser like you usually do next to the address bar for other addons.

history cleaner options

Scroll a little to find the Number of days option. This is where you can determine the number of days you want to maintain the browsing history in Firefox.

how longer before history deleted automatically

By default, it is set to 0 days which means the moment you close the browser, not individual tab, all Firefox browsing history will be auto deleted. Don’t forget to save settings test everything to make sure it is working for you.

Download History Cleaner: Firefox

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3. Clear Cache

The first addon we discussed is good but it only solves part of the problem. You can auto delete Firefox history and have some more control over the process, but what about cache? Savvy users can use cache files or data to trace websites you have visited. Yikes. Clear Cache addon for Firefox will auto delete Firefox cache without using Private Mode. But there is a catch. You will have to press a button. Not a bad deal though. These two addons are safe to use together. Download and install it using the link below.

Open the addons page like you did last time in the above point. Select Options next to the Clear Cache addon.

clear cache options

There are two options here. You can choose to see a notification that’s nothing but a confirmation dialogue that cache has been deleted or not. The second option is to reload the active tab. When you delete the cache, you will be logged out of all active sessions. So if you are signed in to Facebook and it is open in a tab, it will be logged out and you may choose to either close that tab or reload it after the cache has been cleared. Unfortunately, no addon can auto delete both Firefox history and cache together with a way to control days option.

Once your settings are saved, you will either press the F9 keys (Command+F9 keys on macOS) or addon icon in the browser to clear the cache. That will also save you some RAM and HDD/SDD space as cache files are stored there.

Download Clear Cache: Firefox

Auto Delete Firefox History

Wondering what all data Firefox stores when you are browsing the wild web? Turns out, a lot. Fortunately, there are ways to delete this data and have more granular control over various aspects of the process. You just need to customize the default Firefox settings and then install the above addons to set it to the way you want. Shouldn’t take more than a few moments and you can then browse in peace.

Just to give you some more options, go check out History AutoDelete. Check it out.

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