Not So Obvious Firefox How To’s

Although I regularly “clean up” my Firefox’s forms/search history, browsing/download history, cache, cookies and all that at work for privacy reasons, I tend to be more lenient when it comes to my home PC. However, you can never be too overconfident that you are totally safe from everything. There is a wealth of personal information that can be taken from your Firefox history and these are not protected by encryption or other secure means. It is always a good idea to clear a few things you do not want lying around.

Case 1: Accidentally typing your password in the username field

I’m sure this happens a lot. No matter how careful, there is always that chance that we make mistakes. We are only human after all. While you don’t want to delete everything, how do you selectively delete form history from Firefox? It is simple.

Go to that page where you accidentally typed your password in the username field. Double-click the username field so that all available choices are displayed. Highlight that entry using the mouse or up/down arrow keys. Press Delete once. Voila! Now it’s gone. Test it by double-clicking on the field again. You will no longer see that entry anymore.

Case 2: Delete browsing history selectively

Aha! So you’ve been naughty, visiting not-so-friendly sites that are not for general patronage, eh? Don’t want to let your girlfriend catch you red-handed. How do you delete those sites from the history?

Click the Firefox Location Bar (Alt+D or Ctrl+L) then start typing the domain of the site you want to delete. When Firefox starts showing your browsing history for that site from a list, highlight that entry using the mouse or up/down arrow keys. Press Delete. That particular site is now gone from your browsing history.

If you want all browsing history of that site gone press keys Ctrl+H or Shift+Ctrl+H to invoke the History list. From there type the site you want to delete in the search box. From the results, right click any of the site’s URL and then select Forget About This Site. This will delete all of the browshing history of that particular site. Repeat if necessary should there be any leftovers.

Case 3: Delete cookies selectively

This one is a bit obvious and you may have already seen this from the Firefox Preferences under Privacy.

Click on Remove Individual Cookies. When the dialog window appears, type the name of the domain. Entries will appear as you type. Select whatever cookie you want to delete or Select All then press Remove Cookie.

All this just to hide a few things about your browsing habits, yes? This is where Firefox’s Private Browsing (Shift+Ctrl+P) feature comes in very handy. You can use the said feature so that you can browse the Internet without Firefox saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited.

Oh.. . and in case you’ve always wondered what is the shortcut key for the Firefox Search Bar.. . it is Ctrl+K. Somehow, I still end up using Alt+D then Tab once, because it can be done with one hand.

Private Browsing allows you to browse the Internet without saving any information about which sites and pages you’ve visited

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Notice: This article was published on August 6, 2011 and the content above may be out of date.