History setting of 0 days stores history forever




Bookmarks & History
9 years ago
9 years ago


(Reporter: Eric Moore, Unassigned)


Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




9 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009032609 Firefox/3.0.8
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009032609 Firefox/3.0.8

I'm using Firefox 3.0.8 with a profile I created while using an earlier version of Firefox 3.x. Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> History has a check mark next to "keep my history for at least" X "days". X is set to zero. "Remember what I enter in the forms and search bar" and "remember what I've downloaded (download statusbar)" are unchecked.

Searching for history in about:config returns the following modified settings:

browser.history_expire_days_min is set to 0
browser.history_expire_days.mirror is set to 180
downbar.function.keepHistory is set to false 
privacy.cpd.history is set true

I have no idea what browser.history_expire_days.mirror is but I don't remember setting it. I disabled the history via the GUI, not about:config.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
note: I set Reproducibility: to "happens every time" since I see the problem every time I start Firefox. I have not cleared the history yet.  
Actual Results:  
It appears to store my browsing history forever. I have hundreds of entries in the history sidebar under "Older than 6 days".

Expected Results:  
It would not store any history in places.sqlite, and if I exited and restarted Firefox prior browsing would not show up in the history sidebar or as suggestions for the address bar. 

Note that I'm not trying to have it clear my history when I exit Firefox, I don't want it to EVER store my history on the hard disk. I would prefer it didn't store my history in memory too, but assume that requires "private browsing" in the 3.5 beta.

I didn't have this problem with an earlier version of Firefox 3.x. I had excessive disk i/o problems so I disabled both the history and checking for phishing. At that time I was very conscious of whether history was being saved. 
I had a couple of minor automatic upgrades and no longer paid any attention to whether my history was being stored or not until I noticed that old URL's that were not in my bookmarks were being suggested when I typed in a URL in the address bar.

browser.safebrowsing.enabled , browser.safebrowsing.malware.enabled and browser.safebrowsing.remoteLookups are set to false.

places.sqlite is 2588KB. bookmarks-2009-04-08.json is 645KB.
This is the intended behavior, and this is why the preference is labeled as it is.  We are keeping *at least* zero days of history.
Last Resolved: 9 years ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID

Comment 2

9 years ago
It would have been nice to have told me what settings to use to have it do what I expected rather than just tell me its working as designed. Especially since an earlier version of Firefox 3 used to do what I expected until I got a minor update.

I unchecked the Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> History setting and noticed browser.history_expire_days is now set to zero. However, http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.history_expire_days states "Mozilla keeps a set number of days of history. History entries older than that are removed. This preference determines the point at which history entries are expired and removed." I don't want the history removed, I don't want it ever stored. How can I do that without running the risk of the behavior silently changing again the next time I get a minor update?
unchecking the beckbos is enough for your purpose, that will disable history.
s/beckbos/checkbox/, sorry for typo.
For what it is worth, we didn't change anything that would impact history storing like you describe in a minor release.
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