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Understand Clearing the Address Bar AutoComplete from Firefox

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/30/2010

AutoComplete makes browsing easier. But not everyone likes it. If your friend asks "How do I clear the address bar in Firefox?", you can provide the steps in removing a site or all sites' information in Firefox ,so that AutoComplete will no longer display it in the address bar.

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    Firefox, AutoComplete and Address Bar

    How do i clear the address bar in firefox? The Firefox browser let users enjoy the Internet without having to manually type the URL or website address, if the browser has the information ready in its library. The library in Firefox contains information about browsing history, bookmarks and tags.

    When Firefox is configured to remember bookmarks, history or tags, the AutoComplete feature in Firefox allows an end-user to simply type a letter or two and to start choosing from the drop-down menu of the address bar for the site or page a person wants to visit or view again. If a Firefox user has not cleaned any of the information from Firefox, the list of web address will grow, and it can confuse users with all the web addresses in the URL. Alternatively, a user might find out which sites another local user has been visiting. If someone asks "How do I clear the address bar in Firefox?", you can describe some steps to clean-up the address bar using Firefox or third-party software.

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    Privacy Options in Firefox

    Firefox Remembers Everything By Default! By default, the privacy option in Firefox is set to remember the browsing history. The browsing history, if not cleared, is visible to anyone who uses the browser, or even if Firefox is set to run using the Private Browsing feature.

    If you are using Firefox with the default settings, any website that you visited or added in the bookmark is added to the Firefox library. The Firefox library keeps the information so you can conveniently surf the Internet or visit previously visited websites using the AutoComplete feature.

    The AutoComplete feature in Firefox works in the address and search bars. The image below is an example how it works. Typing a character in the address bar will allow a user to choose among the library entries in Firefox that contain the character, for which page to load. Again, this information is visible, even if you use Firefox using the Private Browsing feature:Firefox AutoComplete Feature by typing a letter or two 

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    How Do I Clear the Address Bar in Firefox?

    Clearing the address bar in Firefox is simple, but remember that Firefox keeps the information ready based on your browser settings, which means after clearing the address bar in Firefox, it will have information again when you next use Firefox to browse the Internet.

    Choose any of the following methods to keep your privacy private or run maintenance in Firefox:

    Deleting a single web address in the address bar

    • In the address bar of Firefox, click the drop-down menu to show the lists of webpage; or type any letter that points to an address that you wish to delete.
    • Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to highlight the address and click the delete key on the keyboard to delete an item in the address bar.

    Deleting the content of the address bar in Firefox

    • Click the "Tools" menu in Firefox
    • Select "Clear Recent History"; the "Clear Recent History" window will be displayed.
    • Click the "Details" button to show the list of information that you want Firefox to clear, and then choose which information to delete; Browsing and history, cookies, cache, active logins, and site preferences.
    • In the "Time range to clear", select the option you want to clear; everything, the last two to four hours, todays' history, etc.
    • Click the "Clear now" button.

    Deleting only the information by website

    If you prefer keeping some information by some websites; e.g. cookies, logins and site preferences, but wish to delete the information of a single or few sites, the "Clear Recent History" is not the option to choose. You need to open the library of Firefox to manage any websites that Firefox remembers:

    • Click the "History" menu in Firefox, and select "Show all history"
    • The library window of Firefox will be displayed. Type in the search box the name of a site that you want to manage or clear or simply choose from the left pane.Firefox Library to Clear Information of a Website 
    • Right-click the web site in the list, and then select "Forget About This Site". Firefox will now clear all the save information for that particular website, but not the other information of the websites that you wish to keep.

    Clear the Address Bar in Firefox Using CCleanerCCleaner Clear Address Bar in Firefox 

    The free privacy cleaner, CCleaner lets you clear the browsing history, cookies and other information in Firefox. However, if configured to, it does clear the bookmarks or the information for sites, but everything will be deleted.

    Image credits: Firefox logo from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Firefox_LiNsta.png, screenshot taken by the author.