Hack 8. Flush and Clear Absolutely Everything
Paranoid about Firefox's tendency to store things about web pages? Reset your browser back to zero.
You might be confident that Firefox can reset itself for you, or you might only be happy if you scrub the decks for yourself. You can do it either way. A further decision you're faced with is this: do you want to clear out just the data that Firefox has stored, or do you also want to clear out all modifications to the browser since it was first installed?
1.10.1. Dispose of Ordinary Web Surfing Information
For web development activity, that's all you really need to do.
1.10.2. Dispose of Everything Else via the User Interface
You can also flush out all your security records:
Finally, if you want to remove all your bookmarks and customizations, open the Bookmark Manager from the Bookmarks menu. Click on all itemsexcept for the item labeled Bookmarks Toolbar Folder and its immediate parentand press Delete. Under the Tools menu, choose first Extensions and then Themes. In each resulting window, uninstall everything. Finally, under ViewToolbarsCustomize, click Restore Default Set, and then click Done.
Shut down Firefox and make sure no extra Firefox processes are still hanging around. Restart, and everything's as clean as you could hope for by using this method.
1.10.3. Dispose of Everything via the Filesystem
First, shut down Firefox completely. Then, under Unix/Linux, delete the folder ~/.mozilla. Under Microsoft Windows, delete the Mozilla folder that appears in the path to the Firefox profile; that's the one under Application Data. Similarly, under Mac OS X, delete the Mozilla folder. That removes nearly everything the user ever created. When you restart Firefox, a new, clean Mozilla folder is created with all the necessary files.
For a less extreme solution, navigate to the profile directory (the one with the weird, jumbled name) and delete these files: everything in the Cache folder; prefs.js; user.js; bookmarks.*; cookies.txt; downloads.rdf; formhistory.dat; history.dat; localstore.rdf; mimeTypes;rdf; search.rdf; and XUL.*.
1.10.4. Strip the Firefox Install Area of Extras
While cleaning house, you can also remove a few items from the Firefox install area:
1.10.5. See Also
There are a few small Registry files that we haven't covered in this hack. To go any further in chopping up the browser is to change its installation rather than just clean up. See Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 for deeper surgery on the Firefox installation.