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Is there a way to set up Firefox in a way that it absolutely never removes any items from its history (automatically)?

In the past maybe there were a 'keep all history items', then you could set it from menu to a big integer like 999999999 in days.

Since, first unnoticed, this setting was gone, I currently resolved to backing up places.sqlite (on win, in %Appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<some-profilename>\places.sqlite).

Let's say I won't upgrade without checking that my backup method still works:

How can one today set Firefox v22 to keep all history items?

I've already set these values in about.config.

places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages;104858
places.history.expiration.transient_optimal_database_size;85534800

still I have bookmarks older than the oldest history item in the database; although I cannot recall when I set these settings!

So is this sufficient? Are these good values? Are there other or better ways to do this (eg. an addon).

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Why do you want to do this? (keep all history items ever, that is) –  Richard Sep 19 '13 at 13:49
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@Richard I remember doing things far away in the past but cannot recall exact URLs. I recall them longer than these artificial history file&time limit in history. Chances are I haven't bookmarked a site that was of no interest to me then but is of interest now. And I really don't like to start searching for something that I've already found once and found good enough to remember it, as time has told at this point. And I want to keep this data locally, because it's noone else's business. –  naxa Sep 19 '13 at 13:56
    
I can see why you would want to do this but I suspect you'll be running the risk that Firefox will clear out your history at some point, I can't see that the history list could just keep accumulating forever without impacting system performance. Personally I'd consider some external database of visited pages, but that is just me. Good luck! –  Richard Sep 19 '13 at 14:58
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Since the release of Firefox 4.0.x, the number of days Firefox will retain history for is directly related to system hardware. Firefox calculates how much history to retain without impacting system performance. You can't change it anymore. –  krowe Sep 21 '13 at 4:59
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reference for firefox deleting history based on system: wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Projects/Places_async_expiration –  Achal Dave Apr 6 at 22:12
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2 Answers

You could run a private Firefox Sync server, and set the History retain size to 1 GB, or something insane like that. As far as I know, it will not delete history, and you'll be able to see that entire history on any browser instance you sync.

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Where do I set the History retain size (in either Firefox or weave-minimal)? I've checked Firefox options/sync but I only saw quota read, and command-line options to weave-minimal but I haven't seen one regarding history retain size. –  naxa Oct 18 '13 at 6:50
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I had the same issue and I discovered a hacky way which you can read about here: http://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?t=3260

The tl;dr version is, use mozilla.cfg to lock the variable places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages to 2147483647 (the largest value accepted). The issue is that Firefox will change that setting automatically unless you lock it.

Note that mozilla.cfg does not work in Portable Firefox, so in such a situation I recommend using Portable Pale Moon instead (which does work with mozilla.cfg)

You can find info on using mozilla.cfg here: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Locking_preferences

This technically doesn't set it to keep history forever, but it'll retain a heck of a lot of entries. I currently have history going back 18 months now and my places.sqlite file (which retains the history) is over 150 MB (6 months ago it was about 100 MB, so for me I add 50MB every 6 months). Note that, with such large sizes, an SSD is HIGHLY recommended. If you don't have one then consider using a ramdisk + symbolic links instead (a ramdisk that saves data at timed intervals or at shutdown).

Also, it may be a good idea to make backups of your history file in case it borks out or something. Then again, it's a good idea to make entire hard drive backups as well...

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