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I lost a load of open tabs in Firefox that I want to recover. The details are in the browsing history but it is not the most friendly area of Firefox to wade through. The Export option there actually exports bookmarks. I want to export my browsing history as a text file so I can search, dedup, etc in a text editor. I can not work out a way of exporting the browsing history so any suggestions much appreciated.

Firefox 3.5.5 Windows XP Pro

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As for me, this addon works. But this SQLite Browser, recommended by John T was unable to open my 20 Mb file – Anton Kovalenko May 13 '11 at 9:02 it saves the opened tabs, so you can restore them after a crash, even if firefox would lose them. – inf3rno Aug 7 at 1:46

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Browsing history is stored in a file called places.sqlite in your profile folder. On Windows it is located in the randomly named .default folder found in this directory:


This file format is not easily edited in a text file, but you can use SQLite Database Browser (free and open source) to view the file.

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That's a start at least (an impressive one, at that.) I had to play around to see for myself. It looks like select * from moz_places order by id desc; would give you an in-app list of your recorded browsing history sorted from newest to oldest. But, if you want to extract the data for manipulation you'll have to do File | Export | Table as CSV File and then open it in OpenOffice Calc or Excel and twiddle from there. – JMD Dec 11 '09 at 16:34
+1 JMD and thanks for extra help. I was not 100% sure on what do do with the DB!! – ianfuture Jan 7 '10 at 11:34

For modern era (it's March 2014 as I write this) Firefox users on Windows machines, you can give Nirsoft's Firefox History Viewer a try:

Not sure if it can read the (very old and outdated) history.dat format, but it can filter, slice, dice, chop, puree, scramble, and otherwise do all kinds of fancy things (but it cannot make your coffee and serve it to you, sorry!) with the history data in the "places.sqlite" format, and then export it to several common formats ranging from text to html to csv to xml to whatever.

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Use the History Export add-on which can export to .html, .txt and .json (this also work on Mac OS X, though doesn't appear to support formats besides .txt)

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"History Export" addon is no longer available. – netjeff Oct 10 '14 at 15:47

An alternative to what's listed here is the add-on "Enhanced History Manager", which essentially allows you to do what you're talking about.

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Mind adding a link to the extension you mention? – slhck Jun 6 '11 at 20:10
You won't find this via a Firefox add-on search for its name – tog22 Jun 29 '12 at 11:21
My concern is this software is massively out of date (2005). – wonea Nov 20 '12 at 9:20

You can try using FEBE addon, which provides backups of many itens, including the history as JSON file.

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions. In fact, it goes beyond just backing up -- It will actually rebuild your extensions individually into installable .xpi files.

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Thanks for the info. JakeGould improved your answer while I was commenting. Just FYI, the site's standards have changed a bit since this question was posted. The guidelines for software recommendations are described here. Nobody's going to hold you to a higher standard than other answers on this old question. But on a question without pre-existing "low quality" (by current standards) answers, posting barely more than a link is likely to attract downvotes. – fixer1234 Sep 5 at 18:12
Thanks for the complementation, i did not have time to read the (meta) subforums. But the other answers do not satisfy this question today, since they have unavaliables addons and other programs that require more work for a trivial thing. – João José Sep 11 at 0:42

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