To clean up Firefox, start by clicking on the Settings button near the top-right corner, it’s the three horizontal bars just under the X (Close) button. A menu will open, click on the Options button (it looks like a gear). A new box will open with a set of buttons across the top. Click on the General button and set your homepage. Be default, Firefox has it’s own start page with a search box, but if you want to use another page simple type the address in the field provided.
Next we want to check the Search settings by clicking on the Search button. The first option will allow you to set the default search engine. Firefox currently recommend Yahoo Search and sets it as the default search engine automatically but you can easily set another. Below the default search engine you will see a list of alternate “one-click” search engines. To remove any that don’t belong, click to select and hit the Remove button. You can also click on the Restore Default Search Engines to put things back to normal.
For the next step, click on the Privacy button. Here we can set our Tracking preferences. Typically you will want to choose the option to “Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked.”
Below the Tracking section is the History section. Click on the blue text that says “clear your recent history.” A new box will open entitled Clear Recent History. At the top is a drop-down list to select how far back you want to clear. Select whichever option you want, although Everything is the most often selected option. Once that is done, select which items you want cleared. While you can select whichever items you’d like, we typically recommend removing the following items: Browsing & Download History, Form & Search History, Cookies, Cache, and Offline Website Data. After you have made your selection, click on Clear Now.
Now that you’ve cleared the browsing history it’s time to check out your Extensions. Close the Options screen and click on the Settings button again. This time you will want to click on the Add-ons button. This will open a new tab with a menu on the left. Click on Extensions. Firefox doesn’t have any extensions pre-installed, so if there are any in this list that didn’t knowingly install, they should be removed. To do this, click on the Remove button on the right side of the extension.
Next, check the Appearance and Services sections and follow the same procedure.
Finally we will check the Plugins section. Firefox handles plugins very well by setting known, unsafe plugins to ask to activate. If you see any in the list that are marked unsafe, you will need to remove them from the Add/Remove Programs list in Windows Control Panel. To do this, write right down the name of the plugin you want to remove and close Firefox. Next, click on the Start button, then Control Panel, then Uninstall Programs. Scroll through the list to find the entry you want, then select it by clicking on it. Now click the Uninstall button and follow the prompts. Remember to read the prompts as they come up so that you actually remove the plugin and don’t accidentally install more unwanted items!
Good job, you have now successfully cleaned Firefox!
This is the last of three articles in which we have shared how you can clean up Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. We realize, however, that some of our readers would rather we do their computer cleanup for them. Give us a call if we can assist you! 715-255-0325.