Tag Archives | tutorial

How to Clear Private Data in Firefox

Clear Private DataWorried somebody is going to snoop around on what you are doing from within Firefox?  Have no fear!  Although private browsing hasn’t made its way to Firefox yet, you can still clear your private data in Firefox very easily.

What is Firefox Saving About Me?

Now the first question you may have is what type of content is saved by Firefox?

  • Browsing History: contains a log web locations you have previously visited.
  • Download History: keeps a list of files you’ve downloaded.
  • Saved Form and Search History: contains a list of phrases you have entered in text fields, such as web searches, and name and address fields.
  • Cache: stores temporary files, such as web pages and other online media, that you have downloaded from the Internet.
  • Cookies: stores files created by web sites, that store information on your computer, such as your preferences when visiting that site. (When a web site has a “remember this” check box, they are using a cookie.)
  • Offline Website Data: information web sites have stored on your computer for use without an internet connection.
  • Saved Passwords: contains a list of user names and passwords you have opted to have Firefox remember.
  • Authenticated Sessions: keeps you logged into secure web sites, you have already used the password manager to log in to.

Firefox makes it very simple to clear a few or all of these settings.  From the top of Firefox, in the menu bar – select Tools > Clear Private Data.  (You can also pull this up by using the keyboard combination Ctrl + Shift + Del )  Check mark the data you want to clear, then click on Clear Private Data Now, to clear the data; or click on Cancel, to close the Clear Private Data window, without clearing any private data.

How to Automate the Private Data Cleaning

I have my Firefox set to clear certain private data when I close Firefox.  To do this, go to Tools > Options and then click on the Privacy Tab.  From there, look at the settings listed under Private Data.  you have the option to:

  • Always clear my private data when I close Firefox
  • Ask me before clearing private data

Clicking on the “Settings” will allow you to choose what is cleared when you exit Firefox.

Troubleshooting Firefox Problems

safe-mode Firefox works fine, but then the worst might happen (even to you!).  Something goes wonky and Firefox goes from a browsing tool to an annoyance.  So how exactly do you troubleshoot an issue with Firefox?

For most people, I would suggest trying to run Firefox in Safe Mode first.  You can use the command line:  firefox -safe-mode to get there (for Windows users).

On Linux, you can go to your Terminal and run (for Firefox): /path/to/firefox/firefox -safe-mode

On Mac OS X, go to Utilities (in the Applications folder) and open Terminal, then run (for Firefox): /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -safe-mode

From there you can disable add-ons, reset toolbars and controls, reset bookmarks to Firefox defaults, reset all user preferences to Firefox defaults and restore the default search engines.

What if Safe Mode Does Not Help?

If that does not do the trick for you, you might want to try opening up a clean profile to see if you are still getting the problem.  Check out this previous post to fine out how to launch the profile manager to do so.

Key thing to remember here is if it is a problem with all of your Firefox profiles (your current one or a new one) then you might want to backup and do a clean install of Firefox.  If not, then you might be able to cure you problem by creating a new profile for yourself to use from now on.

Installing Firefox Themes from New Sources

Installing ThemesAfter suggesting a few alternative download links the other day for Firefox themes, I had a few people e-mail me and asking, “How do I install these themes on DeviantArt?”.

Well, with DeviantArt and other places where you download a zip there is an easy (yet a little longer) install process.

For an example, lets say we just downloaded Castripe-iga 2.2 for Firefox. Now you have a zipped up file sitting on your desktop and you don’t know what to do next. First I want you to open up that zipped up folder and search for a .jar file. Drag that out of the zip file and onto your desktop (or export the file from your zip archive, different unzipping programs might do this differently).

Once that is done, open up Firefox – then go to Tools > Addons > Themes

Next drag and drop that .jar file you found earlier and put it inside of the window where you see all of the themes listed. A new familiar box will pop up saying that you have new software to install. If you have installed extensions or themes before – this window should look awful familiar.

Then, the only thing left to do is install it, restart Firefox – pick it as your theme and then restart Firefox again. Once that has been done your new theme should be installed.

Tip: Always check the .zip file you download for a “read me” file with any special instructions. This can save you a lot of time down the road and might give you more tips on how to personalize the theme a little more.

How Does Firefox Handle RSS Feeds?

With the release of Firefox 2, the browser has done a much better job with handling RSS feeds.

Instead of throwing you up a bunch of random XML code they actually give you a pretty nice interface to learn from and use when clicking on that little orange subscription button you see on all the Web sites these days.

For an example, let’s use the RSS feed for Firefox Facts:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/firefoxfacts

Now when you launch that in Firefox, you will be given a clean easy to read interface. You can see all the latest links and summeries from Firefox Facts and at the top you will have a few subscription options. You can use one of the exteneral RSS feed readers on the list or you can choose to add it as a Live Bookmark.

What is a Live Bookmark? Here is how the Mozilla team describes it:

Whether it’s news from CNN and the BBC, or posts on your friend’s blog, the Web is updated continually. Firefox’s Live Bookmarks feature automatically keeps track of these updates for you, so you always know when new content has been added to your favorite sites. With Live Bookmarks, the content comes to you. Instead of constantly checking Web pages for changes and additions, a Live Bookmark delivers updates to you as soon as they are available.

Another way to gain access to a Web site’s RSS feed is to look for the little orange RSS icon in the address bar. Depending on what theme you use it might look a little different but when you click on it it should give you a few subscription options. If you select to add it as a live bookmark – it opens up the previously mentioned styled RSS feed.

There is one more RSS in Firefox option I’d like to share with you. To configure a few things about how Firefox handles RSS feeds navigate yourself to Menu > Tools > Options… and then click on the tab for “Feeds”. From here you can choose if you want to get a preview of the feed everytime you see an RSS feed in the browser or you can set it to automatically subscribe using the Live Bookmark system or any other RSS reader out there (both Online and Offline).

There is more than one way to skin a cat and there is more than one way to subscribe to your favorite RSS feeds in Firefox. For a few more subsciption options for Firefox Facts please check out the Subscription Links Web page at FirefoxFacts.com.

Create Your Own Firefox Theme

iPox RemixTwisterMc is already one of my favorite Firefox theme designers. All of his work always seems to have it’s own individual characteristics and quirks that make it unique as well. So when it comes to learning how to make your own Firefox theme, why not learn from one of the best?

iPox Remix hopes to be a new starting point for people who want to design their own theme, but don’t know where to get started at first. You can download the entire theme via his Web site, and over time he promises to push a few more tutorials and updates so you have something to do with that customizable theme. What are the requirements?

You’ll need to know how to create or edit images to customize your theme. That may be using Photoshop, Fireworks, GIMP or another graphics application. If you know CSS, that’ll help a lot to, but it’s not required. Without CSS knowledge, you’ll be limited to the edits you can make.

+ Learn More on the iPox Remix Web Page! (via TwisterMc.com)

Foxmarks Backing Up Walkthrough

You have probably heard about Foxmarks before, but have you used it yourself?

I know several people who have said it is a little too complicated for them. I don’t think they really gave it a shot though. It doesn’t have to be difficult. For those of you out there that need a helping hand the people at Lifehacker have put together a pretty darn good tutorial on the subject.

Foxmarks lets you easily back up your bookmarks to the Foxmarks server and sync them to any browser with the extension installed. Today I’ll detail how to use the Foxmarks extension to back up and sync your bookmarks to your own personal FTP server, whether it’s with a hosted account or your own home server.

+ Check Out the Full Guide at Lifehacker!

Detect Firefox Compatible Search Engines

Firefox will find search engines for you!

One nice feature of Firefox 2 that i think gets overlooked by a lot of people, is the quick and easy way you can find new search engines via the browser. When a Web site has made a Firefox 2 compatible search, your search bar should glow or so something else (I think it changes from theme to theme). Not sure what to look for?

The folks over at Lifehacker have put together a video to watch just in case you are not sure. Worth watching – just to make sure!

Free Extention Writer’s Guide

I am always interested in reading new guides and reviews on how folks can make their own extensions. I guess one of these days I might even try it out myself. My only time is I would have to find the time in the day to do it. The folks over at Extend Firefox have put together a great guide that is worth checking out. If I ever was to write an extension, this is the guide that would help me get it done.

Due to the recent surge in the number of Firefox users around the world, the interest in developing well-written extensions has become a goal of many individuals. Unfortunately, many of the tutorials currently online provide enough information to get users writing simple “Hello, World” extensions, and leaves you hanging on developing more interesting projects. The goal of this tutorial is to provide the reader with the information and resources to write feature-filled, Mozilla-compliant, extensions.

+ Read More About the Guide to Writing Your First Extension!

Users Guide to the Firefox 2

Another great Firefox 2 guide has been released. This time around Kyle’s Cove gives you the best rundown about the newest member of the Mozilla family.

An overwhelming share of the web browser market has been held by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for close to a decade now, but for the past two years their market share has been steadily declining in favor of the upstart web browser Firefox. This guide is designed to give you everything you need to know to get the most out of the Firefox 2.0 web browser.

+ Check Out the Firefox 2 Users Guide!

Free Backup Utility for Firefox

I have talked about it before, but it is worth mentioning again. MozBackup is simply the best backup utilitiy for Firefox. It is the only one I have been able to get to backup everything as well as restore. Most tools either do one or the other really well – MozBackup does both with no issues at all.

Over at Firefoxrawx, they have posted a really nice tutorial on how to backup using MozBackup. It is worth looking at if backing up is something that has always scared you.