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anyway how do I get firefox to remember my web history forever

@moonlit-tulip, you eventually gave up on getting this to work per se, right? Have you tried that repurpose-web-scraping-software-to-make-a-URL-archive idea yet?

I actually got indefinite history-saving working, a bit over a month ago! I’m not confident it’s going to stay working forever—they already broke it on me the once, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did so again eventually—but, for the moment, I’ve got essentially three tricks, in ascending order of difficulty.

First: go into settings, and in the History section, set it to “Firefox will: Remember history”. This is the default for that setting, so it’s probably not a concern; but, if you changed it in the past for whatever reason, changing it back will ensure that your history gets saved and doesn’t get deleted after the end of each browser session.

Second: in about:config, change the value of places.history.expiration.max_pages from its default value to a very large number of your choice. (I went with 2147483647, because that’s the maximum and I didn’t see any reason not to.) By default, Firefox has a limit on how many history entries it will store, and will start auto-deleting the oldest ones as you open new pages; I don’t know of any way to avoid the limit entirely, but setting that number high enough is the next-best thing. Supposedly your browser will start slowing down as it saves more history entries, though, so… be warned? (I haven’t experienced this firsthand, but also I only discovered that setting a bit over a month ago, so my history hasn’t had much time to build up yet.)

Third: use BrowsingHistoryView to export your history to CSV, and update your backup every few months, such that if Firefox does start deleting older history again you won’t lose what you’ve got. If your history is anywhere near as large as mine, the resulting CSV files will likely be large and annoying to work with; but it’s still worth it, as least for me, for the peace-of-mind value it gives.

hmm well they’ve probably been monkeying with it, then, because I actually have slightly different about:config stuff here – specifically I’m seeing only a transient current max pages, which won’t let me put in a number nearly that large (I’m on 78.0.2).

the search continues!

There’s a plus sign button at the bottom right of the config interface; if you do a search for places.history.expiration.max_pages, set the type to “number”, and then click that plus sign, it’ll create the entry. At that point it should work as I described; I’m on the same Firefox version, so there shouldn’t be any underlying differences interfering.

(I’d forgotten, at the time of the previous reblog, needing to create the entry myself like that. But, in retrospect, I’m pretty sure I actually did need to.)


#101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #conversational aglets #the more you know #amnesia cw?

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