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fotofundi

Lost Firefox History

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I use CCleaner Pro v.5.64.7613 and Firefox as my internet browser. CCleaner is set to automatically run overnight every Saturday before doing a complete system backup, NONE of the cleaning options shown under the Custom Clean Applications tab for Firefox are ticked (whereas all are ticked for Edge and most for Chrome and Internet Explorer, both of which get used only VERY occasionally). But after the overnight clean this week, ALL my Firefox history has dissapeared, including some sites that took me hours to track down!

How do I get them back- or have they gone forever? 

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First thing to try is to look if Firefox has made backups of your bookmarks that are still there.
Open the Firefox menu and select Library>Bookmarks>Show all Bookmarks.
From the toolbar in the window select Import and Backup and hover on Restore.
That will show a list of any bookmark backups that Firefox has made; simply click one to restore it.

Unfortunately there is no backup for history, but try searching in File Explorer for 'Places.sqlite' which is where Firefox stores your browsing history.
(To make searching quicker it should be in: %Userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{yourprofileID}\places.sqlite).
Right click it to get Properties, open the 'Previous versions' tab and see if Windows has stored any previous versions to restore.
image.png

 

However CCleaner shouldn't be deleting your bookmarks, so a few questions:
Is your CCleaner Home Screen set to Health Check or Custom Clean? (It's in Options>Settings).
What FireFox version do you have?
Have you recently 'Refreshed Firefox?
Have you recently Updated Firefox?
What operating system are you using?

(PS. Firefox may have moved where it stores bookmarks to an area that gets cleaned, it's happened at least once before back in 2017).

This may be a bit late, but how to backup your Firefox in future:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-firefox-bookmarks-to-backup-or-transfer
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles

You could also consider seting up a Mozilla account and syncing your Firefox settings to it.

 

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Thanks for the explanation, but it did not happened in previous weeks so I looked in my Options menu and yes, Health Check was selected - but not by me!

Has there been an update during the past week where Health Check has been set as the default home screen, or could an update have changed the setting in some way? If so I must disable automatic updates.

Whatever the cause it seems I have lost all my history. Having done a System Restore in an attempt to recover history (no success) it did recover all my bookmarks - thank goodness, so not all my work has not been lost.

I have just run Health Check and found there are ways to stop it deleting history etc. but unless a user is made aware of this it will do exactly what it has done to me. There should be a WARNING about using the Health Check option, and it should be made clear that selecting Health Check for 'CCleaner Home Screen' as shown in your reply above, means HC will be used whenever CCleaner is scheduled to run.

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Good to hear you got the bookmarks back.
Don't forget to follow the links above and make backups now, just in case.

I had guessed that you had Health Check set as the CCleaner default cleaning method.
(It may have got set that way when you updated to v5.64).

Scheduled cleans will use whichever cleaning method is set as the default, so your overnight clean has used Health Check.

To change which method CCleaner uses as the default, and so for scheduled cleans, go to Otions>Settings and change the 'CCleaner Home Screen'.

Health Check has a simplified user interface, and what it cleans follows it's own cleaning rules.

The Ticking/Unticking of things (such as Firefox components) in the Custom Clean area are settings for Custom Clean only.

The Custom Clean Settings are not, and will not, be used by Health Check.
You cannot change the settings Health Check will use.

Health Check will always use it's own built-in cleaning rules each and every time that you run it.
Look at the Icons -
Custom Clean icon has a little 'settings' cogwheel to show you can change it's settings, - Health Check icon doesn't because you can't change it's settings.

With a manual run you can untick things after HC has analyzed, but with a scheduled clean that's not an option.

If you want more control of just what is cleaned or not by ticking/unticking the Custom Clean options then you have to use Custom Clean itself to clean.

Having said all that HC should not be removing your Firefox Bookmarks. (History yes, but not bookmarks).
I run it quite a bit for testing user issues and it has never deleted my Firefox Bookmarks.
I've just realised though that I have been aborting after the analyze and not let HC complete a clean since Firefox updated to v74.0 earlier this week.
IAs said it has been known in the past for Firefox to move where it stores bookmarks so suddenly they start getting cleaned by CCleaner. They did it in 2017.
Time for testing/investigation. (After I've backed up my current bookmarks).

 

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Sorry but I've now done some testing and I can't reproduce your issue.

Whatever I've tried I can't get CCleaner to remove Firefox Bookmarks. Which it shouldn't do.
History get's wiped, but HC is supposed to do that. So is Custom Clean if you tick 'Internet History' for Firefox.

What else were you running overnight?
You say a full system backup, but just what else do you run overnight before/after doing that?

We may have to put it down as just one of those strange things that happens sometimes with computers that you can never track down a reason for.
But one more thought do you have Firefox set for Automatic Updates? And did it update last night?
Sometimes bookmarks go missing during a Firefox update, you often see it reported on the web..

Here's what I tried:

  1. I ran Custom clean analyze with everything Firefox ticked, no sign of places.sqlite being cleaned. (I didn't finish that clean).
  2. Switched the CCleaner Home Screen to HC and ran CC in debug mode. Opened Firefox and all my bookmarks were still there.
    (The debug log showed nothing unusual and definitely no bookmarks).
  3. Closed Firefox again, ran HC again in normal mode. Opened Firefox, bookmarks were still there.
  4. To more closely reproduce what you said you had done I left HC as default and set up a scheduled weekly clean. (to run 5 mins later).
    Watching Task Manager I saw CC open, run in the background, and close.
    Opening Firefox bookmarks were still there.
  5. Change the schedule time to run again, but this time after the clean restart Windows before opening Firefox.
    Opening Firefox bookmarks were still there.
  6. EDIT. Just for completeness:
    I've just also run a scheduled clean using Custom Clean as the default.
    Again all bookmarks were untouched.

CCleaner appears to be behaving correctly and leaving bookmarks alone, as it should do.

 

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Hi

The bookmarks issue was a little strange. When I first went to look at my bookmarks after discovering I had lost the history it (bookmarks) only contained 3 items. After doing a System Restore all my bookmarks were back (about 20), but why did it show those 3 before I ran System Restore and not the other 17?

Maybe System Restore didn't actually do anything and they were there all the time but Firefox didn't load them all on the first pass, or had time to update from my tablet via the cloud when I did the System Restore. We shall probably never know.

IMO the wording 'CCleaner Home Screen' in the Options is too vague and an odd choice of words when it could (and should) be 'CCleaner Default' - far more obvious and understandable.

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I agree that there should at least be a prominent warning that Health Check does it's own thing and takes no notice of the Custom Clean settings.

I also agree that making Health Check the default when installing/updating is a step backwards for CCleaner.
There should at least be the option given during an install, with a brief description of the differences.

Health Check is aimed at non-technical users but TBH they have dumbed it down too far, some of the wording used is infantile and confusing, and seeing some options to set in Custom Clean that then apparently don't work (because they are still using HC) is confusing some of them.

(In fact I've gone further and suggested that Health Check should be taken out of CCleaner altogether and released as a seperate app, it should have been developed as a seperate app it just doesn't belong in CCleaner proper).

But all that's up to the Piriform management, staff, and developers. (And probably Avast have their sticky fingers in there somewhere).

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7 minutes ago, nukecad said:

I agree that there should at least be a prominent warning that Health Check does it's own thing and takes no notice of the Custom Clean settings.

I also agree that making Health Check the default when installing/updating is a step backwards for CCleaner.
There should at least be the option given during an install, with a brief description of the differences.

Health Check is aimed at non-technical users but TBH they have dumbed it down too far, some of the wording used is infantile and confusing, and seeing some options to set in Custom Clean that then apparently don't work (because they are still using HC) is confusing some of them.

(In fact I've gone further and suggested that Health Check should be taken out of CCleaner altogether and released as a seperate app, it should have been developed as a seperate app it just doesn't belong in CCleaner proper).

But all that's up to the Piriform management, staff, and developers. (And probably Avast have their sticky fingers in there somewhere).

 

Agree with this 100%

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Having had this experience I agree entirely with your comments and that HC should be removed from the Pro version. It has no business being there.

Maybe someone can tell me to whom I should send a bill for my time lost in dealing with this problem and the many hours I'm going to have to spend finding those missing links because of their stupidity?  (some hope...... only governments can take on corporate incompetence these days)

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33 minutes ago, fotofundi said:

  the many hours I'm going to have to spend finding those missing links

Here you go :lol: (I think self-isolating is getting to me).
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Missing-Link-Hugh-Jackman/dp/B07Q78X77C

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Thanks

I knew there had to be an answer somewhere. Now all I need is a magic wand and a fairy godmother and self-isolation won't be so bad after all. 🤪

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