HOWTO remove form field completion values in Firefox

By default, Firefox will remember what you type in form fields, and will offer auto-completion of the field the next time you are faced with the same form field. In general, this is useful, but sometimes you may not want an entry remembered. Using the ‘Clear Private Settings’ option in the Preference Dialog you can clear all save form values, but what if you only want to remove one value?

As an example, I just logged into GMail a few minutes ago. On my first attempt, I fat-fingered something and ended up typing my password into the user name field, and pressing Enter. At this point both my username (from prior logins) and my password were cached by Firefox. A malicious user who obtained access to my computer could visit the GMail log-in page, and simply press [down arrow] in the user name field to see both my username and password. I could clear all saved form fields, but I’d rather just remove the password from that field’s saved values.

In IE for Windows, after using [down arrow] to select an item from the drop-down list of remembered values, you can press Delete to remove the item from the list of stored values. This doesn’t work in Firefox; however, a little experimenting revealed that shift-Delete provides the same function in Firefox ( for OS X). I’ll test this on Firefox for Windows tomorrow at work, and update this post.

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16 Responses to “HOWTO remove form field completion values in Firefox”

  1. Simon Says:

    Well, how amazing that I should search for this only a day after you posted it (having made exactly the same error), and hey presto! It works.

    Thank you very much.

  2. ashish Says:

    Here’s what you do:

    1. Navigate Firefox to the form containing the field that has a saved value that you want to delete.
    2. Click on the text field to that your cursor is in the text field with the value you want to delete.
    3. Press the down arrow on your keyboard until the bad value is highlighted.
    4. Press Shift+Delete together and the value will be removed from the saved form history.
  3. Christopher Says:

    Thanks! This worked perfectly.

  4. lisa Says:

    mucho mucho gracias. same as simon’s – i made the same error and googled for relief, found your weblog and presto! many many thanks

  5. Gonzalo Says:

    Thank you for this gem of a hint! I have wanted to do this for a long time; it works like a charm on Firefox 2 under linux.

    Best regards.

  6. tom Says:

    Thank you! Merci beaucoup! Danke schön!

  7. Alessandro Says:

    Simply thanks!

  8. Peter Says:

    Amazing that I’ve been using an SQLite editor to accomplish the same task for so long when Shift-Del accomplishes the same task.

    You’ve made me out to be the fool… and I thank you for it.

  9. Andrew Says:

    Wow, this has been driving me nuts for ages, and the solution is so simple! Thank you!

  10. Derek Says:

    Super handy! Thanks!

  11. Ricard Says:

    Just found this info, as some above posters have mentioned, this has been an irritating issue for me for some time. Thanks!

  12. Tim McCoy Says:

    Running Firefox 3.6.1x on RHEL5 Control delete does the deletion; shift delete is the same.

  13. Jean RICHELLE Says:

    Great thank you very much. It works for Firefox 4 on OSX.

  14. Wojtek Says:

    Thanks a lot! Confirmed on Firefox 7.0.1 on Windows XP.

  15. Funk Says:

    Thanks! I’m glad someone out there helps us fix our mistakes.

  16. Trvlta Says:

    I wish I would have searched for this a long time ago. Such and easy fix for a simple type O!!!!