15 July 2008

Firefox Profile Size

Ever wondered why your Firefox profile is still at least a few MB even after you do a "Clean Private Data"? The culprit might be phishing filter database which helps you warn about phishing websites. I was checking my Firefox profile size and found out that it was more than 50MB even after cleaning the cache and all other private data. I went into the profile and noticed that the urlclassifier3.sqlite was 58MB! I didn't know what the file did, so I went on to the knowledgebase article and learnt it was the phishing filter database file.

This database can, overtime become fragmented and be of a size much larger than its real size. An easy way to get it back to the real size is to delete it (I renamed it and later deleted after everything was fine). Shut down Firefox. Firefox should download the database file again from Google at next startup. Below are the file sizes before and after deleting.

user@localhost 21:11:34 {nzkgcf5p.default} $> du -sch urlclassifier*
5.3M urlclassifier2.sqlite
53M urlclassifier3.sqlite
4.0K urlclassifierkey3.txt
58M total
user@localhost 21:42:00 {nzkgcf5p.default} $> du -sch urlclassifier*
20M urlclassifier3.sqlite
4.0K urlclassifierkey3.txt
20.1M total

So that is more than 50% reduction in size! Is there any way to set Firefox to do this automatically? It would be really great for people using remote profiles.

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