How to convert all YouTube links from http:// to https:// in Firefox history

This blog post explains how to convert the protocol from http:// to https:// in YouTube URLs in the browsing history of a Mozilla Firefox profile. YouTube has recently started redirecting logged-in users from http:// to https:// . This conversion is useful in the following situation:

  • The user uses his Firefox browsing history to track which YouTube videos he has already seen.
  • The user disables web site colors (e.g. using the PrefBar Firefox extension) so by looking at the color of a YouTube video link he can immediately see if he has visited that video page or not.
  • The user uses some Greasemonkey scripts to normalize YouTube video links on web pages (e.g. to remove &feature=related, so the normalized URLs will be added to the Firefox browsing history.
  • Bonus: The user uses the LinkVisitor Firefox extension to mass-toggle the visited status of URLs without actually visiting them in Firefox.

To do the protocol conversion from http:// to https:// , close Firefox and run this on Linux (without the leading $ sign):

$ sqlite3 ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/places.sqlite '
    UPDATE OR IGNORE moz_places   SET url="https" || SUBSTR(url, 5) WHERE url LIKE "http://youtube.com/%" OR url LIKE "http://www.youtube.com/%";
    UPDATE OR IGNORE moz_favicons SET url="https" || SUBSTR(url, 5) WHERE url LIKE "http://youtube.com/%" OR url LIKE "http://www.youtube.com/%";

The ANALYZE and VACUUM parts are optional, they just speed up Firefox accessing these tables in the future.

The SQLite UPDATE queries above can be run on the relevant places.sqlite file on Mac OS X or Windows as well. (This blog post doesn't provide explicit instructions how to run those queries. Use Google web search or ask on Stack Overflow to figure out how.)

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