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The tor-browser is saving download history on-disk in

tor-browser/.local/share/recently-used.xbel  

and files in

tor-browser/.local/share/gvfs-metadata/  

Is there a way to stop this behavior?

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Back in 2013 Runa Sandvik did a forensic analysis. You can see the results in the PDF titled »Forensic Analysis of the Tor Browser Bundle on OS X, Linux, and Windows«. Runa found the issues you asked for plus entries in the .bash_history and .xsession-errors. There are bug reports #8695 and #8706 which deal with those findings.

At the moment there is no official or automated solution. Your best bet is to remove those files by hand or use a live CD like tails.

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