How to Delete Your Internet Browser History

There are many reasons to delete your internet browser history. No matter what reason you choose, here’s how to delete it and hide your tracks.

First off, it’s important to note that your browser history and search history are two different things. This how-to guide will show you how to delete your browser history, but we also have a guide on how to delete your Google Search history as well.

Unless you browse with Incognito Mode  or Private Browsing Mode enabled, every single website you visit is saved in the web browser’s history. This can be a convenient feature to have, as it allows you to go back and find a website that you may have forgotten weeks later.

Furthermore, having a browser history makes it easier and quicker to browse the web in the first place. When a web browser saves your history, it saves the URLs as well, so when you go to type in a web address, your web browser will automatically fill it in if you’ve visited that website before.

Browser History

Image Credit: Oliver

However, you may not want your web browser to save your browsing history, and we don’t blame you. Not only does it show what websites you’ve visited, but storing all of that information takes up storage space on your computer, and if you’re quickly running out of disk space, clearing your browser’s history and cache is a good place to start.

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Here’s how you can delete your web browsing history on your desktop or laptop computer, with instructions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Google Chrome

  • On Mac, start by clicking on History in the menubar at the top and selecting Show Full History at the bottom. On Windows, you’ll click the menu button in the upper-right corner and then click History.
  • Next, click Clear browsing data….

Chrome-history

  • You’ll want to checkmark Browsing history, but you can also checkmark other options in the list while you’re at it.
  • You can also select how far back you want your browsing history deleted using the drop-down menu next to Obliterate the following items from:.
  • Once you’re happy with your selections, go ahead and click Clear browsing data.

Mozilla Firefox

  • On Mac, start by clicking on History in the menubar at the top and selecting Clear Recent History…. On Windows, click the orange Firefox button in the upper-left corner and navigate to History > Clear Recent History….

Firefox-history

  • You’ll want to make sure that Browsing & Download History is checkmarked, but you can you also checkmark other items that you want to delete as well.
  • You can also select how far back you want your browsing history deleted using the drop-down menu next to Time range to clear:.
  • Once you’re happy with your selections, go ahead and click Clear Now.

Safari

Apple makes it a bit easier and much more no-frills to delete your internet browsing history.

  • Simply click on History in the menubar at the top, and then click Clear History… at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  • You’ll get a pop-up prompt confirming the action. Click Clear to confirm and delete your browsing history.

safari-history

Protect Yourself Next Time

If you don’t want your web browser to save your browsing history in the first place, be sure to open up a new window in Incognito Mode or Private Browsing Mode. This will make sure that any websites you visit don’t get saved to your history.

You can change the settings around so that your web browser doesn’t save any of your browsing history at all, even if you’re not in Private Browsing Mode. This settings can usually be found within the browser history menus where you erased your browsing history.

  

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