A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

How To Clear Browser History

By default, your internet browser will store information about the pages visited during an internet browsing session. This information can include anything from personal log-in information to information accessed on a specific website, or random on-site content. This can be a good thing (saving passwords etc) however, depending on the type of information saved by a browser it may put users at some security risks. This article will explain the safest and most effective methods for deleting your browser history and protecting your personal information.

Permanently Delete Browser Search History

There are several methods that you can utilize to permanently delete your browser history.

Clean Your Hard Drive

You can get rid of your browser history by using the Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe) tool to delete internet cookies and the history of your visited websites.

If you're a Windows user, simply press the Windows key + R, then type in cleanmgr to launch Disk Cleanup. Now, simply select the items that you wish to erase.

There is also a variety of software that can make the procedure automatic on most browsers. We recommend CCleaner.

Clear Internet Explorer Browsing History (versions 8 to 11)

  • Launch Internet Explorer and open the Tools menu. Then click Safety.
  • Click Delete browsing history, select the boxes that correspond to the information you'd like to clear, and then click Delete to finalize the reset.

Clear Google Chrome Browsing History

There are several methods that you can use to clear your Google Chrome browser history.

The most straightforward way to clear your Chrome browsing history can be done by clicking on the Chrome menu located in the top-right corner to access the tools menu and browser setting options.

  • Select Tools from the dropdown list and then select Clear browsing data.
  • In the dialog box that appears, check the option that reads Delete browsing history. If you'd like to completely reset your internet history, you may choose the from the beginning option under Delete items from. Click Clear browsing history to perform the reset.
  • Alternatively, you can use a keyboard shortcut to quickly clear your Google Chrome browsing history. Simply press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del] to reset your history.
  • You can also copy and paste this path into your address bar:


Clear Firefox Browsing History

To clear your Firefox browsing history, simply launch your browser and click the Library icon > History > Clear Recent History.

Select how much to clear by selecting a time range in the Time range to clear box:

Click Details to select exactly which items will be deleted:

Click Clear Now to reset your browser history.

Clear Microsoft Edge Browsing History

  • To clear your Microsoft Edge browsing history, go to Settings and more > Settings > Privacy, search, and services.
  • Under Clear browsing data, select Choose what to clear.
  • Then, select a time range from the Time range menu.
  • Choose Remove browsing history and click on Clear now.

Note: Clearing your browser history only helps you to delete the history that is locally stored on your computer, though it doesn't delete data stored on Google's servers. However, you can disable search engines to record your browsing history.

Stop Search Engines from Saving Browser History

Here are a few quick ways to prevent your internet browser from recording your session history.

Disable Record History on Internet Explorer

  • Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools.
  • Check the option Private Navigation to disable the recording of your browser history.

In activating this feature, both your internet history and browser cookies will be deleted when you close the browser window. This step must be repeated each time you launch the browser.

Disable Record History on Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Firefox and go to Menu > Preferences.
  • Then, click the Privacy & Security tab, and go to the History section.
  • In the drop-down menu next to Firefox will, choose Use custom settings for history:

Check the box next to Clear history when Firefox closes:

To specify what types of history should be deleted, click Settings…, located next to Clear history when Firefox closes. Check the items that you want to have cleared automatically each time you quit Firefox:

After selecting the history to be cleared, click OK, then close the window. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

Disable Record History on Google Chrome

The only way that you can browse Google Chrome without the application saving your history is by browsing in Incognito Mode.

To activate this, open Google Chrome, and go to the Customize and control Google Chrome menu (three vertical dots) in the top-right corner of your browser window. Click New Incognito Window:

This will open a dark grey browser with a message indicating that you have entered Incognito mode:

Disable Record History on Microsoft Edge

To disable history recording in Microsoft Edge, you have to browse in incognito mode. To do so, right-click the Microsoft Edge logo in the taskbar and select New InPrivate window.

Read Further

If you’d like to improve your security settings and better protect your personal data, read this article.

You can also clear your browser cache for better security and efficiency of your computer.

Image: © Fitim Bushati - 123RF.com


A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

Ask a question
CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.
This document, titled « How To Clear Browser History », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

The Best of CCM in Your Inbox

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!