In this article, I’m going to show you how to completely and securely delete your Internet browser history in Internet Explorer. We covered wiping MRU & index.dat files in the past, so I will show you some other little tricks for cleaning up your history. If you follow the steps outlined here, you will be able to browse the Internet more inconspicuously.
1. Simple Browser Clearing
The first and simplest thing you can do is delete Internet history from your browser. If you’re just trying to clear the visible data from your browser this will suffice, but only doing this may (probably will) still leave traces on your computer, so if you really need to scrub your history from your machine read on.
Close all instances of Internet Explorer and navigate to the Control Panel. Once there, go to Internet Options. On the General tab, you will see Browsing history. You can click on Settings to change how long history is kept and where temporary files are stored.
If you click Delete… you will be able to delete your temp files, cookies, history, etc. You can also check the box that says Delete browsing history on exit so this is done automatically for you.
Lastly, go over to the Advanced tab and scroll down to Security. Check the box that says Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed.
2. Clearing Registry Entries
If you don’t want to clear every entry from your browser history, you can go into the registry and delete entries one at a time.
[Note]: As always, before making changes to your registry you should make sure you have a valid backup.
Start the registry editor by going to Start>Run and typing in Regedit.exe. Once the registry editor is open, navigate to the following key in the registry:
There you can delete any or all typed URLs.
[Note]: If you delete only certain keys, make sure that the remaining keys are renamed in sequential order starting from url1. Otherwise you might corrupt the remaining keys.
3. Run Applications
If you want to make sure there are no traces of your browser history left on your machine, there are dozens of useful free applications you can run. Allow me to give a few examples.
One of our Top 5 Freeware Registry Cleaners That Improves PC Performance, CCleaner is one of the best apps out there at cleaning temporary and junk files. It will clean all of your Internet Explorer files, as well as those for Firefox and Google Chrome.
Free Internet Eraser is another program that gets rid of most of your tracks. It takes out temporary files, cache, visited sites, and typed URLs.
This app contains a pop-up blocker and a privacy protector. It cleans all the tracks of your Internet and computer activities and is integrated with Internet Explorer. Erase history, temp files, cookies, etc.
If you wipe out the temporary files, cookies, cache, typed URLs, MRU, and index.dat files, you should pretty much be in the clear (pun intended) with your browser history. Google and the FBI might still be able to find a trace but even they should have a tough time.
Security and privacy are always top priorities while using your computer and browsing the Internet. It’s important that you take precautions and know how to delete Internet history if you ever need to.
Do you have anything to add to the article? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comment section below.
Image Credit: Daniel Semper
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