Many people use private browsers on their desktop. Such browsers don’t keep any of your history, and they delete files like cookies and caches every time you end a session.
On mobile, however, lots of people are less security-conscious. Why so many users take a laissez-faire approach is a mystery — if anything, mobile devices represent a more significant weak point. They are more likely to get lost, be stolen, or be compromised while using insecure public Wi-Fi networks.
To be safe, you need to delete your mobile browsing history regularly. But how? The methodology isn’t always as obvious as when you’re using a desktop browser.
Don’t panic; MakeUseOf has you covered. Here’s how to delete your browser data on seven of the most popular Android browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, internet, Dolphin, UC Browser, and Naked Browser.
First up, Chrome. It’s comfortably the most popular browser on the Android operating system. Data suggests around 88.3 percent of all Android owners use it.
Thankfully, the process is incredibly straightforward. To begin, open your Chrome browser and either head to Menu > History or type chrome://history in the search box. The app will load your History page.
At the top of the window, you’ll see a large button labeled Clear Browsing Data. Click on it.
Now you can decide exactly what data you want to delete. At the top of the page, select your timeframe, then mark the appropriate checkboxes. Make sure you have selected Browsing History. When you’re ready, tap Clear Data.
Clearing your history on Firefox is a very similar process.
Open your browser and tap the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner. Choose History from the menu.
Like Chrome, you’ll see a large Clear Browsing History button, only this time, it’s located at the bottom of the page.
However, unlike Chrome, there’s no way to specify which other data you want to delete. The app will just give you an on-screen prompt to confirm your action. Tap OK, and the data will be wiped.
The process for removing your browsing history from Opera is the most complicated of the three apps we’ve looked at so far.
When your browser is open, locate the Opera logo in the bottom-right corner and tap on it. A small window will pop up. Along the top of the window, there are four icons. Click on the Gear icon to access the browser’s settings.
Next, scroll down until you see Clear Browsing Data. Tap on it, and mark the checkboxes next to the data you want to delete. You can choose from Saved Passwords, Browsing History, and Cookies and Data.
When you’re happy with your choices, tap OK.
If you’re using Android 4.0 or earlier, the built-in browser is called internet. Surprisingly, it still hoovers up a large number of users. As of mid-2016, it was still the second most popular browser on the operating system with a market share of about 7 percent.
To erase your browsing history from this old built-in browser, tap the Menu button and select Settings.
From the Settings screen, scroll down to the Privacy Settings section and use the following options to clear different types of browsing data: Clear History, Clear Cache, Clear All Cookie Data, Clear Form Data, and Clear Location Access.
You can also use the Clear Passwords option under Security settings to erase the passwords you’ve saved in the browser.
Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and internet account for 98.1 percent of all users. To round-out the article, let’s take look at three of the most popular remaining browsers.
If you’re using Dolphin, you will discover that the deletion process follows Opera’s lead. Rather than accessing the various settings via a menu icon in the top left-hand corner, you have to tap on the Dolphin icon at the bottom of the screen.
A window will pop up. You need to select Clear Data. Again, you can choose the type of data you want to remove. Your choices are Browsing Data, Cache and Site Data, Cookies, Form Data, Passwords, and Location Access.
Tap Clear Selected Data to complete the process.
UC Browser is not well-known among the wider Android user base, but with an average of 4.5 stars from 14 million reviews on the Google Play Store, it’s a great alternative if you want to move away from the mainstream options.
Its process for clearing your browser history is the most complicated on the list. To begin, tap the three horizontal lines at the bottom of the screen. On the pop-up menu, select the yellow icon labeled History and Bookmarks.
When you tap the icon, you’ll see your Bookmarks list first. Swipe left to reveal your browsing history. In the bottom-right corner, you will find a Clear button. Tap it, then confirm your decision by selecting Delete in the on-screen confirmation.
Lastly, let’s take a look at Naked Browser. The app has won plaudits from users in recent years thanks to its stripped-down, no-nonsense interface. The developer claims the scaled back nature of the interface leads to a faster browsing experience.
To delete your data, tap the Menu icon in the bottom right-hand corner and select the Wrench icon to enter the app’s settings.
In the Settings menu, choose Data Options. The app will give you a long list of data you can clear, including the usual fare of cookies, caches, and passwords. Tap History Clear to delete your browser’s history.
Were you able to follow our guide successfully? The process can become confusing if you use lots of different browsers on your Android device.
If you’ve encountered difficulties, or we’ve not covered your favorite browser and you’re looking for help, be sure to reach out in the comments. A MakeUseOf author or a fellow reader might be able to answer your queries.