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clear search history As you browse the Internet, tracks of websites you visit are left on your computer, including cookies, cached websites, a history of visited sites and searches, site preferences, and more. These data reveal your browsing habits. If your privacy is dear to you, you may want to delete them. This article summarizes different ways to automatically clear all your browser history, every time you exit your browser.

In a recent article I explained you Everything You Need to Know About the Browser Cache Everything You Need to Know About the Browser Cache [MakeUseOf Explains] Everything You Need to Know About the Browser Cache [MakeUseOf Explains] Whenever you have an issue with a website, one of the first suggestions you will hear from IT support is "try to clear your browser cache" along with "and delete your cookies". So what is... Read More and in another post you can read all about How Websites Use Cookies. If you wonder how these data could potentially compromise your privacy, have a look at these articles: Do You Know What The Internet Knows About You? Do You Know What The Internet Knows About You? Do You Know What The Internet Knows About You? Read More and How To Find Out What Marketing Websites Know About You How To Find Out What Marketing Websites Know About You How To Find Out What Marketing Websites Know About You Read More .


To manually clear your browser history in Firefox, click the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del]. This is a quick way to launch the Clear All History dialogue. Click on the arrow next to Details in case they are not already extended. Select which history data you want to delete. Using the Time range to clear drop-down menu at the top you can selectively remove recent data. When you’re done click Clear Now.

clear search history

To clear your browser history ever time you exit Firefox, go to > Firefox > Options (click it) > Privacy and set a checkmark next to Clear history when Firefox closes at the bottom of the History section. Click the Settings… button next to it to customize what data to delete. OK both windows to save your selection.

clear history

You can also use the Firefox add-on History Eraser, which was previously added to our Directory.

Google Chrome

The shortcut to quickly access the Clear Browsing Data menu is the same as in Firefox and most other browsers: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del] Like in Firefox, you can select the items you want to clear and also set a time frame at the top. Click the Clear browsing data button to execute.

clear history

The long route to Chrome privacy settings is to click the wrench icon, select Settings, and switch to the Under the Hood section. Under Privacy click the Content settings… button. Within Content Settings, next to the header Cookies, select the option Clear cookies and other site and plug-in data when I close my browser.

clear search history

What is awesome about Chrome is that it allows you to Manage exceptions… via the respective button. This is the place to add websites that you don’t want to see cleared from your browsing history.

To manage cookies separately within Chrome, have a look at this article: Select Specific Cookies & Keep Them In A Whitelist While Deleting Others In Chrome Select Specific Cookies & Keep Them In A Whitelist While Deleting Others In Chrome Select Specific Cookies & Keep Them In A Whitelist While Deleting Others In Chrome All browsers have cookie management functions. You can easily delete all cookies or specific cookies. You can even configure certain cookies to be blocked while allowing others. But sometimes I like to retain a few... Read More .

Internet Explorer 9

As mentioned previously, the standard keyboard shortcut to Deleting Browsing History is [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del]. While Internet Explorer doesn’t allow you to delete only recent data, it offers another innovative option: Preserve Favorites website data. Moreover, it actually provides a clear explanation of what each option means.

clear search history

To set up automatic deletion of your browsing data in IE, click the tools icon and select Internet options. In the General tab under the header Browsing history, check the option Delete browsing history on exit. Click the Delete… button to open the window shown above and customize what will be deleted.

clear browser history

You can go even farther, by switching to the Advanced tab, scrolling down to Security, and selecting the Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when the browser is closed.

clear browser history

Third Party Apps To Clear Browser History

If you regularly use more than one browser and don’t want to set up each of them separately, third-party applications can help you clear the history of all your browsers at once. However, automating this tasks is easier to do in the browser directly, which is why I prefer setting it up for each browser individually.

Here is a quick list of tools and where we have reviewed them:

How concerned are you about stored browser history and have you bothered to clear this data in the past?

Image credits: Magnifying Glass via Shutterstock

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  1. Glenn Gagne
    October 4, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    The option to clear cookies in Google Chrome is no more available.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 12, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      Glenn, the option has moved. Try pressing CTRL+SHIFT+DEL to open Browsing Data and you'll see an option to clear cookies and other site data. You can also go via menu > More tools > Clear browsing data...

  2. Peter
    April 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    The section on Firefox is not applicable to Firefox 11. Personally I prefer to use CCleaner.

  3. Dean
    April 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

    "click the keyboard shortcut"
    That's a neat trick if you can do it!

    April 12, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Thank you very much, Tina, I downloaded the file and sucessully have problem off from my computer.

    To clear the cookies in the wrench icon, I could not find it where it is, I should go from history or setting, could you spare your time to advise, thank you again.

    • Susendeep.Dutta
      April 12, 2012 at 6:49 am

      To clear your browser cookies,click on wrench icon and go to Settings-->Under the Hood and click on Clear Browsing data and tick on " Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data ". You must select "the beginning of time" from " Obliterate the following items from: " menu to completely clear all the cookies.

    • Susendeep.Dutta
      April 12, 2012 at 6:52 am

      I'm always concerned about stored history of my browsing data.I always try to clear it as soon as possible so that I don't have to face problems like incorrect page loading and slowdown of browser.

    • Tina
      April 12, 2012 at 6:57 am


      in Google Chrome, the wrench icon is located in the top right. When you hover over it, the tooltip will say "Customize and control Google Chrome."