How to Delete Your Web Browser History

From time to time, you may need to delete your web browser history for various reasons and in this tutorial we will demonstrate how to do that in multiple browsers.

Before I start explaining how to delete your web browsing history, let me briefly talk about what browser history is.

What is Browser History?

When you connect to the Internet and visit a website, most of your actions are being logged in the history section of your web browser. The pages you've visited, the images and files that are downloaded, form details you've entered, cookies and other similar things are stored in a special folder that is allocated to the browser. The main reason for the web browsers to keep track of your actions is to improve your web browsing experience, such as easily locating web pages you've recently visited, speeding up the loading of a web page if you've visited it before by keeping some parts of it in the cache or automatically filling the address bar or form fields while you are typing.

Saving the history of your web actions is a great thing to have for sure, but sometimes for some certain reasons, you may need to delete your web history and clear everything that is stored by the web browser. One reason that instantly comes to my mind is that you could be sharing your computer with someone else and you don't want that person to see which sites you are visiting or your login details. It is also possible that you got some kind of virus or malware and now you want to clean up everything by deleting your web browsing history.

Now, I will show you how to delete browsing history in some of the popular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Deleting the history in other browsers will be more or less the same but if you have any difficulty, please let me know and I will add them to this tutorial as well.

Deleting Browser History in Google Chrome

Since a couple of years, Google Chrome has been my most frequently used web browser and I will start with it.

1. Open Google Chrome and press Ctrl + H, which will open the History window. You can also open the History window from the Customize and control Google Chrome button to the right of the address bar.

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You will see a list of previously visited websites in the History window.

2. Click Clear browsing data... button at the top of this window. It will open a popup with some options like the following:

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3. Select what information you want to delete from the list of items such as Browsing History, Download History etc. and select the timeframe you want to apply the deletion to from the Obliterate the following items from dropdown list. If you want to delete everything, check all the checkboxes and choose the the beginning of time option.

4. Once you are ready, click Clear browsing data button to clear your browsing history. Note that this action is not recoverable, so make sure you will not need anything from your history before clearing.

Deleting Browser History in Firefox

Firefox is the browser that I usually use during my web design & development and testing sessions. Follow the steps below to clear your browsing history in Firefox:

1. Open Firefox and press Ctrl + Shift + Del, which will open the Clear All History dialog box.

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2. Select the Time range to clear from the dropdown. If you want to delete everything from the beginning, select Everything.

3. In the Details section, choose which items you want to delete.

4. Click Clear Now button when you are ready.

Deleting Browser History in Safari

This section will talk about Safari browser on Windows computer and things may be different than a Mac computer.

1. Open Safari and click the settings button to the right of the address bar. It will display a list of options.

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2. You have two options to clear your browsing history. Either by clicking the History option or the Reset Safari... option. Select the one depending on your needs and your browser history will be cleared.

Note that when you clear the browser history, the bookmarks will not be deleted. If you want to delete your bookmarks as well, you should go to the bookmarks page of your browser.

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