If you wish to keep your Internet searches private, you need to clear the cache for each web browsing session. It's your web browser the one that maintains the history logs and not the sites you visit. When the cache is not cleared your web browser automatically fills in and displays matching words in a search engine. The searches performed through a web application's toolbars is separate from your web browser cache, so it must be deleted separately. Your Windows Explorer recent search history can also be deleted, but through the Registry Editor. Proceed with caution when making changes to the Registry since corrupting a value of a sub-key could jeopardize the stability and functionality of your system.
Delete Internet Explorer search history
Launch Internet Explorer, click on the "Tools" menu and select "Internet Options" from the drop-down menu.
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Select the "General" tab and click on the "Delete" button under the "Browsing History" section. The "Delete Browsing History" window displays.
Click on the "Delete forms..." button that corresponds to the "Form data" section then click the "Close" button. Confirm the dialog box by clicking "Yes."
Delete Safari search history
Launch Safari, and access the "Safari" menu. Click on "Preferences" and select the "AutoFill" tab.
Click on the "Edit..." button next to "Other forms" item. The list of websites you have searched for and access displays, along with other sites you are subscribed to.
Select the search items or web addresses you wish to delete from the history. Click on the "Remove" button, then click "Done."
Remove all the history by clicking on the "Safari" menu and choosing "Emtpy Cache..." from the drop-down menu options. Confirm the dialog box by clicking the "Emtpy" button.
Delete Firefox search history
Launch Firefox and click on the "Tools" menu.Click on "Options" from the drop-down menu. The "Options" menu opens up.
Select the "Privacy" tab, then click on the "Settings..." button in the "Private Data" section.
Check (enable) the check boxes for the following items: Browsing History, Download History, Saved Form Information, Cache and Cookies.
Click "OK" to confirm, then click on the "Tools" menu again and choose "Clear Private Data" from the drop-down menu options.
Delete Toolbars' search history
Launch the web browser application that has the search toolbar.
Click on the downward arrow next to the search toolbar. Each toolbar might display different options. For the Safari search toolbar, select "Clear Recent Searches" at the button of the drop-down menu.
Select "Clear Search History" for the Google toolbar on both Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Delete Windows Explorer search history
Click on the Windows "Start" menu, click on "Run" and type "regedit" in the command line. Press Enter or "OK" to confirm.
Click on the "+" sign that corresponds to the "HKEY_LOCAL_USERS" hive. Expand the following sub-keys (sub-folders): "Software" > "Microsoft" > "Search Assistant" > "ACMru"
Click on the "5603" and the "5604" folders to view the contents on the right pane of the Registry Editor window.
View the searched words under the "Data" column. Select the files you wish to delete, right-click on the selection and click on "Delete" from the drop-down menu options.
- Ask Dave Taylor: How Do I Clear Recent Searches from Safari and Google?
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- Google Toolbar: Search box: Clear your Toolbar search history
- Ask-Leo: How Do I Clar My Search History in IE 7?
- Justia: Google Search History - See what you Searched And Clicked on.