How Do I Delete My Browser History?

Every Web browser keeps a history of the sites you visit, storing a link to the sites themselves and usually a cached version of all pictures and data from that site for fast load times. While handy for revisiting a website, these histories can eventually become clogged with unnecessary entries and slow down your computer's performance. Some entries may even represent a security risk for your computer and identity. In each of the major browsers -- Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome -- you can delete this information, minimizing the impact your histories have on your browsing experience. After you clear the history, you can't retrieve it. Clear the history only when you're sure there's nothing you need from it.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft

Internet Explorer

Step

Click the "Tools" button to launch the tools menu. Pressing "Alt-X" on your keyboard also opens this menu.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft.
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Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Hover your mouse over the "Safety" heading and click "Delete browsing history." Entering the shortcut "Ctrl-Shift-Delete" also opens this menu directly from anywhere in Internet Explorer.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Choose the information you want to delete using the check boxes. The "History" check box needs to be checked, otherwise your browsing history remains while other data is removed.

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Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Step

Click "Delete" to begin clearing the history and other data. Depending on how much data you've accumulated, this process may take a moment or two.

Firefox

Step

Click the menu button from the toolbar at the top of the screen. It's shaped like three stacked horizontal lines.

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Image courtesy of Mozilla.
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Image courtesy of Mozilla.

Step

Click the "Options" button in the menu.

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Image courtesy of Mozilla.

Step

Select the "Privacy" tab and then click "Clear your recent history."

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Image courtesy of Mozilla.

Step

Choose what information you want to delete using the check boxes. Check "Browsing & Download History" and "Form & Search History" to clear your history.

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Image courtesy of Mozilla.

Step

Click "Clear Now" to delete your history from Firefox.

Chrome

Step

Click the menu button from the toolbar at the top of the screen. It's shaped like three stacked horizontal lines.

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Image courtesy of Google.
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Image courtesy of Google.

Step

Select "History" from the menu to open a new tab that displays the browsing history.

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Image courtesy of Google.

Step

Click "Clear Browsing Data."

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Image courtesy of Google.

Step

Choose the information you want to delete using the check boxes. You need to check "Browsing History" to delete your history.

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Image courtesy of Google.

Step

Click "Clear Browsing Data" to delete the history and any other selected information.