How to Clear All of the Search History
Clearing all of your web search history consists of deleting all your web browsing history, web cookies, temporary Internet files and web cache. Deleting the search history performed in your system through Windows Explorer requires editing your computer's registry. As Microsoft recommends, back up your registry prior to making any changes. Depending on the web browser you use, the specific steps for deleting the search history will vary slightly but the general process is the same. (Note: See the References section of this article for specific steps for deleting search history in Windows 7.)
Clear Windows Explorer Search History
Go to the "Start" menu, click "Run", type "regedit" at the command line and press the "Enter" key to confirm or click "OK". The registry editor opens up.
Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_USER hive by clicking on the corresponding "+" sign. Expand the following folders: "Software" > "Microsoft" > "Search Assistant" > "ACMru".
Select the "5603" folder and view the contents on the right pane. Select all the items within this "5603" folder, right click on the selection and click "Delete". This removes all Windows Explorer search history.
Restart your computer in order for this to take effect.
Clear Your Browser Search History
Launch Firefox, go to the "Tools" menu and click on "Options" from the drop-down menu (Mac users, click on "Preferences" from the "Firefox" menu).
Click on the "Privacy" tab, click on "Show Cookies", then click on "Remove All Cookies".
Launch Internet Explorer, click on the "Tools" menu and select "Internet Options" from the drop-down menu. In the "Temporary Internet Files" section, click on the "General" tab and press the "Delete Cookies" button.
In the "History" section, click on the "Clear History" button. Click "OK" to confirm.
Launch Netscape, go to the "Tools" menu and select "Cookie Manager".Click on the "Manage Stored Cookies" button, then click on the "Remove All Cookies" button. Click "OK" to confirm.
Launch Safari, go to the "History" menu and click on "Clear History" from the drop-down menu. Confirm the dialog box by pressing the "Clear" button.
Click on the "Safari" menu, click on "Preferences..." and select the "Security" tab. Click the "Show Cookies" button and click on the "Remove All" button.
Clear browser cache
Launch Windows Explorer. Double-click on "Documents and Settings", double-click on your [user name] then double-click on the "Local Settings" folder.
Open the "Temporary Internet Files" folder and delete all its contents.
Delete Firefox cache under this directory: "Documents and Settings" > [your user name] > "Local Settings" > "Application Data" > "Mozilla" > "Firefox" > Profiles > [default file name] > Cache. Delete all the the contents in the Cache folder.
References & Resources
- Uniblue.com: Delete search history for names of files and folders in Windows
- IFACnet.com: How do I clear my search history?
- KillerTechTips.com: Clear Explorer Search History in Windows 7
- MilIncorporated.com: Delete History
- Google Toolbar: Clear your Toolbar search history
- Java.com: How do I clear my web browser cache?