How to Turn Off Recent Searches

By Jon Stefansson

Your web browser will likely keep a record of all your previous web searches as part of its form-data-collection function. Unless this option is disabled, when you start to type in a search engine your browser will make suggestions based on recent searches. Most major web-browser software will have a private browsing facility which temporarily suspends your browser's form-data collection. Turning on private browsing is a simple task that should only take a few seconds.

Activating Private Browsing in Firefox

Step 1

Start Firefox and wait for the homepage to load.

Step 2

Click the "Tools" menu from the toolbar.

Step 3

Select "Clear Recent History" then click "Firefox" again.

Step 4

Click "Start Private Browsing." Click "OK" to the warning. Firefox will not keep any history or search records until you deactivate private browsing by repeating steps 1, 2 and 3.

Activating Private Browsing in Safari

Step 1

Start Safari and wait for the homepage to load.

Step 2

Click "Safari" from the toolbar.

Step 3

Select "Empty Cache," then click "Safari" again.

Step 4

Select "Private Browsing.." and "OK" to the warning. Safari will no longer keep a record of searches or web history when private browsing is active. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 4 to return to normal browsing.

Activating Private Browsing in Internet Explorer

Step 1

Start Internet Explorer and wait for the homepage to load.

Step 2

Click "Tools" from the toolbar.

Step 3

Select "InPrivate Browsing" from the menu. Internet Explorer will not collect form data or search history while InPrivate browsing is active. Deactivate by following steps 1 and 2 again.