How do I clear my Internet browser history?

Updated: 09/22/2017 by Computer Hope

Internet browsersAs you browse the Internet, most web page data is cached locally on your computer to help pages load faster and reduces the amount of data you need to transfer over your Internet connection.

To help keep your browsing history private, and to free up disk space on your computer, you can clear your local browsing history. Select your Internet browser from the following list to get started.

ChromeMicrosoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Windows 10, replacing Internet Explorer on new computers.

To view your Edge browsing history:

In a Microsoft Edge browser window, open the history menu using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H. You can also access this menu with the following steps:

  1. Click the Hub Microsoft Edge Hub button in the upper right-hand corner of the window.
  2. Click the History Microsoft Edge History icon icon to open the history menu.

Microsoft Edge History menu

This menu allows you to view the pages you've visited in chronological order.

To clear your Edge browsing history:

  1. Open the history menu as described above.
  2. Click Clear all history.
  3. Check the box next to each type of data you'd like to clear. Browsing history is the first item listed, so make sure this is checked.
  4. Click Show more for additional options. Select any that you would like to clear.
  5. Click Clear to erase the selected data.
  6. If you want the selected items to be cleared automatically when you close your browser, set Always clear this when I close the browser to On.
  7. When you're done, click the Hub Microsoft Edge Hub icon button.

Microsoft Edge History menu options

Mozilla Firefox

FirefoxThere are several ways to view and edit your history in Firefox.

To view your browsing history in Firefox:

  1. If you do not have a custom homepage set, you can click the History button in any new browsing window.

Viewing your browsing history from the Firefox default welcome screen

  1. Or you can always view your browsing history in the History sidebar. Open it by pressing Alt to show the menu bar, then choosing ViewSidebarHistory. Or, you can use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+H.

Viewing browsing history in the Firefox sidebar

  1. You can also view your history if you click the hamburger menu button Firefox Menu in the top right-hand corner of your window, then click History. This gives you a quick look at your history. From this menu you can also View History Sidebar.

Viewing browsing history under the Firefox hamburger menu

  1. Lastly, you can open your browsing history in the Firefox Library. To open this view, press Alt to show the menu bar, then choose HistoryShow All History. The keyboard shortcut for this view is Ctrl+Shift+H. When viewing your history here, you can highlight individual pages in your history and press Del to delete them. Right-click any item for more options.

Viewing all Firefox history

To clear your browsing history in Firefox:

  1. Click the hamburger menu button Firefox Menu icon and select History.
  2. Choose Clear Recent History...
  3. The Clear Recent History window will open. In the drop-down menu, choose how far back you want to clear the history, then click Clear Now.

Deleting browsing history through the Firefox hamburger menu

You can also access this menu using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Del.

Chrome logoGoogle Chrome

To view your browsing history in Chrome:

  1. In any Chrome window, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H, or navigate to the URL chrome://history .

Opening the Chrome History sidebar

  1. Or, click the Menu Chrome Menu button button, which is located near the top-right side of the browser window, and choose History, then History again.

Chrome History view menu

To clear your browsing history in Chrome:

  1. Click the Menu button Chrome Menu icon, choose More tools and then Clear browsing data... Or, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Del.

Chrome File menu

  1. Select what data you'd like to clear from your history using the drop-down menu and check the appropriate boxes.

Accessing the Clear Browsing Data menu in Chrome

When you're ready to clear your history, click Clear browsing data.

Chrome logo AndroidGoogle Chrome on Android phone or tablet

Viewing and Deleting History

  1. Open the Chrome browser on your Android phone or tablet.
  2. Tap the Menu Mobile Chrome menu icon in the top right corner of the screen next to the address bar.
  3. In the drop-down menu, tap History.
  4. Tap CLEAR BROWSING DATA... at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Select the appropriate boxes.
  6. Tap the Clear button.

Chrome logo iPhoneGoogle Chrome on iPhone

  1. Open Google Chrome on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Click in the Google search or URL bar at the top of the screen.
  3. A the bottom click View search history
  4. Click the CLEAR ALL at the top right of the screen.
  5. If you're sure, click CLEAR ON-DEVICE HISTORY.

Opera

OperaThe Opera browser has a very straightforward interface for viewing and editing your history.

To view your browsing history in Opera:

In an Opera browser window, click the Opera menu button Opera menu button in the upper left-hand corner of the window and choose History to open the History tab. Or, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H.

Opening the Opera History tab

To clear your browsing history in Opera:

  1. Open the History tab as described above and click Clear browsing data...
  2. In the drop-down menu Obliterate the following items from:, choose how far back in time you want to clear your history. To clear everything, choose the beginning of time.
  3. Check the boxes next to the specific types of history you want to clear.
  4. Click Clear browsing data.

Clearing Opera browsing history

Safari

Safari logoSafari is the default web browser on Apple's OSX and iOS operating systems. Although it was previously available for Microsoft Windows, as of 2012 Apple no longer supports Safari on Windows.

To view your browsing history in Safari:

  1. Open the Safari browser.
  2. Click the History menu at the top of the screen. The menu lists recent pages from your browsing history, which you can navigate to by clicking on them. To edit your history or view it in detail, click Show All History...

To clear your browsing history in Safari:

  1. Open the Show All History view. To delete individual history items, right-click them and choose Delete, or press the Delete key to clear selected history items.
  2. To clear everything, click Clear History.

Clearing history in Safari

  1. Use the drop-down menu to choose how far back to delete your history.
  2. Click Clear History.

Clearing all history in Safari

Safari logo iPhoneSafari on iPhone and iPad

To view or delete your browsing history on iOS:

  1. Open the Safari browser on your mobile device.
  2. Scroll up until you see the address bar at the top of the screen and a toolbar on the bottom.
  3. On the toolbar at the bottom, click the fourth icon from the left that looks like a book.
  4. Click History.
  5. Click Clear in the lower right-hand side of the screen.

Internet ExplorerMicrosoft Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer was Microsoft's Internet browser until 2015, when it was replaced by Microsoft Edge. If you are still using Internet Explorer on your computer, you can use the following steps to view or clear your browsing history.

WARNING: Security updates are no longer regularly provided for Internet Explorer and are not guaranteed to continue. To ensure that your browser is secure when browsing the Internet, you should use a different browser. If you are going to continue using Internet Explorer, check for any security updates that are still available and install them on your computer. For example, the September 2016 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer is currently still available from Microsoft's website.

To view your browsing history in Internet Explorer:

Press Ctrl+H in any Internet Explorer browser window to view your history.

To clear your browsing history in Internet Explorer:

  1. Open an Internet Explorer browser window.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Del to open the Delete Browsing History window.
  3. Check the boxes of the data you'd like to clear.
  4. Click Delete.

To view your browsing history (Internet Explorer 7 and above):

  1. In a Microsoft Internet Explorer browser window, click Tools Internet Explorer Tools in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the General tab, under Browsing history, click the Settings button.
  4. In the Temporary Internet Files tab, click the View Files button.

To clear your browsing history (Internet Explorer 7 and above):

  1. Open a Microsoft Internet Explorer browser window.
  2. Click Tools Internet Explorer Tools icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  4. On the General tab, in the Browsing history section, click the Delete button.
  5. Check the boxes of the data you'd like to clear.
  6. Click Delete.

To view your browsing history (Internet Explorer 6):

  1. Open a Microsoft Internet Explorer browser window.
  2. In the toolbar at the top of the screen, click Tools.
  3. In the Tools drop-down menu, select Internet Options.
  4. Click the Settings button.
  5. Click the View Files button.

To clear your browsing history (Internet Explorer 6):

  1. Open a Microsoft Internet Explorer browser window.
  2. In the toolbar at the top of the screen, click the Tools menu.
  3. In the Tools drop-down menu, select Internet Options.
  4. Click the Clear Browser History button.
  5. Click the Delete Files button.
  6. Click OK.

To clear your browsing history (Internet Explorer 4):

  1. Open a Microsoft Internet Explorer browser window.
  2. Click the History icon.
  3. Click Clear Internet History.
  4. Click OK.

To clear your browsing history (Internet Explorer 3 and below):

  1. Open a Microsoft Internet Explorer browser window.
  2. In the toolbar, click the View menu.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Open the Advanced tab.
  5. Click the Settings tab.
  6. Click the Empty Folder button.

NetscapeNetscape

To view your browsing history in Netscape Navigator:

  1. Open a Netscape Navigator browser window.
  2. From the toolbar, click Edit, Preferences, History.
  3. Locate the folder in which Netscape is storing your files.
  4. Double click this folder within Explorer to view your browser history.

To clear your browsing history in Netscape Navigator:

  1. Open a Netscape Navigator browser window.
  2. From the toolbar, click Edit, Preferences, History.
  3. Click the Clear History button.

Additional Tips

If you clear your Internet browser history often, you may want to consider browsing in incognito mode.

If you click in the address bar, you can press the Shift+Del keys to delete items individually.

If you do not see the File, Edit, View menu in Internet Explorer or Firefox, press the Alt key.