Why does a browser need to save my history?

Updated: 09/22/2017 by Computer Hope

By storing all of the web pages, images, and other files you view while browsing the Internet in a cache if those files are needed again it can be loaded from your computer without having to wait for the file to be downloaded again. By saving files to the cache, it speeds up viewing pages, reduces the data you need to download, and reduces the web server load by not having to send the same file repeatedly.

For example, the page you are viewing now is downloaded from the Computer Hope server and includes the logo at the top of the page, the small icons (sprites) used on many of our pages, other pictures, JavaScript, and the CSS file is saved on your computer.

Example of first load and cached load

If you visited another Computer Hope page (e.g., our download page as shown in the above picture) because this page has already cached many of the same files, the browser only needs to download two files instead of eight files. On more bloated web pages you may be downloading dozens and even hundreds of different files. For these web pages not having to download an additional dozen or more files can significantly increase the load time of the web page.

Note: A web page and any of the files served from a web server can be set to have a small cached time that time-out after a few minutes, hours, or days and can also be set to not cache on a computer. For servers with these settings, the browser will download the file again from the server. Also, server-side scripts are never cached, but the pages created by the scripts may be cached.

Tip: Anyone concerned about their privacy or want to hide pages they have visited can clear their Internet cache (history). If you clear your Internet browser history frequently, you may also want to consider using incognito mode.

Do all browsers save your browsing history?

Yes. By default, all Internet browsers save your browsing history because of all of the advantages it has when browsing the Internet. As mentioned above if you're concerned about your privacy while browsing you can use incognito mode to prevent your browser from saving your browsing history.

Additional information