How to Delete Web History

Instructor: Kent Beckert

Kent is an adjunct faculty member for the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has a Master's degree in Technical Management.

In this lesson we will discuss data management pertaining to the web history records stored in your browser's memory. We will learn the circumstances under which removing the web history is recommended and we will also review the steps necessary to remove the web history from three popular browsers: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

What is a Web History?

By default, any time you access the Internet to perform research, play games, shop or surf, your browser automatically creates a web history recording your activities. A web history is a record-keeping algorithm that traces visited web pages and their associated data. Information collected as part of the web history includes but is not limited to: the page title, date and time visited, duration of visit, IP address, personal information such as names and addresses, passwords, usernames and the browser version used.

Should I Delete My Web History?

Having a web history is not a bad thing and you may want to keep it. The intent of having a web history is for you to keep track of what pages you have visited, making it easier and more convenient to return to a particular page at a later date. Also, having a web history will enable a quicker download the next time you re-visit a web page.

On the other hand, you may want to delete the web history when you do not wish other individuals to know what you have been doing, like planning a surprise event. Deleting your web history is recommended after you have used a public computer, when you want to protect information that is work-related or otherwise private.

When Should I Delete My Web History?

If you are using a public computer or the computer is accessible by unknown or unwanted users you should delete the web history after each computing session. If you are using a private computer, one having limited physical access, clearing the history is optional. However, remember that hackers may gain access to valuable information stored within your browsing history while you are online or connected to the Internet. Also, some eCommerce companies collect web history information, tracing your online habits and enabling them to tailor and target their advertising campaign to your likes and dislikes. Clearing the browsing history after each session may cause some inconvenience while browsing but will eliminate most online threats.

How to Delete Your Web History

This section contains step-by-step instructions for removing your web history from the current versions of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

'Note: Most browsers offer alternative methods for deleting web history records. For other methods, use the Help feature of your browser and enter: Delete web history'.

Google Chrome - Deleting the Web History

To remove the web history in Google Chrome follow the numbered steps below in the order listed.

1. Open Google Chrome, then open the Google Chrome menu by clicking the 3-barred menu icon located in the browser's upper-right corner.

2. Select the History option.

Alternatively: Press Ctrl-Shift-Delete then follow the remaining steps in this procedure.

3. Click the 'Clear browsing data' button, displaying the selection screen.

Google Chrome - Remove web history

4. From the drop-down menu, select how much history you want to delete. To clear your entire browsing history, select the beginning of time option, or using the drop down menu you can select: the past hour, the past day, the past week, the last 4 weeks.

5. Check the boxes for the data you want Google Chrome to delete.

6. Click the button 'Clear browsing data'.

Internet Explorer - Deleting the Web History

To remove the web history in Internet Explorer follow the numbered steps below in the order listed.

1. Open Internet Explorer.

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