It's Easy to Clear Your Internet Explorer History With 6 Easy Steps

Delete your web browsing data to keep your web habits private

What to Know

  • Select the gear icon in IE to open a menu. Choose Safety > Delete browsing history.
  • Confirm History is selected in the Delete Browsing History window.
  • Choose Delete.

This article explains how to clear your Internet Explorer history.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download the newest version.

How to Clear Your History in Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer, like most browsers, keeps track of the websites you've visited so that you can easily find them again or so that it can auto-suggest websites for you when you start typing them in the navigation bar. Fortunately, it's easy to clear out your history in Internet Explorer:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the program, select the gear icon to open a menu.

    The Alt+X hotkey works too.

    A screenshot of Internet Explorer with the Settings gear highlighted
  3. Choose Safety and then Delete browsing history.

    You can also get to the next step with the Ctrl+Shift+Del keyboard shortcut. If you have the menu visible in Internet Explorer, Tools > Delete browsing history takes you there too.

    A screenshot of Internet Explorer with the Delete browsing history command highlighted
  4. In the Delete Browsing History window that appears, make sure History is selected.

    A screenshot of Internet Explorer's delete browsing history window with the History item highlighted
  5. Select Delete.

    A screenshot of Internet Explorer's "Delete Browsing History" window with the Delete button highlighted
  6. When the Delete Browsing History window closes, you can continue using Internet Explorer, close it out, etc. - all the history has been deleted.

    The Delete Browsing History window is also where you can clear the Internet Explorer cache to get rid of other temporary files stored by IE, as well as remove saved passwords, form data, etc. You can select any other item from this list if you want, but History is the only option needed to remove your history.

More Information on Clearing History in IE

If you're using an older version of Internet Explorer, these steps won't be exactly the same for you but they will be similar. Consider updating Internet Explorer to the latest version.

CCleaner is a system cleaner that can delete the history in Internet Explorer too, as well as the history stored in other web browsers you might use.

You can avoid having to clear your history by browsing the internet privately through Internet Explorer. You can do this by using InPrivate Browsing: Open IE, go to the menu button, and navigate to Safety > InPrivate Browsing, or press the Ctrl+Shift+P keyboard shortcut.

Everything you do within that browser window is kept secret in regards to your history, which means that nobody can go through your visited websites and there's no need to clear the history when you're done; just exit the window when you're finished.

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