How to Manage Browsing History and Other Private Data in IE 11

Control the types of information that Internet Explorer stores locally

Internet Explorer 11 browsing history

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As you browse the web, Internet Explorer stores data on your local hard drive including a list of websites you've visited and temporary files that help pages load faster on subsequent visits. Learn how to manage your browsing history, cache, cookies, and other private data components in Internet Explorer 11.

Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer 11. If you are using an older version, you can upgrade Internet Explorer for free.

How to Manage Private Data in Internet Explorer 11

To manage your browsing history and other private data in IE 11:

Microsoft Edge has replaced IE as the default browser in Windows 10, but you can still make Internet Explorer 11 your default browser.

  1. Select the Gear in the top-right corner of the browser and choose Internet options from the drop-down menu.

    Select the Gear in the top-right corner of the browser and choose Internet options from the drop-down menu.
  2. Select the General tab, then select Delete under Browsing history.

    Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Del to open the Delete Browsing History window.

    Select the General tab, then select Delete under Browsing history.
  3. In the Delete Browsing History window, check the boxes beside the individual components you want to remove from your hard drive, then select Delete. The options include:

    • Temporary Internet files and website files: Delete the IE 11 browser cache including all multimedia files and copies of web pages.
    • Cookies and website data: Delete user-specific settings and information stored by websites.
    • History: Delete the history of URLs you have visited.
    • Download History: Delete the record of files you have downloaded through IE 11.
    • Form data: Delete all stored form entry data including email addresses and usernames.
    • Passwords: Forget all saved passwords.
    • Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, and Do Not Track: Delete data associated with ActiveX Filtering and the Tracking Protection feature, including stored exceptions to Do Not Track requests.

    Check the box beside Preserve Favorites website data to keep data (cache and cookies) from websites listed as Favorites.

    In the Delete Browsing History window, check the boxes beside the individual components you want to remove from your hard drive, then select Delete.
  4. Close the Delete Browsing History window and select Settings in the Internet Options window.

    Close the Delete Browsing History window and select Settings in the Internet Options window.
  5. Select the Temporary Internet Files tab in the Website Data Settings window and adjust the following settings:

    • Check for newer versions of stored pages. Set how often the browser checks with a web server to see if a newer version of the page currently stored on your hard drive is available.
    • Disk space to use: Set the amount of data in megabytes you wish to set aside on your hard drive for IE 11 cache files.
    Select the Temporary Internet Files tab in the Website Data Settings window and adjust the settings.
  6. Select Move folder under Current location to change where IE 11 stores temporary files.

    Select View objects to display currently installed web applications such as ActiveX Controls. Select View files to see all temporary internet files including cookies.

    Select Move folder under Current location to change where IE 11 stores temporary files.
  7. Select the History tab in the Delete Browsing History window and set the number of days you want IE 11 to keep your browsing history.

    Select the History tab in the Delete Browsing History window and set the number of days you want IE 11 to keep your browsing history.
  8. Select the Caches and databases tab to control individual website cache and database settings. Select the websites listed, then select Delete to remove cached data.

    Deselect the box beside Allow website caches and databases to disable data caching for individual websites.

    Select the Caches and databases tab to control individual website cache and database settings.
  9. Select OK in the Website Data Settings window, then select Apply and OK in the Internet Options window.

Check the box beside Delete browsing history on exit to remove private data components that you have selected to delete each time the browser is closed.

Select OK in the Website Data Settings window, then select Apply and OK in the Internet Options window.