How to Find, Manage, and Delete Your Search History

Clear your search history with these simple steps

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Ever accidentally close your Web browser, and want to figure out what you were just looking at? Maybe you found a great website a few weeks ago, but you didn't keep it as a favorite and you'd really like to rediscover it. If you'd like to simply and easily look back and see what you were looking at previously, this is called search history, and there is a simple keyboard shortcut you can use to instantly view your browsing history, for whatever Web browser you might be using.

Find and Manage Your Search History

For Google Chrome, type CTRL + H. Your history will be displayed by time up to three weeks back, by site, by most visited, and by most visited today.If you use Google Chrome on more than one computer or mobile device, you'll see your browsing history from that device included in your search history, a very useful feature. 

For Internet Explorer, type CTRL + H. Your history will be displayed by time up to three weeks back, by site, by most visited, and by most visited today.

For Firefox, type CTRL + H. Your search history will be displayed by time up to three months ago, by date and site, by site, by most visited, and by last visited. You can also search for a specific site in the Firefox history search box.

For Safari, click on the History link located at the top of your browser. You'll see a drop-down menu with your search history displayed for the last few days.

For Opera, type Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + H (a little bit more complicated than the other browsers, but that's okay). This allows you access to the Opera Quick Find History Search, from which you can search for the sites you've visited by keyword. To see your basic search history, type "opera:historysearch" in your browser address bar.

How to Delete or Clear Your Search History

If you are on a shared computer, or simply want to keep your searches to yourself, learning how to delete your Internet usage history is an easy way to accomplish that. In addition to erasing any trace of your travels online, you'll also free up much needed memory space on your computer, which could possibly cause it to run more efficiently. Note: you don't necessarily need to be connected to the Internet to delete your history; these steps will work while you're offline.

If you are on a shared computer, such as in a library or school computer lab, it's always a good idea to clear your Internet history. This is for your security and privacy. If you are not on a shared computer, and want to delete your Internet history, be mindful that this will not only clear where you've been online, but also any cookies, passwords, site preferences, or saved forms.

What You Need:

  • Connection to the Internet (optional)

  • A Web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox

Note: this tutorial assumes Windows as the default operating system. Find your Windows Start button, located on the taskbar. Click on that button.

Click on the Control Panel link. A window will pop up with a wide variety of options.

Look for the "Internet Options" icon. Click on that. In the middle of this window, you'll see "Browsing History: Delete temporary files, history, cookies, saved passwords, and web form information." Click the Delete button. Your Internet history is now deleted.

You can also delete your Internet history from within your browser.

In Internet Explorer, click on Tools-->Delete Browsing History-->Delete All. You have the option of just deleting parts of your Internet history here as well.

In Firefox, click on Tools-->Clear Recent History. A pop up window will appear, and you'll have the option of picking just parts of your Internet history to clear, as well as the timeframe you'd like to clear it in (the last two hours, the last two weeks, etc.).

In Chrome, click on Settings>More Tools>Clear Recent History

If you are only interested in clearing your Google search history, you'll want to read How to Clear Your Google Search History; a comprehensive guide to deleting all traces of anything the user searches for on Google