How to Clear Your Browsing History in Google Chrome

If you use Google’s Chrome browser, and chances are you probably do, then may want to clear your browsing history from time to time. It’s always a good idea to do this for the sake of privacy.

Nearly every browser, from Mozilla Firefox to Safari and Microsoft Edge, keeps a history of where you go on the Internet. Most of the time these places are what you would expect them to be, but sometimes you might end up somewhere you didn’t expect to be, and as such, may not want that in your history. Other times, you might just want to clear everything out and start fresh.

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Regardless, we recommend clearing your browsing history at least from time to time. It’s just good habit to get into and could potentially save you from some embarrassment if someone else needs to use your computer for a bit.

The easiest way to access your browsing history is to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H on Windows or Command+Y on a Mac. In either browser you can also click the three lines in the upper-right corner and select “History > History” from the resulting menu.

Your history may be long and extensive. It will be ordered by date so that you can travel back in time to look at where you have been.

At the top of the history page there are two buttons. If you want to remove a site or several, then you can select each one slated from deletion and then click the “Remove selected items” button.

Otherwise, click the “Clear browsing data…” button and another menu will appear. Here you now have options concerning what you remove and from how long back. In this case, we’re only removing our browsing history from “the beginning of time” but we could also delete our history from the past hour, day, week, or four weeks.

Once removed, your browsing data will removed and all traces of where you’ve been will be erased. You will notice that frequently visited sites will also be erased on the new tab page.

Clearing Chrome’s history is a habit you will want to utilize at regular intervals. Remember, you don’t have to clear everything, you can just clear some things.

Nevertheless, it’s a bit of knowledge that will go a long way toward helping your retain a sense of privacy. No, you may not have anything to hide, or more accurately, nothing to be ashamed about. But, you might visit links that directly affect your job security or reveal with whom you hold bank accounts.

Thus, clearing your history, at least before you lend your computer to another family member or friend, is a way to get into the habit, so don’t be shy about it. Next time someone asks to use your laptop to quickly look something up, be sure to excuse yourself for just a minute and clear out your history and you’ll probably be glad you did.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.