Despite reports to the contrary, Internet Explorer is still very much alive. While it’s browser share has steadily eroded over time, it still commands a 15% share, which means there are quite a few people out there using it.

To that end, it’s important that IE users know that not only does it store a history of your website comings and goings (as do all other browsers), but you can tweak your history settings. Similarly, just as you can clear your browser history with Mozilla Firefox, Safari for iOS, and Google Chrome, so too can you clear it with Internet Explorer.

Clearing your IE browsing history can be accomplished from Windows’ Internet Options, which can be accessed in one of two ways. If you don’t have IE up and running, head over to the Control Panel and click on “Internet Options”. (You can also open the Start menu and search for “Internet Options” to reach this page.)

If you do have Internet Explorer open, then click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner and select “Internet options”.

WIth the Internet Options open, you can see there’s a “Browsing history” category on the General tab. Click the “Delete…” button.

You’ll be presented with the following options allowing you to clear various aspects of your browsing history. At minimum, you’ll probably want to clear your temporary files and history.

You can also elect to preserve any data stored from your favorites, which means that any websites you have slated as a favorite will be spared when you clear you cookies and temporary Internet files.

If you want to automatically clear history regularly, you can do so by clicking on the “Settings” button on the Internet Options panel.

The Website Data Settings dialog will give you an opportunity to adjust when IE checks for newer versions of stored pages on the “Temporary Internet Files” tab, how much disk space it can use for these files, and where this folder is located. You’ll also have the opportunity to view this folder, the files within it, and to move it to another location if desired.

On the “History” you are able to specify how long IE stores your History, the default is twenty days.

Under the “Caches and databases” tab, you can specify whether websites store caches and databases, how large they can be, and to notify you when they exceed that limit. Additionally, you can go through each one and clear them.

You may or may not want to adjust these settings, but it’s good to know they’re there. Overall, the most important button you want to know about is that simple straightforward “Delete” button back on the General tab.

Additionally, you can elect to delete your browsing history every time you exit Internet Explorer.

Just keep in mind that if there are sites you visit frequently and you clear your history every time you exit IE, you may have to constantly log back into these sites each time you start a new browsing session.

RELATED: How to Clear Your Browsing History in Firefox

Clearing your Internet Explorer browsing history is a good practice to get into. Not only does it protect you from potentially prying eyes, but it can clear up some much-needed disk space.

Profile Photo for Matt Klein Matt Klein
Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He's even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8.
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