How to Remove Browsing History in Internet Explorer 8 - dummies

How to Remove Browsing History in Internet Explorer 8

By Dan Gookin

All web browser programs come with a History feature. It details the websites and pages you visited for the past week or two. That way, you can quickly return to where you once were, but others using the computer can also view your Internet travels. When you go somewhere that you would rather not have others know about, you need to practice some good old historical revision.

For Internet Explorer 8, follow these steps to prune the history list:

  1. Choose Safety→Delete Browsing History.

    The Delete Browsing History dialog box appears. Obviously, this dialog box plays a key role in deleting digital history.


  2. Ensure that a check mark appears by the History option.

    You can check all items in the dialog box if you want to perform a more complete wipe of your web browsing history.

  3. Click the Delete button.

If you’d rather just dispense with history altogether, you can disable it as a feature by following these steps:

  1. Choose Tools→Internet Options.

  2. Click the Settings button in the Browsing History area of the dialog box’s General tab.

  3. Set the Number of Days to Keep Pages in History value to zero.

    It’s at the bottom of the Temporary Internet Files and History Settings dialog box.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box.

Keep in mind that the History feature continues to track recent websites, even when you disable it. Setting the Number of Days to Keep Pages in History value to zero merely erases the history list every day, not every second.

If you desire simply to pluck out specific unwanted remnants of where you’ve been, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H to summon the History window in Internet Explorer.

    The web page history is categorized by day, website, and, finally, web page.

  2. Right-click a day, website, or web page to remove from the History list.

  3. Choose the Delete command from the shortcut menu.

  4. Click the Yes button to confirm the deletion.

    And the offending entry is gone.

You have to repeat all these steps to delete additional entries; after you delete an entry, the History panel/window/thing closes.

You can use the preceding technique to clear out the history when you set the Number of Days to Keep Pages in History value to zero, as described earlier. Simply delete the items you don’t want to keep, and know that the rest of history will be zapped at the end of the day anyway.

  • To clear the history for Internet Explorer 6 and earlier, click the Clear History button, found on the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box.

  • To set the Number of Days to Keep Pages in History option in Internet Explorer 6, open the Internet Options dialog box and set the value on the General tab.

  • In the Firefox web browser, you can remove what’s called “personal information” by using the Clear Private Data command: Choose Tools→Clear Recent History.