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Most people have been faced with the problem of worrying whether someone will discover what they have been searching for on the Internet. Today, I’m going to take a few minutes and teach you how to delete your history on your computer. There’s a little more to it than you might think but it’s not really that difficult.

First, lets talk about what search history actually is. Anytime you search the Internet with your web browser or visit a website, a record of the search term you used is saved to a part of your hard drive called a “cache”. The time, date, and URL of the website you visited is also saved. There are plenty of reasons why people don’t want this information available for others to view. The fact is that most people don’t realize how much data their computer actually keeps stored.

You should also know that any time you visit a website, a small file called a “cookie” is stored on your computer’s hard drive. Cookies are used for many reasons. Most of them are legitimate and useful. One useful use of a cookie is so a website can remember your preferences or username and password. Then, the next time you visit that particular site, you won’t have to enter this information again. This can be pretty handy if you are the only one who uses the computer but you probably don’t want your personal information to be stored on a public computer. This is why so many people have the question; how do you delete your history on the Internet?

The first bit of advice I’ll give you is to take the time right now to configure your Internet browser so that it will automatically delete your search history when you close your browser. Most people never have the need to go back and search through the websites that they have previously visited so it’s just a good practice to not let a history of the sites that you visit accumulate on your computer.

Different people use different Internet browsers so I won’t get into the specifics of how each browser works but I’ll provide links to how to delete the history on your computer for several web browsers at the end of this article. If you have your browser configured to automatically delete your search history when you close the browser, you won’t have to remember to clear your search history manually. Anything you try to remember to do manually is going to be forgotten sooner or later.

Some of the most popular Internet browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome. If you’re like me, you probably use all three from time to time on your computer. If you use multiple web browsers, the easiest way that I know to purge your search history from your system is to use a program called CCleaner. This is a free tool that is really quite powerful. The reason I like using this tool is that it will clear all of the search history from several browsers at the touch of a button. Click here to download CCleaner for free.

After you have downloaded and installed the software, you simply click on the “Cleaner” tab followed by the “Analyze” button, and then the “Run Cleaner” button. It’s worth pointing out that if you are a stickler for security, you can choose how thorough of a job the software does at removing your search history. Simply click on the “Options” tab followed by the “Settings” button. You can then choose “normal file deletion” or “secure file deletion”. I should also tell you that when a file is deleted from a computer, the data isn’t actually deleted. What actually happens is the file name is simply erased which makes the particular place that the data was stored available to have new data stored in its place. Until some new data is actually written to the same place on the drive, the information is still on the drive and accessible with the use of data recovery software.

If you choose the “secure file deletion” option, there are three sub-options to choose from. They are Simple Overwrite – (1 Pass), DDOD 5220.22-M (3 passes), NSA (7 passes), and Gutmann (35 passes). When you choose the secure deletion option, the location in which the data was stored will have new, meaningless data written over the place your search history was once stored. The more passes you let the software perform, the less chance there is of anyone ever being able to recover your search history from your computer’s hard drive. It takes much longer if you choose the Gutmann method but this is the most thorough way to delete the search history from your computer.

Okay, so that pretty much addresses how to clear the history on your computer but there is something else that you should know about. If you have a Google account and you use the Google search engine, depending on how you have your Google account set up, Google may keep a record of your search history. If you want to know how to delete Google history search, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not very difficult. The first thing you’ll want to do is look in the upper right hand corner of any Google search page and look to see if you are logged into your Google account. If you see the email address that you used to open your Google account displayed, you are signed in.

Next to your email address you’ll see a small image that looks like a gear. This is the image you click on to delete your search history. Click on that image and you’ll see that you have two choices. The top one is “Search Settings” and the second one is “Web History”. To delete your web history, simply click on “Web History” followed by the the link that says “Clear entire Web History” and then click on the button labeled “Clear History”.

Here are the links I promised you that will provide you with instructions for deleting search history within specific web browsers.

Thanks for taking time to visit the Touch Screen Laptop Superstore. I hope you enjoyed this article and that you have a great day! I appreciate you coming by and before you leave, you may want to read my article called How To Find My IP Address On Windows 7.

Sources:

  1. http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner
  2. http://support.microsoft.com
  3. http://support.mozilla.com
  4. http://www.cleanhistory.org/clean_history_Opera.html
  5. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/apple/clear-all-browsing-history-in-safari

I receive compensation due to affiliate links or endorsements on this website: Disclosure of Compensation