Google Chrome records various data from your web history in order to facilitate your browsing. You might want to delete your history for several reasons: Perhaps you visited a site that you weren't supposed to visit. Maybe you want to lighten up your online presence and do away with the autofill of outdated information. Maybe you just want to make some room in your computer's memory. You will be able to delete your history directly on Chrome. To start, press Ctrl + H to access your history tab.
Method 1 of 3: Delete the entire history
Step 1. Click on the Chrome menu
In the upper right corner of your browser, click the icon with three thick horizontal lines, superimposed on each other. This icon is sometimes called the hamburger.
Step 2. Select History
Otherwise, you can simultaneously press the Ctrl and H (Ctrl + H) keys on your keyboard. You will see a chronological list of all the sites you have visited on the Chrome browser. The history will be automatically organized by date.
Step 3. Select Clear browsing data
A dialog box will appear. You will need to choose the type of history you want to delete, as well as the date up to which you want to delete it.
Step 4. Choose what you want to delete
You will have to choose to clear the “last hour”, “last 24 hours”, “last 7 days”, “last 4 weeks” or “all periods” data. The last option will completely delete your Chrome account history.
Step 5. Choose the type of history you will delete
Check the box next to the chosen option and all data corresponding to that category will be deleted, once you click on Erase data. You will be able to choose to delete browsing history, download history, cookies and other site data, cached images and files, passwords and other login data, autofill data, data. hosted application and site settings. In most cases, it will be sufficient to clear your browsing history, download history, and cookies. To better understand what each category is, see the “Understanding web history” section of this article.
Step 6. Click the Clear Data button
This will permanently delete the type of data you selected. Before taking the plunge, make sure that the boxes ticked are the right ones.
Method 2 of 3: Understand web history
Step 1. Understand the different types of history
You will be offered to delete the browsing history, download history, cookies and other site data, cached images and files, passwords and other connection data, autofill data, hosted application data and site settings. Depending on why you are taking this action, you may not have to remove all of these categories. In most cases, it will be sufficient to delete browsing history, download history, and cookies.
Step 2. Delete your browsing history
By deleting your browsing history, you will delete all traces of any web addresses you have visited, the cached text of those pages, the page snapshots for the images that appeared on the new tab page, and any saved IP addresses.
Step 3. Delete your download history
The list of files you downloaded with Chrome will be erased, but the documents themselves will remain on the computer. If you downloaded sensitive files, but hid them properly on your computer, deleting it from your history might make them more secure. Additionally, deleting your download history might free up a small portion of the device's memory (depending on the number of files downloaded), for other applications.
Step 4. Delete Cookies and Other Site Data
- Cookies: files saved on the computer by the websites you have visited. They contain usage information, such as your browsing preferences or profile information.
- Site data: HTML5 records, including application cache, local web storage data, SQL Database web data, and Indexed Database data.
- Plug-in Data: Client-side data maintained by plug-ins using NPAPI ClearSiteData API.
Step 5. Eliminate cached images and files
The cache memory includes the text and content of web pages you have visited on Google Chrome. By deleting it, you will remove these files from your computer. The browser saves certain elements of the pages, so that they load faster the next time you visit. If you remove the cache memory, browsing the sites you visit regularly will therefore be slightly slower.
Step 6. Remove saved passwords
By doing this, all saved usernames and passwords will be deleted. If you are using a Mac, saved passwords will be removed from Keychain Access. If you decide to remove your passwords, make sure you have them written down somewhere, so that you do not lose access to an important account because you no longer remember your credentials which were previously saved in the system.
Step 7. Delete the autofill data
This will remove all of your autofill entries, as well as any text you may have entered on an online form. This could be very practical if for example your delivery address is automatically supplemented by an address where you no longer live: you can delete it forever! However, unless you are having these kinds of issues, it might be best not to erase this data.
Step 8. Delete the hosted application data
Checking this box will remove data for apps you added to Chrome from the Chrome Web Store. These include the local web storage used by Gmail Offline.
Step 9. Remove permissions from the site settings
This will prevent Flash Player from playing previously viewed copyrighted content, such as movies or music that you have purchased. Google Chrome recommends removing these permissions before selling or donating a computer.
Method 3 of 3: Delete specific items from history
Step 1. Only delete certain sites from your history
This will be ideal if you've visited a few sites that you weren't supposed to visit, but don't want to delete your entire history. Maybe you want to keep some information and delete some data. Maybe it would seem fishy for you to delete the entire history. In either case, you can choose to delete only the traces of the sites chosen, among those that you have visited with Chrome.
Step 2. Go to the History tab of Chrome
Press on Ctrl + H or click on the menu in the upper right corner of the browser.
Step 3. Choose the data you want to delete
Check the box next to the web pages you want to delete. Check as many boxes as necessary. By holding down the Shift key and checking two boxes spaced apart from each other, you will select all the boxes that separate them and can thus easily delete an entire passage from the history. To find a link or keyword that you want to clear, use the search box at the top of the History tab.
Step 4. Click the Remove button
You will only be able to click this button once you have selected at least one site to delete.
Step 5. Make sure you want to delete these pages from your history
You will see a dialog box saying "Are you sure you want to delete these pages from your history?" Don't hesitate to go back and double-check that you aren't erasing anything important. When you are sure of your decision, continue.
Step 6. Click Remove
Chrome will permanently delete the selected sites from your browsing history.
- To surf sensitive sites, use incognito mode (Ctrl + Shift + N). When you are in private browsing, Chrome will not complete your browsing history and you can therefore visit the sites of your choice in relative confidentiality. Keep in mind, however, that if someone accesses your IP address, they will be able to see the sites you have visited, even if you have deleted your history.
- If you can't find the link you want to remove, type the keywords for the link (or the URL itself, if you have it in mind), into the search box.