As you browse the Internet, tracks of websites you visit are left on your computer, including cookies, cached websites, a history of visited sites and searches, site preferences, and more. These data reveal your browsing habits. If your privacy is dear to you, you may want to delete them. This article summarizes different ways to automatically clear all your browser history, every time you exit your browser.
FirefoxTo manually clear your browser history in Firefox, click the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del]. This is a quick way to launch the Clear All History dialogue. Click on the arrow next to Details in case they are not already extended. Select which history data you want to delete. Using the Time range to clear drop-down menu at the top you can selectively remove recent data. When you’re done click Clear Now.
To clear your browser history ever time you exit Firefox, go to > Firefox > Options (click it) > Privacy and set a checkmark next to Clear history when Firefox closes at the bottom of the History section. Click the Settings… button next to it to customize what data to delete. OK both windows to save your selection.
You can also use the Firefox add-on History Eraser, which was previously added to our Directory.
Google ChromeThe shortcut to quickly access the Clear Browsing Data menu is the same as in Firefox and most other browsers: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del] Like in Firefox, you can select the items you want to clear and also set a time frame at the top. Click the Clear browsing data button to execute.
The long route to Chrome privacy settings is to click the wrench icon, select Settings, and switch to the Under the Hood section. Under Privacy click the Content settings… button. Within Content Settings, next to the header Cookies, select the option Clear cookies and other site and plug-in data when I close my browser.
What is awesome about Chrome is that it allows you to Manage exceptions… via the respective button. This is the place to add websites that you don’t want to see cleared from your browsing history.
To manage cookies separately within Chrome, have a look at this article: Select Specific Cookies & Keep Them In A Whitelist While Deleting Others In Chrome.
Internet Explorer 9As mentioned previously, the standard keyboard shortcut to Deleting Browsing History is [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del]. While Internet Explorer doesn’t allow you to delete only recent data, it offers another innovative option: Preserve Favorites website data. Moreover, it actually provides a clear explanation of what each option means.
To set up automatic deletion of your browsing data in IE, click the tools icon and select Internet options. In the General tab under the header Browsing history, check the option Delete browsing history on exit. Click the Delete… button to open the window shown above and customize what will be deleted.
You can go even farther, by switching to the Advanced tab, scrolling down to Security, and selecting the Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when the browser is closed.
Third Party Apps To Clear Browser HistoryIf you regularly use more than one browser and don’t want to set up each of them separately, third-party applications can help you clear the history of all your browsers at once. However, automating this tasks is easier to do in the browser directly, which is why I prefer setting it up for each browser individually.
Here is a quick list of tools and where we have reviewed them:
- Browser Cleaner: Delete Temporary Files Quickly & Discreetly With Browser Cleaner, MakeUseOf Directory
- CCleaner & CCEnhancer: Help CCleaner Remove All Your Excess Files With CCEnhancer, Optimize Your System To Run At Its Best With CCleaner
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