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How do I clear my history and other saved data from my web browser?

Answer: Removing old files and information saved by your browser is a good way to optimize your browser's performance and help it run like new. Clearing the browsing history can prevent a list of previously visited URLs from loading when you start typing an web address in the address bar. Deleting the cache can remove images, videos, and other content saved by your browser, making sure you see the latest version of each webpage you visit. Cleaning out saved cookies can prevent websites from loading custom data based on your previous visits. You can also delete saved login information, which will prevent your browser from automatically entering your username and password in web forms.

Each web browser is different, so you must use a different process to clear data stored by your browser. Below are the basic steps for some of the most common browsers:

Google Chrome v.25 (Windows and Mac)

  1. Click the Tools icon () and select Tools → Clear Browsing Data…
  2. Check the items you want to delete and click Clear browsing data.

Mozilla Firefox v.19 (Windows)

  1. Click the Firefox button and select History → Clear Recent History…
  2. Select the time range to clear.
  3. Use the "Details" drop-down menu to select the items you want to delete and click Clear Now.

Mozilla Firefox v.19 (Mac)

  1. Select Tools → Clear Recent History… from the menu bar.
  2. Select the time range to clear.
  3. Use the "Details" drop-down menu to select the items you want to delete and click Clear Now.

Microsoft Internet Explorer v.10 (Windows)

  1. Click the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the window and select Safety → Delete Browsing History…
  2. Check the boxes next to the content you want to delete and click Delete.

You can also select "Internet Options" from IE's Settings menu to open the Internet Options window. This window allows you to remove specific browser content and change many other Internet and browser-related settings as well.

Apple Safari (Mac)

Option 1:

  1. SelectSafari → Reset Safari… from the menu bar.
  2. Check the items you want to reset or delete, then click Reset.

Option 2:

  1. Select Safari → Preferences… from the menu bar to open the Preferences window.
  2. Click the "Passwords" tab to view all saved passwords.
  3. You can choose to remove individual or all saved passwords.
  4. Click the "Privacy" tab to view your privacy settings.
  5. Click Remove All Website Data to remove all saved content. Click the Details… button to view and remove individual cookies.

You can also select History → Clear History… to just delete your browsing history in Safari.

Important: The above instructions are for specific versions of each browser. The methods used to delete data from your browser may change with future releases of the software. You can typically delete the list of files you've downloaded in your browser by opening the Downloads window and selecting "Clear" or "Clear all."

Entered: March 20, 2013 – by Per Christensson

Category: Internet

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