Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clear Browser History in Chrome, Firefox, and Brave

This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to managing your browser history effectively. Covering how to clear browser history in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, and Brave, the focus will extend to ensuring your online privacy and enhancing your system’s performance by deleting history and cookies. Special considerations for privacy modes and scheduled cleaning of browser history will also be discussed, offering you a broad spectrum of techniques to safeguard your digital footprint and keep your browsing experience smooth and secure.

Clearing Browser History in Google Chrome

To maintain optimal performance and safeguard your privacy, clearing your browser history in Google Chrome is a straightforward process. Here’s how you can efficiently manage your browsing data:

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clear Browser History in Google Chrome

  1. Launch Google Chrome:
    • Open your Google Chrome browser on your desktop or device.
  2. Access Browsing History:
    • Click on the vertical ellipses icon (three dots) (⋮) located at the top right corner of the browser.Select Three Eclipse Dot / How to Clear Browser History
    • Select ‘History’ and then ‘History’ again from the submenu to view your recent browsing history.Select History then History / How to Clear Browser History
  3. Clear Browsing Data:
    • Within the History menu, click on ‘Clear browsing data’. You can also reach this option directly by selecting ‘More tools’ and then ‘Clear browsing data’ from the main menu.Then select Clear Browsing Data
    • In the ‘Clear Browsing Data’ window, switch to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  4. Select Data Types and Time Range:
    • Choose the time range for which you want to delete the history. Options range from ‘Last hour’ to ‘All time’.
    • Check the boxes next to ‘Browsing history’, ‘Download history’, ‘Cookies and other site data’, and ‘Cached images and files’ depending on what you wish to clear.
  5. Confirm the Deletion:
    • Click on ‘Clear data’ to delete the selected browsing history.
  6. Restart Browser:
    • Close and reopen Google Chrome to ensure all changes take effect.

Additional Features for Privacy and Management

  • Incognito Mode:
    • For private browsing sessions that don’t save history, use Incognito mode by clicking on the three dots and selecting ‘New incognito window’.
  • Automate History Deletion:
    • Visit myactivity.google.com, navigate to ‘Activity Controls’, and set up ‘Auto-delete’ for your Web & App Activity, including Chrome history.
  • Manage Specific Items:
    • To remove specific items from your history, check the boxes next to each item you want to delete and click ‘Remove’.

Managing Cookies and Site Data

  • Necessary Cookies:
    • Examples include authentication and security cookies like __cf_bm and cookieyes-consent.
  • Functional and Advertising Cookies:
    • These may include cookies for site preferences and targeted advertising, such as UserMatchHistory and _fbp.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage your browsing data in Google Chrome, enhancing both your system’s performance and your online privacy.

Read our article on How to Fix the Google Chrome “Free Up Space to Continue” Error Message (3 Ways).

Clearing Browser History in Mozilla Firefox

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clear Browser History in Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open the Menu:
    • Click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) located at the top right corner of the browser.Click on Firefox Menu bar / How to Clear Browser History
  2. Navigate to History:
    • Select ‘History’ from the dropdown menu to open the history sidebar.Click on History then Clear History / How to Clear Browser History
  3. Delete Entire Browsing History:
    • Click on the trash icon located in the top right corner of the history sidebar.
    • Choose ‘Everything’ from the ‘Time range to delete’ dropdown menu.Clear History
    • Click ‘Delete’ or ‘Clear Now’ to remove all stored browsing history.

Managing Specific Site Data

  • Remove Specific Sites:
    • From the menu, select ‘History’ and then ‘Manage History’.
    • Search for the website you wish to remove.
    • Right-click on the site and choose ‘Forget About This Site’.
    • Confirm by clicking ‘Forget’.

Clearing Cookies and Other Browsing Data

  1. Access Settings:
    • Tap the menu button and select ‘Settings’.
  2. Privacy and Security:
    • Scroll to the ‘Privacy and security’ section.
  3. Delete Browsing Data:
    • Tap ‘Delete browsing data’.
    • Check the items you wish to clear, such as cookies, cached images, and files.
    • Tap ‘Delete browsing data’ again to confirm.

Automated History Management

  • Set Firefox to Clear Data on Exit:
    • Within the ‘Privacy and security’ settings, configure Firefox to automatically clear your browsing history each time it closes.

Additional Privacy Features

  • Private Browsing:
    • Open a new private window to prevent Firefox from saving your browsing history.
  • Do Not Track:
    • Activate the ‘Do Not Track’ feature by selecting the ‘Always’ option under ‘Send websites a Do Not Track signal that you don’t want to be tracked’.

Clearing Cache

  1. Access Preferences:
    • Go to Firefox Preferences or Settings.
  2. Privacy & Security Panel:
    • Select the ‘Privacy & Security’ panel.
  3. Clear Cache:
    • In the ‘Cookies and Site Data’ section, click ‘Clear Data’.
    • Uncheck ‘Cookies and Site Data’ and check ‘Cached Web Content’.
    • Click ‘Clear’ to remove cached data.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage and delete your browsing history, cookies, cache, and other site data in Mozilla Firefox, ensuring your privacy and optimizing your browser’s performance. Please read our article on How to Clear Cache and Cookies in Mozilla Firefox.

Clearing Browser History in Microsoft Edge

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clear Browser History in Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge:
    • Launch your Microsoft Edge browser from your desktop or device.
  2. Navigate to Settings:
    • Click on the ellipses (three dots) (⋮) at the top right corner of the browser window.
    • Select ‘Settings’ from the dropdown menu.
  3. Privacy, Search, and Services:
    • Within the Settings menu, click on ‘Privacy, search, and services’.
  4. Clear Browsing Data:
    • Scroll down to ‘Clear browsing data’ and click on ‘Choose what to clear’.
  5. Select Data Types and Time Range:
    • Choose the types of data you wish to clear, such as browsing history, cookies, cached images, and files.
    • Select the time range from options like ‘Last hour’, ‘Last week’, ‘Last four weeks’, or ‘All time’.
  6. Confirm and Clear Data:
    • Click on ‘Clear now’ to remove the selected data.

Additional Privacy and Security Features

  • InPrivate Browsing:
    • To avoid saving your browsing history, use InPrivate mode by selecting ‘New InPrivate window’ from the ellipses menu.
  • Send Do Not Track Requests:
    • Enable this feature by toggling the ‘Send “Do Not Track” requests’ to the ‘on’ position in the Privacy, search, and services settings.
  • Manage Sync Settings:
    • To control what information is synced across devices, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Profiles’ > ‘Sync’ and toggle ‘Turn off sync’ if necessary.

Managing and Deleting Data Stored in the Cloud

  • Access the Privacy Dashboard:
    • Data saved in the Microsoft cloud can be managed or deleted through the privacy dashboard, accessible from the Privacy, search, and services menu.

Options for Diagnostic Data

  • Control Diagnostic Data Sharing:
    • Navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Privacy, search, and services’. Under ‘Personalize your web experience’, manage your diagnostic data preferences by enabling or disabling the option to ‘Help improve Microsoft products by sending optional diagnostic data’.

Tips for Enhanced Privacy

  • Adjust Tracking Settings:
    • Ensure that ‘Send Do Not Track requests’ is turned on to minimize tracking, though be aware that compliance by websites is voluntary.
  • Review and Clear DRM Data:
    • For users who stream media, review and manage Digital Rights Management data stored on your device to enhance security and privacy.

By following these steps and utilizing the additional privacy settings, you can effectively manage your browsing history and personal data in Microsoft Edge, ensuring a more secure and private browsing experience.

Clearing Browser History in Safari

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clear Browser History in Safari

  1. Open Safari:
    • Launch the Safari browser on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
  2. Access History Settings:
    • On a Mac, go to the menu bar at the top of the screen, select History, then choose Clear History from the dropdown menu.
    • On iOS devices, open Settings, scroll down to Safari, and tap on Clear History and Website Data.
  3. Choose Time Range to Clear:
    • In the dialog box that appears, click the pop-up menu to select how far back you want your browsing history cleared. Options include the last hour, today, today and yesterday, or all history.
  4. Confirm the Deletion of History:
    • Click Clear History on a Mac or tap Clear History and Data on iOS devices to confirm. This action will remove your browsing history, cookies, and other browsing data.

Managing Cookies and Website Data

  • View and Remove Cookies:
    • On a Mac, go to Safari in the menu bar, select Preferences, then click on the Privacy tab. Click Manage Website Data to see and remove stored cookies and data.
  • Block All Cookies:
    • On iOS, go to Settings > Safari and toggle Block All Cookies. Remember, blocking all cookies might prevent some websites from working correctly.

Using Private Browsing Mode

  • Open a New Private Window:
    • On both Mac and iOS, you can browse privately by opening a new private window. On a Mac, go to File and select New Private Window. On iOS, tap the pages icon in Safari, then tap Private and Done.

Additional Privacy Features

  • Prevent Cross-Site Tracking:
    • To enhance your privacy, Safari can block tracking from one site to another. On a Mac, this option is found under Preferences > Privacy, and on iOS, it’s in the Safari section of the Settings.

Scheduled Clearing and Sync Considerations

  • Automate Clearing History:
    • While Safari does not natively support scheduled history clearing, third-party automation tools like Shortcuts on iOS can be used to set up automated tasks.
  • Sync Settings Across Devices:
    • If iCloud Safari syncing is enabled, clearing history on one device will clear it across all devices connected to your iCloud account. This setting can be adjusted in the iCloud section of your device settings.

Troubleshooting and Tips

  • Ensure Full History Deletion:
    • After clearing history, restart your device to ensure all history is properly erased.
    • If you experience issues with history not clearing, check if any restrictions are set on your device that might prevent deletion.

By following these steps and utilizing Safari’s privacy settings, you can effectively manage your browsing data, enhancing both your system’s performance and your online privacy.

Clearing Browser History in Opera

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clear Browser History in Opera

  1. Open Opera Browser:
    • Launch the Opera browser from your desktop or device.
  2. Access History:
    • Press Ctrl+H or click the History icon on the sidebar to open the history page.
  3. Select Data to Clear:
    • Click on Clear browsing data in the top-right corner of the history page.
    • In the dialog that appears, select the types of data you wish to clear such as browsing history, cookies, cached images, and files.
  4. Choose Time Range:
    • From the time range dropdown, select how far back you want the data cleared. Options include the last hour, last 24 hours, last week, or all time.
  5. Clear Data:
    • Click on Clear data to delete the selected browsing history and related data.
    • Confirm the action if prompted.

Managing Cookies and Site Data

  • Access Privacy Settings:
    • Navigate to the menu by clicking the icon near the top right corner, then select Go to full browser settings.
    • Scroll to the Privacy and security section.
  • Delete Specific Cookies or Site Data:
    • Click on Cookies and other site data to manage specific cookies or site data you wish to delete.

Using Extensions for Enhanced Privacy

  • Install Clear Browsing Data Extension:
    • Add the Clear Browsing Data extension from the Opera add-ons store to your browser for quicker access to data clearing options directly from the toolbar.
  • Configure Extension Settings:
    • Once installed, configure the extension to clear your browsing data with a single click or to display a list of data types you can select for clearing.

Additional Tips for Managing History in Opera

  • Private Browsing:
    • Use private tabs for browsing sessions that do not save history. Open a new private tab by selecting New private window from the menu.
  • Manage Downloads:
    • To clear your download history, press Ctrl+J, click Clear downloads, and manually delete files if necessary from your computer.
  • Sync Data Across Devices:
    • If you use Opera on multiple devices, enable sync to keep your bookmarks, passwords, and other important data consistent across devices.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • History Not Clearing Completely:
    • Ensure that all browser windows are closed after clearing data, and restart Opera to fully apply the changes.
  • Extensions Impacting Browser Performance:
    • Regularly review and remove unused extensions by pressing Ctrl+Shift+E to access the extensions page.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage your browsing data in Opera, enhancing your online privacy and optimizing your browser’s performance.

Clearing Browser History in Brave

Step-by-Step Instructions to Clear Browser History in Brave

  1. Open Brave Browser:
    • Launch the Brave browser from your desktop or device.
  2. Access Clear Browsing Data Options:
    • Click on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner.
    • Navigate to Settings and then select Privacy and security from the left sidebar.
    • Click on Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Data Types and Time Range:
    • In the dialog box that appears, you can choose which types of data to clear such as browsing history, cookies, cached images, and files.
    • Select the time range for which you want to delete the data. Options include the last hour, the past 24 hours, last week, or from the beginning of time.
  4. Clear Data:
    • After selecting the desired types of data and time range, click on Clear data to finalize the deletion of your browsing history.

Managing Cookies and Site Data in Brave

  • Clear All Cookies and Site Data:
    • From the Clear browsing data menu, select Cookies and other site data and Cached files and images, then click on Clear data.
  • Clear Specific Cookies and Site Data:
    • Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Cookies and other site data.
    • Search for the site you want to clear data for and click Remove all shown.

Privacy Features and Data Management

  • Using the Clear on Exit Feature:
    • Navigate to Settings > Privacy and Security > Clear browsing data.
    • Go to the On exit tab and tick all items that you want to be cleared automatically each time you exit Brave.
  • Add Sites to Clear on Exit:
    • Under Cookies and other site data, use the Clear on exit section to add URLs of sites whose data you want cleared upon exiting Brave by clicking Add.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Check Background Apps Settings:
    • If the Clear browsing data on exit feature is not working as expected, ensure that Continue running background apps when Brave is closed is disabled under System settings.

By adhering to these steps, you can effectively manage your browsing data in Brave, enhancing both your online privacy and the performance of your browser.

Special Considerations for Privacy Modes

Understanding Privacy Modes

Privacy modes in browsers like Incognito in Chrome, Private Browsing in Firefox, and InPrivate in Edge are designed to enhance user privacy by not saving browsing history, cookies, or search records after the session ends. However, it’s crucial to understand their limitations and how they can be effectively used.

What Privacy Modes Do and Don’t Do

  1. Session Data Deletion:
    • Privacy modes delete browsing history, cookies, and form data once you close the window. This prevents other users on the same device from seeing your activities.
  2. Limitations:
    • These modes do not hide your activity from your internet service provider, employer, or the websites you visit.
    • They do not prevent IP-based tracking or fingerprinting techniques that websites use to identify users.

Enhancing Privacy Beyond Default Settings

  1. Use of VPNs and Privacy Tools:
    • To prevent IP-based tracking, consider using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or tools like Apple’s iCloud Private Relay which help mask your IP address.
    • Tools like Privacy Badger and DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials can block trackers and help manage cookies more aggressively.
  2. Browser Extensions and Settings:
    • Some browsers offer enhanced anti-tracking technologies in their privacy modes. Check your browser’s settings to enable these features.
    • Be cautious with browser extensions as they can sometimes undermine privacy protections if not properly managed.

Practical Uses of Privacy Modes

  • Separate Professional and Personal Browsing: Use privacy modes to keep work and personal browsing separate without mixing histories.
  • Conducting Sensitive Searches: For sensitive topics or surprise gift shopping, privacy modes help keep searches out of your history.
  • Using Public or Shared Computers: Always use privacy modes to ensure your browsing data is not saved on public or shared devices.

Common Misconceptions

  • Complete Anonymity: Privacy modes do not provide complete anonymity online. They primarily prevent data from being saved on your device.
  • Protection from Malware: These modes do not offer protection against threats like malware or spyware. Adequate security software is still necessary.
  • Regularly Clear Browsing Data: Even outside of privacy modes, regularly clear your browsing data to manage cookies and history.
  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of new privacy features and settings introduced in browser updates.

By understanding the capabilities and limitations of privacy modes, you can better protect your online privacy and make informed decisions about when and how to use these features.

Scheduled Cleaning of Browser History

Automating Browser History Deletion in Google Chrome

Google Chrome, from version 119 and higher, includes a feature that allows for the automatic deletion of browsing data when all windows are closed. This can be particularly useful for maintaining privacy without the need to manually clear data after each session. Here’s how you can enable this feature:

  1. Open Chrome Settings:
    • Click on the three dots icon in the upper right corner of your browser window and select “Settings”.
  2. Navigate to Privacy and Security:
    • Scroll to and select “Privacy and Security” from the options listed.
  3. Access Site Settings:
    • Click on “Site Settings” to modify content settings.
  4. Go to Additional Content Settings:
    • Select “Additional Content Settings” to see more options.
  5. Manage On-device Site Data:
    • Click on “On-device Site Data”.
  6. Enable Automatic Data Deletion:
    • Choose the option “Delete data sites that have been saved to your device when you close all windows”.

For direct access, you can also enter chrome://settings/content/siteData in your browser’s address bar to reach this setting quickly.

Utilizing Extensions for Scheduled Data Cleaning

For users seeking more customized control over their data, the “Auto Clear Browsing Data” extension for Google Chrome offers a solution. This extension allows you to define tasks that automatically remove specified types of data at set intervals or during browser startup. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Install the Extension:
    • Add the “Auto Clear Browsing Data” extension from the Chrome Web Store to your browser.
  2. Configure the Settings:
    • After installation, click on the extension icon and set up the types of data you want to clear and the frequency (e.g., every time you start the browser or at specified time intervals).

Benefits of Regularly Clearing Browsing History

Clearing your browsing history on a regular basis is beneficial for both privacy and performance:

  • Enhanced Privacy: Regular deletion helps protect sensitive information from potential privacy breaches.
  • Improved Browser Performance: Removing old data can help speed up your browser and reduce lag.

Table: Benefits of Scheduled Browser History Cleaning

Privacy ProtectionReduces the risk of privacy breaches by regularly clearing old data.
Performance BoostHelps maintain a smooth and fast browsing experience.
Customized ControlAllows users to choose what data to clear and when.

By setting up scheduled cleaning of your browser history, you ensure that your digital footprint is managed efficiently, enhancing both your privacy and your browsing experience.

Maintaining Privacy Across Different Browsers

Maintaining your privacy across different browsers involves understanding the specific steps to manage your browsing history, cookies, and settings. Each browser has unique features and settings that you can utilize to enhance your privacy. Here’s a guide to help you navigate these settings across popular browsers.

Google Chrome (Android and iOS)

  1. Synchronize Data:
    • On Android, ensure that your data is synchronized across all devices for a seamless experience. You can unlink other devices from your Google account with a single button click in the settings menu.
    • On iOS, access private browsing and settings from the menu that appears when you press the three horizontal dots in the corner of the browser window.
  2. Use Safety Check:
    • Regularly use the Safety Check feature in Chrome to keep your browser updated and protect your device from malicious websites.

Mozilla Firefox (Android)

  1. Modify Privacy Settings:
    • Adjust your privacy settings so that all links you click will open in private browsing tabs, ensuring that your browsing history is not saved.

Samsung Internet (Android)

  1. Access Privacy Dashboard:
    • Use the privacy dashboard to manage and clear your personal browsing history and permissions. This can be accessed by pressing a button at the bottom of the screen and then pressing the “Settings” icon.

Safari (iOS)

  1. Access Privacy Features:
    • Press the puzzle piece icon to access Safari’s menu and privacy report. To view and clear your history, press the book emoji at the bottom of the screen.

Google Search History

  1. Delete History:
    • Google search history can be deleted directly from the google.com website, allowing you to manage what information is stored.

Individual App History

  1. Manage App-Specific Data:
    • History for individual apps like Google Maps and YouTube can be deleted within their respective apps, helping you to control the data stored by each application.

By understanding and utilizing these settings across different browsers and devices, you can maintain a higher level of privacy and control over your online data.


Throughout this guide, we’ve journeyed through the essential steps required to maintain privacy and enhance system performance across various browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Brave. The strategies outlined provide a comprehensive method for managing and deleting browsing data, underscoring the importance of regularly clearing browser history, cookies, cache, and other types of stored information. The application of these measures not only safeguards your digital footprint but also contributes to a more secure and efficient browsing experience.

Reflecting on the broader ramifications, it’s evident that such practices are not merely technical necessities but critical components of digital hygiene that can significantly impact our online privacy and security. As technology continues to evolve, staying informed and proactive in managing one’s digital presence becomes paramount. While the steps provided form a solid foundation, the constantly changing digital landscape suggests an ongoing need for vigilance and adaptation to new security threats and privacy concerns. Engaging with these practices is a crucial step toward securing not just personal data but also contributing to the overall health of the internet ecosystem.


How can I delete my browsing history in Brave browser?
To remove your browsing history in Brave, follow these steps:

  1. Open Brave.
  2. At the top of your screen, click on “Brave” in the toolbar.
  3. Select “Clear browsing data.”
  4. Choose the time range you want to clear history for and select the specific data you wish to delete.
  5. Click on “Clear data.”

What is the procedure to clear browsing history in a browser?
If you’re using Chrome, here’s how to clear your browsing data:

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. Click on “More” at the top right corner, then choose “Clear browsing data.”
  3. Pick a time range, such as “Last hour” or “All time.”
  4. Check the boxes next to the types of information you want to clear.
  5. Click on “Clear data.”

How do I go about erasing my Firefox browser history?
To clear your browsing history in Firefox, do the following:

  1. Press the menu button.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Scroll to “Privacy and security.”
  4. Choose “Delete browsing data.”
  5. Mark the items you wish to clear.
  6. Press the “Delete browsing data” button.
  7. Confirm your decision by tapping “Delete.”

What are the steps to clean up the Brave browser?
To clear all cookies and site data in Brave, you should:

  1. Click on the Menu icon in the upper right corner and navigate to “Settings.”
  2. Go to “Additional settings” then to “Privacy and Security” and select “Clear browsing data.”

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