It has always been pretty simple to delete your Internet browsing search history. Your favorite browser, whether it is Internet Explorer, Firefox or some other, has long come with the option to delete your Internet, web and browser search history and to clear cookies and memory cache. The trick is your simply knowing what to do.
Now, remember that as in deleting other files, these files are not permanently erased until they are written over, so there are numerous special programs out there to permanently erase your search and Internet history. However, while most users do not know how to erase the history, even fewer know how to retrieve it, so using these built in functions is going to be successful for most computer users.
Most people surfing the web still use Internet Explorer. On the top menu, simply click Tools/Options/Internet Options/General. Then click “delete files”, then click OK. Finally click “clear history”, then click Yes when prompted.
Safari users have it easy. Simply click History on the top menu, and then click Clear History on the bottom of the list that appears. Just in case you did not know, Safari is now freely available for Windows users. It is one of the best browsers when it comes to protecting your search history and enabling private browsing.
If you are a Mozilla FireFox user, you will choose Tools/Options/Privacy/Clear. It is a piece of cake, right?
AOL is just as simple…Settings/Preferences/Toolbars and Sounds/Clear History Trail Now.
Granted, having to choose “toolbars and sounds” does not sound intuitive, but it does bring up an important point. If you have toolbars on your browser, like the Google, Yahoo, or Alexa toolbars, those also keep your search history for future reference…which is actually quite handy when you are trying to find something again and cannot remember what search term was successful.
However, if you are trying to cover your tracks, you do not want that information left there for prying eyes. As an example, click the Down arrow to the right of where you enter your search on the Google toolbar, and you will see your search history right in front of you. Fortunately, you will also see a link that says Clear History. Just click there, and your history is gone from sight.
All toolbars provide this sort of option, as well as an option to not even remember your Internet search history, although you might have to go into your browser and turn off the AutoComplete function.
But, again, if you want to truly make sure your search history is gone forever, you are going to need third-party privacy control software to do it. These programs cannot only clear history, cache and cookies, but they will usually permanently delete them from your computer where they cannot be recovered using undelete or data recovery software. Most programs on the market use government and military level deletion protocols, which wipe the data from your computer for good.