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How to Clear Your Search and Browser History

Just by landing on this page, you’ve added one more website to your browser history. And if you got here via a search engine, that’s another item in your search history as well. Clearing your browsing and search histories is important, because those bread crumbs can quickly pile up.

While deleting your browser history will clear some searches, it will clear only the searches you made in that one browser on that particular computer. And it doesn’t prevent advertisers from following your search history and using it for ad tracking.

Here’s how to delete your search history in Google, Bing, and Yahoo:

Delete your Google search history

  1. Sign in.Log in to your Google account.

  2. Open your account settings.Click the App menu in the right corner and choose Account.

    Opening up account settings in Google.

  3. View your account activity.Click Data & privacy and scroll down until you see a box labeled History settings. Click My Activity.

    A view of "history settings" in someone

  4. Delete unwanted searches.You’ll see a list of many links and websites. From here, you can remove any site or history from a particular day by clicking the X icon next to the item or date.

    Deleting individual items from your Google account search history.

  5. Delete your entire history.Delete your entire history by clicking the Delete button under the activity search bar. In the pop-up that appears, choose All time or select a Custom range.

    Deleting your entire Google search history.

  6. Confirm the deletion.Click Delete to confirm you want to erase your history. The next screen will confirm that you’ve deleted your search history, while offering additional options for managing your activity and history.

    Deleting Google search history.

  7. Adjust your search history settings.Go back to Data & privacy and find the History settings. Click the activity you want Google to stop tracking, like Web & App Activity.

    A view of history settings in Google Accounts. Web & App Activity is circled.

  8. Turn off search history collection.Inside Activity controls for Web & App Activity, click Turn Off to prevent Google from saving your search history.

    Adjusting activity controls in Google Chrome.

And that’s how to clear your Google search history. Google knows a lot about you beyond just your search history. Download your Google data if you’re curious.

Wipe your Bing search history

Here’s how to delete your Bing search history:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account.

  2. Click the three bars next to your login and click Search history.

  3. Click View and delete search history and go to a new site.

  4. Log in again.

  5. After logging in, you’ll be taken to a new page. Click View and Clear Search History.

  6. Click Search on the left menu.

  7. You can delete each item individually, or you can click the Clear activity button in the upper-right.

  8. Click Clear on the pop-up to clear your Bing search history.

That’s how you delete all searches in Bing. But you’ll have to use InPrivate windows in Edge to prevent Microsoft from saving your searches going forward. Private browsing modes are just one way you can stay safer while browsing — and you may not need to delete your Bing search history again.

Clear your Yahoo! search history

Clearing all your searches in Yahoo is easy. Log in, open your settings, and delete your searches.

  1. Log in to Yahoo.

  2. From the Yahoo search page, click the box in the upper-right corner, and click Settings.

  3. On the far left, click Search History.

  4. Click the garbage bin next to each item you want to delete.

  5. To clear your entire search history, click Clear History, then click Delete in the pop-up.

  6. Click Turn History Off to prevent Yahoo from saving your search history in the future.

How to clear your browsing history

Deleting your browser history from one major browser to the next is largely the same. While you can choose how much of your history to delete, pick the all time/everything option if you want to completely refresh your browser.

Here’s how to delete your history in several of the most popular browsers.

Delete your Google Chrome browsing history

Note that this is the process for how to delete search history on Google Chrome — not from your Google Account.

  1. Open Chrome.

  2. Click the three dots in the upper-right corner.

  3. Click History. On the expanded menu, hit History again.

    Open up Chrome to start deleting cookies.

  4. Select Clear browsing data on the left panel of the new tab that opens.

    Select "Clear browsing data" to get to the deleting screen.

  5. Another new tab will open with a pop-up. Keep the box next to Browsing history checked and select how much of your history to delete.

    This page allows you to delete browser history as well as cookies.

  6. Click Clear data.

Get more control over your browsing experience by blocking pop-ups in Chrome and removing Chrome extensions if they’re no longer helpful.

Wipe your Firefox browsing history

  1. Open Firefox.

  2. In the menu bar, click History.

  3. Click Clear Recent History.

    To clear browsing history in Firefox, start by opening up the menu bar.

  4. Check both Browsing & Download History and Form & Search History. Then use the drop-down menu at the top to choose the length of time.