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Deleting browsing history on Mac OS X

Posted by Lou TarDisk on 2017-05-18

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Safari, Chrome, Mozilla – all these browsers will store your internet history. Sometimes, it may be a good idea to delete this history from the browsers: in this article, we'll show you why you might want to do that – and how you should go about doing it.

What is your browser history?

When you are surfing the web, every page you visit will be remembered by your browser, except when you choose Private Browsing (Incognito Mode).

One benefit of this website tracking is that they will autofill in a Google search or will be highlighted in violet in your search results – you can thereby return to pages you've visited in the past fairly easily.

Why delete your history?

Any number of reasons, really. Perhaps you don't want your search history constantly popping up if you're using a work laptop. Perhaps you like to keep your searches private – whether because of business confidentiality reasons or just because you're OCD. Think about it: say you lend your business laptop to a friend – do you really want them able to access your search history if you've been working on a project that you could get in trouble for revealing to anybody outside your team?

Whatever the reason is for why you're trying to delete your history, let's show you how to do it.

Deleting history in Safari

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Click the History tab, in the top menu.
  3. Select “Clear History and Website Data…”
  4. Choose the time range (most likely “all history”) that you wish to clear.
  5. Click “Clear History.” Done.

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Deleting Chrome history

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click on the burger icon in the top right corner.
  3. Choose “History.” Hover over it.
  4. Choose “History” in the popup menu.
  5. Click “Clear browsing data…”
  6. Select which time range that you want cleared (probably “the beginning of time…”).
  7. Checkmark only “Browsing history.”
  8. Click “Clear browsing data.”

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Deleting Firefox history

  1. Open Firefox browser.
  2. Open History tab, up in the menu bar.
  3. Choose “Clear Recent History.”
  4. Choose the time range you want cleaned (“Everything” will delete all history).
  5. See the Details arrow, click on it.
  6. Choose “Browsing and Download history”.
  7. Uncheck the rest.
  8. Hit “Clear now” and you’re good.

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Besides your browser history, your internet activity is also stored on your Mac in the form of downloads, logs, and old files you’ve kept from years ago, caches, and so on. It may be a good idea to give your Mac a cleanup beyond just the browser history.


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