Many computer users want to maintain their web surfing privacy, and accomplishing this is as simple as finding the right way on your computer to delete your Internet history. Whether hiding sites from a nosy roommate, parent, girlfriend or boyfriend, deleting files and clearing your history will help give you the privacy to do your own research, indulge in your own entertainment, or keep secret a gift or vacation idea for a loved one.
To delete your Internet history is as simple as clearing files from your Internet browser and your computer memory, and will keep other users from checking your searches. It may not, however, erase your actions from your computer entirely, as many computers come equipped with specialized chips that track your actions internally, but are difficult to access by anyone but experts. Erasing your Internet history, though, will keep your search engines from remembering past searches. Once letters are typed into your browser, with your history erased, no past sites visited will reappear.
The first step to delete Internet history in Internet Explorer is to go to the Tools menu. From here, select the Internet Options tab. Next, in the Personal Information section, select Auto Complete and click Clear Forms. To disable this feature so you will not have to delete it in the future, uncheck the Auto Complete box. This will prevent your computer from remembering past searches and past websites.
With a Firefox browser, select Tools > Options > Privacy > Saved Form Information > Clear. On the Google toolbar, find the icon that looks like a tool — often a screw or screwdriver — and either select the Clear Search History option or click the box next to Drop Down Search History. Other browsers have similar methods, usually in the tools section and often under the headings privacy, history, searches, or personal information.
To delete more of the history from your computer, find the partition or memory tab in your computer folder. This will be the folder that stores all of the files on your computer. Under programs, documents or files, you will find a tab for your Internet browser. This browser will hold HTML links to all of your previously visited sites. To delete, simply right click and delete these files or drag them to the recycle bin and permanently erase them.
Other methods of keeping private your Internet searches — from things like search subpoenas — are to use sites called proxies that mix your searches with hundreds of others. These sites create what is called search noise, and makes your individual search virtually untraceable. While not exactly a way to delete you Internet history, this method ensures your searches do not even show up. Other programs can be bought or downloaded to remove your history automatically, and they will prompt you with easy to follow deleting methods once installed.