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How to delete Google Chrome browsing history on Android and PC

Kris Carlon
5

Let's assume there's something in your search history you'd prefer others didn't see – for example, it's your girlfriend's birthday soon and you want to hide that hot air balloon ride you've been researching online from her. There's a couple of simple ways to protect or wipe your search history in Google Chrome that we'll share below. If, on the other hand, you desperately need to find the name of the hot air balloon company because you've forgotten, you can use your search history to track it down, so don't be too hasty.

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How to view and manage your Chrome browsing history./ © AndroidPIT

View browsing history in Android

On your Android device with a new version of Chrome, viewing your search history is simple. Just open your Chrome browser, click the action overflow menu button (the three vertical dots in the top right hand corner) and select History. If your version of Chrome does not have this option, simply type chrome://history/ into the url window. You will see a list of your browsing history and have the option to search for something in particular, using the search function. To access data from long ago, scroll to the bottom and click Older.

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Just click History, or type chrome://history/ into the url window. / © AndroidPIT/Google

Note: You can also access your search history via Menu > Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data.

Delete search items or entire history

To delete individual websites, just click the X to the right of each entry. To delete everything, click the button at the bottom that says ''Clear browsing data...''. This will bring you to a pop-up window that lets you select the types of things you want to delete. Once you exit out of this page, you'll see the Chrome Settings. Note ''Do Not Track'' at the bottom. Make sure this is turned on. If you activate it, a request will be made to cooperating websites not to track your visits. It may not have any affect, depending on their response, but it's worth doing if it does, especially if you don't want hot air balloon ads appearing when your girlfriend borrows your phone. Finally, If you just want to stop a frequently visited site from appearing in the new window when you click New Tab, just tap and hold the item you want removed and click Remove.

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Be selective when clearing data, and turn 'Do Not Track' on! / © AndroidPIT/Google

Other options for privacy

Other options you have for limiting your browser history include using incognito windows. When you click the action overflow button, you'll see an option for New Incognito Tab. When you're in an incognito tab, your search activity will not appear in your search or browser history, making it the perfect way to preemptively search for birthday presents. There's also plenty of other alternatives for private browsers beyond Chrome (like InBrowser, Duck Duck Go etc) as well as private search engines like Startpage.com. Messenger apps like Telegram, BBM and Silent Circle are all worth a look for your instant messaging privacy needs.

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The 'Do Not Track' setting, and Chrome's Incognito Tab. / © AndroidPIT/Google

As an added bonus, here's the same clearing information for your web-based version of Chrome.

Clear browsing history

This is the easiest of the things to do. Simply open the Chrome browser, click the three horizontal bars in the top right hand corner of the screen (1) and select History (2). This will open up your browsing history, listing dates, times and urls you have visited. To delete everything, click ''Clear browsing data...'' (3).

ChromeBrowserHistory1
Viewing and clearing history in the PC browser is also easy. / © AndroidPIT/Google

Delete one item only

Just click on the drop-down arrow box on the right of the entry you wish to delete, it will give you the option to access more information about that particular site (eg, when you have visited it) or simply to remove it from your history. Alternatively, you can hover your mouse to the left of the entry, just next to the time and a small check box will appear (1). Just click this and then ''Remove selected items'' at the top (2).

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You can also select items one-by-one to delete. / © AndroidPIT/Google

Delete several items

To delete several items, simply check the boxes as mentioned above for the entries you want to delete, and then click ''Clear selected items'''.

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Don't forget incognito mode in your browser too. / © AndroidPIT/Google

Delete all items

Easy, just click ''Clear browsing data...'' at the top and make your selection of the types of data you would like to delete. Make sure you click the drop-down box at the top to determine the period of time you wish to clear: from the past hour to the beginning of time.  

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You can delete recent activity or all activity, ever. / © AndroidPIT/Google

Do you manage your search history in Chrome? Do you know of any other good tricks to keep your data safe?

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