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Stay safe online > Clear your internet history

Clear your internet history

Your internet history is a log of sites that you visit, recorded by your web browser. When you click on the back button, you are moving back one entry in the history log. Browsers will normally clear your history at regular intervals, but if you are viewing any sensitive materials you should clear it manually for your privacy and protection.

What about cache (storing information)?

Each time you access the internet your web browser caches (stores) information. This is done to avoid having to retrieve files (including any images on the page) from remote servers across the world when you’re browsing the web. Regularly clear the cache to allow your browser to function more efficiently and as extra protection online. To find out more information on how to clear your cache, check the support website for your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome) or follow these instructions.

What about cookies?

A cookie is a file created by your web browser designed to hold small amounts of information about your online preferences. These files are stored on your computer. Typically a cookie stores user-specific information such as your selections in a form, shopping cart contents or authentication data. Browsers will normally clear cookies that reach a certain age. Clearing out your cookies is also another useful way to stop your abuser from seeing what you do online. For instructions on how to clear cookies, check the support website for your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome).

Clear your internet history on desktop computers

Internet Explorer (Microsoft Windows)

The most updated information about Microsoft products such as the Internet Explorer browser can be found on their support website.

Internet Explorer 9

  • Click the Tools Icon in the upper right section of the screen, then click Safety,
  • Click Delete browsing history.
  • Uncheck Preserve Favorites website data, and check
    • Temporary Internet files
    • Cookies
    • History
  • Click Delete

Internet Explorer 8

  • Click the Safety menu in the upper right section of the screen, then click Delete Browsing History.
  • Deselect Preserve Favorites website data and select
  • Uncheck Preserve Favorites website data, and check
    • Temporary Internet files
    • Cookies
    • History
  • Click Delete.

Internet Explorer 7

  • Click the Tools menu at the top of the screen, then click Internet Options.
  • Under "Browsing history", click Delete.
  • To delete your cache, click Delete files. 
    • To delete your cookies, click Delete cookies.
    • To delete your history, click Delete history.
  • Click Close, and then click OK to exit.

Firefox (Mozilla)

The most updated information about Mozilla products such as the Firefox browser can be found on their support website.

Firefox X

  • Click the menu button at the top right of the screen, then click History
  • Click Clear Recent History….
  • In the drop down box select the length of time you wish to delete
  • Click the arrow next to Details to expand the menu and select exactly what information will be cleared. Check:
    • Browsing & Download History
    • Cookies
    • Cache
    • Active Logins
    • Offline Website Data
    • Site Preferences
  • Finally, click the Clear Now button. The window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.

Firefox 3

  • From the Tools menu at the top of the screen select Clear Private Data, then click the items you want to delete (e.g., Browsing History, Cache, Cookies).
  • Click Clear Private Data Now.

Safari (Apple)

The most updated information about Apple products such as the Safari browser can be found on their support website.

  • Click on History, then click Clear History and Website Data,
  • Using the pop-up menu choose how far back you want delete your browsing history. Then select this option.
  • The window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.

Chrome (Google)

The most updated information about Google products such as the Chrome browser can be found on their support website.

  • In the upper right of the screen click on the Chrome menu
  • Then click History.
  • Click Clear browsing data.
  • Check the following options:
    1. Browsing History
    2. Download History,
    3. Cookies,
    4. Other site and plug-in data
    5. Cached images and files
  • Use the drop-down menu to select the length of time you want to clear. Then select this option.
  • Click Clear browsing data.
  • The window will close and the items you've selected will be cleared.

Clear your internet history on mobiles and tablets

Safari (Apple)

The most updated information about Apple products such as the Safari browser can be found on their support website.

iPhone Mobile OS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)

  • Find Settings on your iPhone or iPad, this is generally located on the first page of your phone.
  • In the settings menu, find Safari and tap on it.
  • Tap Clear History

Chrome (Google)

The most updated information about Google products such as the Chrome browser can be found on their support website.

Chrome for Android

  • Open Google Chrome
  • Tap the Chrome menu in the top right of the screen then tap Settings.
  • Tap (Advanced) Privacy.
  • Choose the data type you want to clear.
  • Tap Clear browsing data.

Chrome for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch OS

  • Open Google Chrome
  • Tap the Chrome menu in the top right of the screen then tap Settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Choose the data type you want to clear.
  • Tap Clear.

Clearing your browser if your mobile or tablet has an Android Operating System

The steps for clearing your cache, cookies, and history will likely differ depending on the make and model of your Android device. If you are unsure about the make and model of your phone consider asking your service provider in store for help identifying it.

However, you should be able to clear the cache and data from your settings menu on most Android phones.

The general process for this is the following:

  1. Find the Settings options on your phone and tap on Apps or Application Manager.
  2. Swipe to All.
  3. In the list of installed apps, find and tap on your web browser (it will typically be labelled Internet and will generally have a picture of the globe for an icon).
  4. Find and tap Clear Data and then Clear Cache.
  5. Exit/quit all browser windows and re-open the browser.