How To Clear Browsing History On Mac

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How to Clear Search History on Mac

Each time you visit a website, complete a form, or click a link, your web browser records your actions.

This is fantastic for certain people and enables you to quickly refer to previously viewed pages or make filling out forms faster. However, for others, it is far less desirable.

This logged browsing history can result in a variety of issues, including compromised information, embarrassment, privacy concerns, stolen information, and ruined surprises.

Knowing how to clean your web browser's history is critical, especially if you share a Mac computer. Fortunately, this is a simple exercise and the procedure is nearly identical on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Safari

Following these steps will clear the browser history and cookies. This will result in being logged out of any websites you may be using.

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. From the menu bar, click history.
  3. Select 'Clear History' from the bottom menu.
  4. Select what time frame of browsing history and cookies should be deleted.
  5. Select 'Clear History' again.
clearing Safari search history on mac

To delete all cache, history, and cookies, select All History for the timespan.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome lumps all browsing data together, including history, cache, and cookies. By default, clearing your history will clear all stored information from websites you have visited, but you will have the option of selecting browsing history individually.

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Click on the menu icon and select 'Clear Browsing Data'.
  3. Select what time frame of browsing history and cookies should be deleted.
  4. Select what browsing data should be deleted.
  5. Click 'Clear Data'.

Firefox

Browser history can be cleared by itself in Firefox, while retaining any cookies so you will not be logged out of any websites you are using.

  1. Launch Firefox.
  2. Click the hamburger menu icon from the top-right of Firefox.
  3. Select 'History'.
  4. Click 'Clear Recent History'.
  5. Modify the timeframe or choose to delete all history.
  6. Choose if only browsing history should be deleted or all browsing data should be deleted.
  7. Click 'OK'.
clearing Firefox search history on mac

Clear history in Opera

Opera is not as commonly used these days, but it still has many die-hard fans. To clear browsing history in Opera:

  1. Launch Opera.
  2. Select 'History'.
  3. Click 'Show All History'.
  4. Click 'Clear Browsing Data' to clear all browser and search history or specific days of history to delete.
  5. Select what other data, in addition to browsing history, should be deleted.
  6. Click 'Clear Browsing Data'.

Additional Tips

If you delete your browsing history often, you may want to switch to Private Browsing or Chrome's Incognito mode. Your web browser will not store any history information or cache about your browsing when you utilize private/incognito browsing.

Private surfing always starts a new window and all cache and browsing history is deleted when that session closes.

If you are browsing a sensitive website or buying a gift for someone that uses the same computer, Incognito mode or Private Browsing will ensure that your activities stay private.

You can browse as you always do, but it won't show up in your history after you shut the browser. When looking for airline tickets, private browsing is particularly advantageous because it prevents websites from detecting multiple visits and unfairly changing ticket pricing.

However, there are several disadvantages to using private browsing. You won't be able to utilize your history to find pages you visited, and you can't auto-fill forms and saved passwords. It does, however, provide more privacy than traditional browsing.

Author Katrina O'Reilly
About The Author
Katrina O'Reilly
Katrina goes by her gamer handle MissTRex. Born in Jaynesfield Wisconsin, she studied game design at Full Sail University. She has a penchant for anything "geeky" and is still a huge gamer.