A common way to enhance your internet privacy is to delete your web browser’s history (see our guide for Chrome). Doing so helps safeguard your personal and financial data. But if you want to go one step further, you can delete the entire search history on your hard drive as well.
How to delete your Windows hard drive search history
1. Type “run” in the desktop search bar. In the search results, click on Run.
2. In the run search box, type “regedit” and click OK.
3. You will now see the User Account Control dialog box. Click Yes to proceed.
4. In the Registry Editor, open the following folders: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > TypedURLs.
5. Right-click on each entry and then click Delete. Click Yes when prompted to confirm.
And that’s it! Your hard drive browsing history is gone for good!
Note: It is a good idea to perform these steps periodically since the history folder will be refilled as you continue to surf the web.
How to delete your hard drive search history on Mac
1. Go to Finder
2. Select Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
3. Select the “Erase” tab and select the “Erase Free Space” button.
When you delete items from your hard drive, the data stays on the hard drive but becomes invisible to you. The “erase free space” option writes over the data several times with numbers, essentially using blank data to make it impossible to recover your information.
Why delete your hard drive search history
While deleting your web browser history is one way to keep your browsing habits private, it is not enough to hide it from advanced IT professionals. Here are a few other reasons to delete your hard drive search history:
- Deleting history files doesn’t delete the content of the files but only the structure of those files.
- Removing your web browser history for a particular browser does nothing to your other browser histories , meaning you’ll have to repeat the process for however many other browsers you use.
- Free up some space on your hard drive.
The best part? The entire process should not take more than 10 minutes and does not require a lot of technical knowledge. You also don’t need to download any special programs to follow the steps below.
FAQ: About browsing history on the hard drive
Is browsing history stored on the hard drive?
Yes. Your browsing history is stored on your hard drive as a cache file. This file contains all of your browser’s app data, including your browsing history, cookies, saved passwords, and web form information. This means that even after you’ve deleted your browsing history from the browser itself, traces of what you’ve viewed—and the sites that you’ve visited—may remain on your computer hard drive unless you clear that too.
How do I check my browsing history on my hard drive?
You can check your browsing history on your hard drive by searching for it on your computer. The steps to do this vary, depending on the operating system that you’re using. A faster way to access your browsing history would be to check your browser’s History section as it automatically stores a backup. The information saved on your online browser is the same as the information stored on your hard drive unless you’ve recently cleared your browsing history.
Where is browsing history stored on my computer?
Your browsing history is automatically stored in your online browser’s History section, and as cache files on your computer’s hard drive. The exact location of these files varies depending on the operating system and browser that you use.
Can you permanently delete browser history?
Yes, you can permanently delete browser history. To do this, you will need to ensure that you delete your browser history from both your online browser and computer hard drive.
To permanently delete your browser history from your online browser, simply navigate to the History section and find the option that allows you to clear your browser data.
Deleting the files from your hard drive is a little more complex, and varies depending on the operating system that you use. Follow the steps outlined in the article above to delete the browser history from your hard drive.
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