How to Delete Browsing History In Internet Explorer 8

Open Your Internet Explorer Browser

ie8 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

There are many things that Internet users want to keep private, ranging from what sites they visit to what information they enter into online forms. The reasons for this can vary, and in many cases they may be for a personal motive, for security, or something else entirely. Regardless of what drives the need, it is nice to be able to clear your tracks, so to speak, when you are done browsing.

Internet Explorer 8 makes this very easy, allowing you to clear the private data of your choosing in a few quick and easy steps.

First, open your Internet Explorer browser.

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The Safety Menu

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Click on the Safety menu, located at the far right hand side of your browser's Tab Bar. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Delete Browsing History... option.

Please note that you can use the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of clicking the aforementioned menu item: Ctrl+Shift+Delete

Delete Browsing History (Part 1)

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Delete Browsing History window should now be visible, overlaying your main browser window. The first option in this window deals with Temporary Internet Files. Internet Explorer stores images, multimedia files, and even full copies of webpages that you have visited in an effort to reduce load time on your next visit to that page.

The second option deals with Cookies. When you visit certain Web sites, a text file is placed on your hard drive that is used by the site in question to store user specific settings and information. This text file, or cookie, is utilized by the respective site each time you return in order to provide a customized experience or to retrieve your login credentials.

The third option deals with History. Internet Explorer records and stores a list of all Web sites that you visit.

If you wish to delete any of the aforementioned private data items, simply place a check next to its name.

Delete Browsing History (Part 2)

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The fourth option in the Delete Browsing History window deals with Form data. Anytime you enter information into a form on a webpage, Internet Explorer stores some of that data. For example, you may have noticed when filling out your name in a form that after typing the first letter or two your entire name becomes populated in the field. This is because IE has stored your name from entry in a previous form. Although this can be very convenient, it can also become an obvious privacy issue.

The fifth option deals with Passwords. When entering a password on a webpage for something such as your email login, Internet Explorer will usually ask if you would like for the password to be remembered. If you choose for the password to be remembered, it will be stored by the browser and then prepopulated the next time you visit that webpage.

The sixth option, unique to Internet Explorer 8, deals with InPrivate Blocking data. This data is stored as a result of the InPrivate Blocking feature, which informs you about and gives you the ability to block webpage content that is configured to observe your personal browsing history. An example of this would be code that could tell a site owner about other sites that you have recently visited.

Preserve Favorite Website Data

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

A really great feature in Internet Explorer 8 is the ability to preserve stored data from your favorite sites whenever you delete your browsing history. This lets you keep any cache files or cookies used by sites in your Favorites to, as IE Program Manager Andy Zeigler puts it, avoid having your favorite sites "forget you". To ensure that this data is not deleted, simply place a check mark next to the Preserve favorite website data option as I have in the example above.

The Delete Button

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Now that you have checked off the data items that you wish to be deleted, it's time to clean house. To delete IE8's browsing history, click on the button labeled Delete.

Deleting Browsing History...

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

A status window will now be displayed as IE's browsing history is deleted. The process is complete once this window disappears.

Delete Browsing History on Exit (Part 1)

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Internet Explorer 8 gives you the option to automatically delete your browsing history each and every time you exit the browser. The type of data that gets deleted is dependent on which options are checked off in the Delete Browsing History section, which is detailed in Steps 2-5 of this tutorial.

To configure IE to delete browsing history on exit first click on the Tools menu, located at the far right hand side of your browser's Tab Bar. When the drop-down menu appears, select Internet Options.

Delete Browsing History on Exit (Part 2)

(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Internet Options window should now be displayed. Select the General tab if it is not already selected. In the Browsing History section is an option labeled Delete browsing history on exit. To get rid of your private data each time IE is closed, simply place a check mark next to this item as I have in the example above. Next, click on Apply to save your newly configured settings.