How to Delete Browsing History In IE9

Open Your Internet Explorer Browser

IE9 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 9 makes this very easy, allowing you to clear the private data of your choosing in a few quick and easy steps.

First, open your IE9 browser.

IE10 users: Please visit our updated tutorial.

Related Reading

How to Manage and Delete Browsing Data Components in Microsoft Edge for Windows 10

The Tools Menu

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Click on the "gear" icon, located in the upper right hand corner of your IE9 window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Internet Options.

Internet Options

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The IE9 Internet Options should now be visible, overlaying your browser window. Click on the General tab if it is not already selected.

Delete Browsing History on Exit

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Towards the middle of the General Options window is a section labeled Browsing history. Within this section is a check box labeled Delete browsing history on exit, as highlighted in the screenshot above.

Disabled by default, this option ensures that IE9 deletes your history and other specified private data each time your browser is shut down. To specify which items are deleted on exit, click on the button labeled Settings.

The individual private data items are described in the subsequent steps of this tutorial.

The Delete Button

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

Within the Browsing history section is a button labeled Delete. Click on this button to begin the deletion process.

Please note that there are two alternative methods to reaching this step. The first, and perhaps the simplest, is by using the following keyboard shortcut: CTRL+SHIFT+DEL. The second alternative method involves using IE9's toolbar menus. Click on the "gear" icon, located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Safety option. When the Safety sub-menu appears, click on the option labeled Delete browsing history...

Whatever method you choose to utilize to reach this step is up to you. The end result is the display of the Delete Browsing History window, as shown in the next step of this tutorial.

Preserve Favorites Data

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Delete Browsing History dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. A really great feature in IE9 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, a check mark must be placed next to the Preserve Favorites website data option. This option is highlighted in the screenshot above.

Private Data Components (Part 1)

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The Delete Browsing History dialog contains several individual private data components, each accompanied by a check box. The second option in this window deals with Temporary Internet Files. IE9 stores images, multimedia files, and even full copies of Web pages that you have visited in an effort to reduce load time on your next visit to that page.

The third option deals with Cookies. When you visit certain websites, 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 fourth option deals with History. IE9 records and stores a list of all websites that you visit.

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

Private Data Components (Part 2)

IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

The fifth option in the Delete Browsing History window deals with Download history. Any time you download a file through your browser, IE9 keeps a record of it including its filename as well as the date and time which it was downloaded.

The sixth option deals with Form data. Any time you enter information into a form on a website, IE9 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 IE9 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 seventh option deals with Passwords. When entering a password on a Web page for something such as your email login, IE9 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 Web page.

The eighth and final option deals with InPrivate Filtering data. This data is stored as a result of the InPrivate Filtering feature, which detects where websites may be automatically sharing details about your visit. An example of this would be code that could tell a site owner about other sites that you have recently visited.

Delete Browsing History

IE9 browsing history
(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 IE9's browsing history, click on the button labeled Delete.


IE9 browsing history
(Photo © Scott Orgera).

You have now deleted your IE9 browsing history and other private data. If the process was successful, you should see the confirmation message shown above towards the bottom of your browser window.