How to Clear History on Chrome on a Mac
Before we start
Getting access to your browsing history allows marketers to bombard you with as many ads as they can. But deleting your history is not a totally fail-safe way to ensure your Mac is secured from spyware. Get MacKeeper and never worry again about anyone spying on your browsing preferences.
When you use Google Chrome to surf the web, the browser stores all the information about your visit: the sites you look through, links, locations, user account and other data. This information is kept in your browser history for infinitely long periods of time unless you delete it manually.
On one hand, this is very convenient — instead of typing in the name of a website and searching for it, you’ll get an instant prompt from the browser if it remembers you visiting the website before. It will also fill your forms automatically and increase the loading speed for any links that you’ve clicked on before. However, this very same information will be used to personalise ads Google serves you and can even be stolen by internet thieves if the website has security breaches.
If you want to make sure that no one knows what websites you visit, you can simply clear your Chrome history. Clearing cookies will erase your login information, as well as information about your payment details to avoid unauthorized use.
Deleting cache and browsing history in Chrome is also helpful to optimise the browser’s functioning. When a page is loaded, an error might occur. Such errors accumulate over time and cause a drop in efficiency. Similarly, frequent filling of online forms may cause the browser to mix up bits of information, resulting in the forms filling out wrongly. Regular clearing of cache and history helps to avoid all of these problems.
In this article, we’ll go through all the questions related to deleting history in Chrome.
- Method 1: Clear history via Chrome menu
- Method 2: Clear history via top menu bar
- How to delete Google search history
- How to browse privately
Method 1: Clear history via Chrome menu
This method is good for instant access to browsing history. It allows clearing the entire history in Chrome or only particular pages.
How to delete history on Chrome:
1. In the top right corner of the screen click on the menu button (three dots)
2. In the drop-down menu that appears, select History
3. Click on History in the smaller drop-down menu that appears. You will see the browsing history of all the devices synchronised with your Mac if they utilise Google Chrome and are signed in to the same Google account
4. In the sidebar on the left, click on “Clear browsing data”
5. A new window will open with several options. You can clear Chrome history for a selected period of time, as well as selecting cookies and cache
You can use this menu to delete the history of all the synced devices. To do that, click on Tabs from other devices in the sidebar on the left — just above the Clear browsing data button. Then simply delete whatever you don’t want.
To clear separate pages:
- Open the History page the same way as you opened it before;
- In the Chrome history tab, check the boxes next to any page that you want to delete. You can search history for a particular website and select all the visits for it;
- One you’ve checked all the required boxes, click on the Delete button in the top right corner of the window.
Method 2: Clear history via top menu bar
Here’s an alternative way to delete history on Google Chrome:
- In the menu on top of the screen, find and click on the History tab
- A drop-down menu will open displaying your most recently visited pages. At the bottom of the menu, click on Show Full History
- Click on “Clear browsing data” in the sidebar on the left
- Select your settings in the pop-up menu and click Clear data
In the Privacy and Security tab you’ll be able to clear cache and cookies and set some security measures. For instance, you can choose to get Enhanced Protection, which gives you faster and more efficient defence against dangerous websites, malicious downloads and extensions.
How to delete Google search history
When you frequently use Google Search without clearing your cache and cookies, the browser saves your requests in search history. This way, next time you want to look up something similar, Google will be ready to suggest a few links and word combinations.
Search history is not the only thing that is stored in your browser’s history pages. In addition to that, you’re also giving up the following information:
- Pages that you have visited and any downloaded files
- Data from automatically filled forms and any login information
- Custom website settings, languages, and locations
- Cache and cookies, e.g. pictures, scripts, etc
All of this is done to greatly speed up and enhance your browsing experience. Storing data enables faster loading of internet pages and ensures more intuitive navigation when surfing the web. However, these useful features also track your sensitive data.
If you don’t want anyone to see what you’ve searched on the internet, you must clear your cache and cookies. To do that, follow the steps to delete Chrome history described in the previous pages. When the window with settings to clear browsing data shows up, make sure to check the box next to Cookies and other site data and set the time range for All time.
If you don’t want to clear your search history all the time, you can limit what data Google is collecting from you:
1. Open the Chrome browser
2. In the top right corner of the window you’ll see your user account icon - click on it
3. Click on Manage your Google Account
4. In the sidebar on the left, select the Data and Personalisation option
5. This opens a page telling what information is being gathered by Google
You can limit Google’s access to your personal data on that same page. In the Activity Controls tab, deactivate automatic saving of any data that you want private, e.g. Web & App Activity or Location History. If you scroll down a bit further you can turn off ad personalisation as well, preventing marketing agencies from accessing your private details.
How to browse privately
If you don’t want your browser history saved in the first place, you can use private browsing mode by Google Chrome. The advantage of this feature is that neither cache nor history are recorded — you don’t have to delete them after a session. This is useful if you’re not the only person using the computer and you don’t want other people to stumble upon your browsing data.
Bonus tip: if you monitor plane tickets in private browsing mode, avia companies won’t know how many times you’ve searched the website and won’t be able to use this data to raise the ticket prices. However, VPN might be even more effective for this reason.
To activate private browsing mode in Google Chrome, open the browser menu in the top right corner and select “New Incognito Window” from the list. Alternatively, simply press Command (⌘) + Shift + N.
How to find history in Chrome
To access Chrome history, first you need to open the browser. In the top right corner of the window locate and click on the menu button — it looks like three dots. Click on History in the list that appears. Alternatively, you can go to Settings (found in the same drop-down menu). Then simply go to the Privacy and Security tab to find browsing history as well as cache and cookies.
Why can't I delete my history on Google Chrome?
This can happen due to a system error. Try rebooting your Mac and attempting to clear Chrome history again. If that doesn’t solve the problem, reinstall the app. Check that deleting browsing history is not restricted by the computer’s administrator.
How do I disable history deletion in Google Chrome?
You can turn off or change settings for automatically clearing browsing history in Chrome. You can also control what information the browser keeps and gets rid of.
To access these functions, open the browser menu (three dots in the top right corner of the screen) and select Settings from the list that appears. Go to the Privacy and Security tab in the sidebar on the left. Click on Clear browsing data and tweak the settings however you like.
If your browsing history is being deleted automatically after each session, you can turn it off in your Google Account settings. Click on your user icon in the top right corner of the browser window and go to the Data and Personalisation tab. In the Activity Controls section, click on Web and App Activity and turn off auto-delete.
How do I stop Google Chrome from showing my search history?
To disable search and location history, go to your Google Account settings. To access them, click on your user icon in the top right corner of the window and go to the Data and Personalisation tab. Scroll down to the Activity Controls screen and click on Web and App Activity. Uncheck the first checkbox — you will be asked for a confirmation. To turn off location tracking, go back to the previous page and open the Locations tab. Deactivate it by clicking on the blue slider button.
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