The Fastest Way to Clear Your Recent Browsing History in Every Browser

The Fastest Way to Clear Your Recent Browsing History in Every Browser


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Photo: Primakov (Shutterstock)

Listen, we’re not here to judge or ask questions. You need to clear your recent browsing history—and fast. Lucky for you, we can help. Whether you use Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Brave, there’s a keyboard shortcut to help you delete your most recent web history as fast as possible, should you need to do so for reasons that are none of our business.

Clearing the past hour of history from major web browsers

Most web browsers let you delete the last hour of web browsing. That’s usually the best option for those who want to delete what they were just searching for, but not data older than that. If you’re looking for something with an even tighter time range, we have a solution for you later on.

The following keyboard shortcuts will work for Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Opera:

  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + Delete
  • Mac: Command + Shift + Delete
  • Chromebook: Ctrl + Shift + Backspace

Once you use this shortcut with your web browser, you will be taken to your web history manager. Depending on your browser, deleting the last hour of internet history could be the default, but if it’s not, just locate the time range option, click on it, and select whichever option will delete the past hour of browsing.

Clearing the past hour of history from Safari

If you use Safari on your Mac, you might be wondering why we haven’t mentioned your browser in this article. For some reason, Apple makes one of the only major browsers to not have a keyboard shortcut for clearing your web history.

Luckily, macOS makes it easy to set up a keyboard shortcut for just about any app. Just open System Preferences > Keyboard, click the Shortcuts, then App Shortcuts, and then click the (+).

System Preferences will open the shortcut tool. Click “All Applications,” then select “Safari.” Type “Clear History…” (ellipsis included) into the Menu Title text field, then enter whatever keyboard shortcut you want. For some reason, macOS rejects the standard “Command + Shift + Delete” shortcut, so I went with “Command + Shift + Return.”

Image for article titled The Fastest Way to Clear Your Recent Browsing History in Every Browser

Screenshot: Jake Peterson

Once you click “Add,” your shortcut will be ready to go. Head back to Safari, give it a go, and clear your past hour of browsing history.

Clearing the past 15 minutes of history from Google

While we’re focusing on desktop web browsers here, we’d be remiss not to cover Google’s brand new “Delete last 15 min” feature. As the name implies, when using the Google app on your phone, you can clear the most recent 15 minutes of browsing activity right away. Since most browsers only let you delete up to the last hour of history, this feature is significant.

To use it, tap your profile icon in the top right of the main page of the Google app. If you have any recent browsing history, you’ll see a “Delete last 15 min” option appear on this window. Tap it once, and Google will begin deleting your history. You do have a short window of time to back out of this decision, however, by tapping the “CANCEL” option that appears at the bottom of the screen.



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