Internet history – that is, the recording of the websites that have been viewed on your computer – takes up space on your hard drive. It can also have security implications as it allows anyone to see just what you’ve been looking at.

If you have no specific reason to hold on to the internet history on your computer, it’s advisable to set it to keep track of sites for only a day or a week rather than for months. And if you find that you want to keep what you’ve been looking at to yourself, you may want to get rid of the history altogether.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to delete internet history using Internet Explorer 8

Step 1: Click Safety in your browser toolbar, followed by Delete Browsing History.

Step 2: The ‘Delete Browsing History’ window now appears. Select the ‘Preserve Favorites website data’ tickbox if you want to keep any ‘cookies’ or files associated with websites in your ‘Favorites’ list.

Ensure that you have a tick in the boxes that you do want to clear, such as ‘Temporary Internet files’, ‘Cookies’ (that is, ones other than those needed to make your Favorites appear faster) and ‘History’.

Step 3: Once you’ve selected everything to your satisfaction, click Delete.

For newer versions of Internet Explorer follow these steps:

Step 1: In your taskbar you will see a number of icons. Click on the three dots to get to settings.  

picture of taskbar icons on internet explorer

settings area on Internet Explorer

Step 2: Scroll down to 'Clear browsing data' and click on Choose what to clear.

Step 3: You will now see a list of all the items you want to clear from your history. 

Then, to ensure that all your internet history has really cleared, you should close Internet Explorer.

Note: Deleting your browsing history does not delete your list of Favorites.

Debbie Brixey is a Digital Unite tutor in south London.