what is browsing history

You visited a website two days ago, and now you can’t remember its name. What would you do? Does the internet too have a memory that can come to use when you’re in doubt? Fortunately, the answer is yes! Your browser keeps track of all the places you went on the internet (websites, pages) in the past some time, by enlisting their URLs chronologically under the tab of ‘history’. This is called Browsing History.

It also prompts you the name of websites when you’re typing them the next time, by taking the suggestions from your browsing history. Not limited to websites, but also the saved passwords, caches and cookies form a part of your browsing history.

But where do I find my browsing history?

It may differ a bit in different browsers, but the steps are similar. If you’re using Google Chrome, you just have to open your browser and click on the More button on the top right corner and go on History. Or, simply you can open your browser and press Ctrl+H. The last method works the same in Internet Explorer too.

How do I remove my browsing history?

Not always you would want your browser to suggest web pages from browsing history where they are saved. In that case, you can DELETE your search history. Different browsers have their way of managing the browsing history. In Google Chrome, you can choose which web pages you want to delete from the history or can choose to erase it all at once by clicking on Clear Browsing History.

But what if I don’t want my browsing history to be created at all?

Selecting and clearing your browsing history can be tiresome at times and it may even slip off your mind to do it when it’s needed. In such cases, you can choose to browse privately right before you begin your browsing. Different browsers have different methods to do that. In the case of Google Chrome, you can enable the ‘Incognito Mode’ by choosing New Incognito Window in the More button or just push Ctrl+Shift+N.

The pages or website you visit in the incognito window do not show in your browsing history, and hence, are not suggested in your next searches either. You may, however, still be visible to the websites you visit or your internet service provider.

What happens on removing browsing history?

On removing a website that you visited previously from your saved history, your browser acts like you never visited the site before! And hence it doesn’t prompt you its name even when you’ve typed a part of it. If it had some saved passwords or information that got removed on clearing history, then they’re also not auto-filled on that website. Those websites, however, may still have the info on your visits in the past.

Did you know?

Some websites save their own browsing history. For example, Youtube saves the track of your searches and prompts them to you the next time you’re searching videos to watch. It also uses your history to know your preferences and suggest you a set of ‘recommended videos’ to watch later. As in your browser, you can delete and manage your history here also.

Next time when you’re searching and come across several useful pages, be aware that your browser is already making your work more comfortable by saving them all for you. And when you don’t want your history to be saved, you know a way out of it too!

Anjali is a young techie who has spent a major part of her life in Delhi. She believes that this city got in her a love for theatre and travelling. She dreams of changing the world through technology and in the meantime also, voyage the mountains of Leh on a Bullet.