Delete History Items

Dear Computer Lady,

How do you delete several history sites at once, rather than clicking on one site, then clicking delete, then clicking yes when asked do you want to permanently delete from history?

Thanks, Debbie

Dear Debbie,

What an interesting question… I usually either totally clear the history, or leave it totally intact. I occasionally find myself going back over my history looking for a website that I knew I visited a few weeks ago, but can’t for the life of me remember enough about it to find it again.

I took a quick look at the three web browsers installed on my system, and found that only one of them, Mozilla Firefox, allows you to selectively delete items that are stored in the history.

In Internet Explorer, the history can be accessed on the left hand side of the window, just click on the yellow star, then click on the word, History. Once you are viewing your history, however, there is not a way to highlight more than one item and delete them both together, but items can be deleted one at a time by right clicking on each history item and then clicking “delete”.

In Google Chrome, your history can be accessed by clicking on the, “Customize” icon in the upper right hand corner of the window (it looks like a little wrench), and then clicking on the word, “History”. Chrome will then display your history as a web page with links to each site you have visited. The sites are organized by day, and there is a link on the right side of the page that allows you to delete the history for an entire day, but there does not appear to be a way to delete individual items. One advantage in the Chrome history is that there is a search box at the top of the page that allows you to easily search your history. This is good for people like me who can’t remember the website that they want to find again.

Mozilla Firefox is the one program that will allow you to delete one or more history items at a time. To do this, you click on, “History” in the menu bar, then click on, “Show All History”. This opens a small, Library, window that allows you to view and change your history, tags and bookmark items.

In the Library window, you can click on one history item, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while clicking on additional items, and then press the delete key on your keyboard to delete them all at once.

As the parent of teenagers, I’m not sure that I see this ability as a good thing. If you are reading this article and your teenager uses Firefox to surf the web, you should be aware that they can quickly and easily clear their tracks on the web. They can also delete individual history items in Internet Explorer, it will just take them a few seconds longer.


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