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How to permanently delete browsing history from a hard drive

Updated on 17 May 2022

Most people think that deleting their browsing history from their web browser is enough to keep their personal information private. However, this isn’t the case. Your computer stores a lot of information about your browsing habits, including cookies. In this guide, we will teach you how to permanently delete your browsing history from your hard drive. We will also explain what cookies are and how they are used by websites to track your behaviour. Deleting your browsing history from your browser isn’t enough – you need to permanently delete it from your hard drive!

Quick, easy, no commitment!

What is your browsing history?

When you browse the internet, your web browser tracks of all the websites you visit. This information is stored in your browser’s history.

The files that are created and stored in your browsing history can reveal a lot about your personal interests and activities.

Pipedrive logo The CRM platform to grow your business
  • Great for entrepreneurs
  • Powerful data analytics
  • Manage sales and data
Rippling logo Manage all your employee data
  • Run in 90 seconds
  • 100% error-free
  • Automatic tx filing
Wix logo Powerful web builder and advanced business tools
  • Great for startups
  • Powerful web page builder
  • E-commerce available
Planable logo Supercharged content planning
  • Great for marketing
  • Better than lists or sheets
  • Manage social media
Webador logo Create a new website in 10 minutes. Easy.
  • Launch your website fast
  • Powerful data intuitive
  • No coding skills needed

These files are collectively known as your browsing history. Your browsing history not only includes the websites you’ve visited, but also the files you’ve downloaded, search history, login credentials and even credit card numbers. While deleting your browsing history from your web browser is a good first step, it’s not enough to keep your personal information private.

What are cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer when you visit websites. They are used to keep track of your browsing habits and behaviour, and help to keep you logged in to websites. Cookies can also be used to target ads to you based on your interests.

Although cookies are generally beneficial, there are some disadvantages to consider as well.

Five advantages of cookies

1. Cookies help websites remember your preferences and settings

Cookies allow websites to remember your preferences and settings. This includes things like your preferred language, the size of text on the website, and even your login credentials. Cookies make it easy for you to return to websites you’ve visited before and they help to keep your browsing experience personalised.

2. Cookies help websites track your browsing habits and behaviour

This allows websites to tailor their content and ads to match your interests. Cookies also help websites to keep track of how long you spend on each page, what pages you visit and even what buttons you click on.

3. Cookies help website owners understand how their websites are being used

This includes information about the number of visitors to the website, where they are coming from, and what pages they are visiting. This information can be used to improve the design and content of a website.

4. Cookies can be used to target ads to you based on your interests

This means that websites can use the information stored in cookies to show you ads that are relevant to your interests. Cookies are also used to track how long you spend on each website, what pages you visit and even what buttons you click on. This information is used to create a profile of your browsing habits which can be used to target you with ads.

5. Cookies can be used to keep you logged in to websites

Cookies can also be used to keep you logged in to websites. This means that you don’t have to enter your login credentials every time you visit the website. This is can convenient and saves you time.

Five disadvantages of cookies

1. Cookies can be used to track your browsing habits and activities

By tracking you across different the web, websites are able to tailor their content and ads to match your interests.

2. Cookies can be used to store sensitive information about you, such as login credentials and credit card numbers

This information can be accessed by websites and can be used to target you with ads or to steal your identity. It’s important to be aware of the risks involved when using cookies and to take steps to protect your personal information.

3. Cookies can be used to target ads to you based on your interests

This means that websites can use the information stored in cookies to show you ads that are relevant to your interests. Cookies are also used to track how long you spend on each website, what pages you visit and even what buttons you click on. This raises the questions of privacy and how much information of yours should a website be allowed to access.

4. Cookies can be used to keep you logged in to websites

Cookies can also be used to keep you logged in to websites. This means that you don’t have to enter your login credentials every time you visit the website. Although this is convenient, it also means that websites can keep track of your browsing habits even when you’re not actively using them.

5. Cookies can slow down your computer and use up your internet data allowance

This is because cookies are downloaded to your computer each time you visit a website. They can also take up a lot of space on your hard drive, which can reduce the amount of storage space available for other files. If you have a limited internet data allowance, it’s important to be aware of the impact that cookies can have on your usage.

Why deleting your browsing history from your browser isn’t enough

Most people think that deleting their browsing history from their browser is enough to keep their personal information private. However, this isn’t always the case.

Although deleting your browsing history from your browser deletes cookies, they can still be recovered from your hard drive. This means that your personal information is still at risk even if you delete your browsing history. In order to permanently delete your browsing history, you need to take additional steps to ensure that all of the data is erased from your hard drive.

Three reasons businesses need to permanently delete their browser history from hard drives

It is even more important for a business to permanently delete their browser history from their hard drive for a number of reasons.

  1. Protect the privacy of their customers. By clearing their browsing history, businesses can ensure that no personal information is stored on their computer. This protects the privacy of their customers and helps to keep them safe from identity theft and fraud.
  2. Protect the business from legal liability. If a customer’s personal information is stored on a business’s computer, the business could be held responsible if that information is leaked. By clearing their browsing history, businesses can minimise the risk of being held liable for any data breaches.
  3. Improve the performance of their computer. Cookies can take up a lot of space on your hard drive, which can slow down your computer. By clearing their browsing history, businesses can help to improve the performance of their computer.

How to permanently delete your browsing history on a Windows PC

There are two ways to permanently delete your browsing history on a Windows PC: using the built-in tools in Windows or using a third-party software program.

How to permanently delete your browsing history on a Windows PC using built-in tools

  1. Open the Control Panel

  2. Click on System and Security

  3. Click on Administrative Tools

  4. Double-click on Disk Cleanup

    Select Disk Cleanup and then select the drive you want to clean up and click OK

  5. Check the boxes next to the types of files you want to delete and click OK

Using a third-party software program:

Download and install a data erasure program such as CCleaner or Eraser. These programs allow you to permanently delete files from your hard drive, making it impossible for them to be recovered. Once the program has been installed, open it and select the drive you want to erase. The program will then delete all of the data from the selected drive.

How to permanently delete your browsing history on a Mac

Using the built-in tools in macOS

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Double-click on your hard drive.
  3. Open the Users folder and then double-click on your user folder.
  4. Open the Library folder and then open the Caches folder.
  5. Open your browser folder and then open the History folder.
  6. Delete the files in this folder. These are the files that are used to store information about your browsing history.

Common mistakes when deleting your browsing history

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to delete their browsing history is assuming that all of their data will be erased when they delete their browsing history from their browser. However, as we’ve seen, this is not the case. In order to permanently delete your browsing history, you need to take additional steps to ensure that all of your data is erased from your hard drive.

Another common mistake is to assume that permanently deleting your browsing history will automatically delete all of the cookies from your computer. However, this is not the case. Cookies are stored in a separate location on your hard drive, so you will need to delete them manually if you want to permanently remove them from your computer.

The cost of permanently deleting your browsing history from a hard drive

If you decide to use a professional service to permanently delete your browsing history, the cost will vary depending on the size of your hard drive and the amount of data you need to be erased. For example, if you have a 500 GB hard drive and you need to delete 50 GB of data, the cost would be around $50. However, if you have a 1000 GB hard drive and you need to delete 500 GB of data, the cost would be around $500.

Should you use a professional service to permanently delete your browsing history?

If you’re concerned about someone being able to recover your browsing history, then using a professional service to clear your hard drive is the best option. This is because professional data erasure services use special software that permanently deletes data from your hard drive, making it impossible for it to be recovered.

FAQs for permanently deleting your browsing history from a hard drive

What is your browsing history?

Your browsing history is a record of the websites you’ve visited and the files you’ve downloaded. This information is stored on your hard drive so that you can access it later.

What are cookies and how are they stored on my computer?

Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer when you visit websites. These cookies allow websites to remember information about your browsing session so that you can access this information later.

Why deleting your history from your browser isn’t enough?

When you delete your history from your browser, this only deletes the information that is stored in your browser. However, your hard drive still has a record of the websites you’ve visited and the files you’ve downloaded. In order to permanently delete this information, you need to take additional steps to erase it from your hard drive.

What are the benefits of permanently deleting my browsing history?

There are three main benefits to permanently deleting your browsing history:
– Preventing identity theft: If someone has access to your hard drive, they could recover your browsing history and use it to steal your identity.
– Protecting your privacy: Deleting your browsing history ensures that no one will be able to see the websites you’ve visited or the files you’ve downloaded.
– Freeing up space on your hard drive: Deleting your browsing history can also help free up space on your hard drive.

How do I permanently delete my browsing history on a Windows PC?

To permanently delete your browsing history on a Windows PC, you need to use a data erasure program like DBAN. This program will erase all of the data on your hard drive, including your browsing history.

How do I permanently delete my browsing history on a Mac?

To permanently delete your browsing history on a Mac, you need to use a data erasure program like Disk Utility. This program will erase all of the data on your hard drive, including your browsing history.

What are common mistakes people make when deleting their browsing history?

One common mistake people make is thinking that deleting their history from their browser will permanently delete it from their hard drive. However, this is not the case. In order to permanently delete your browsing history, you need to use a data erasure program like DBAN or Disk Utility.

How much does it cost to delete my browsing history?

The cost of deleting your browsing history depends on the size of your hard drive. For example, if you have a 500 GB hard drive and you only need to delete 50 GB of data, the cost would be around $50. However, if you have a 1000 GB hard drive and you need to delete 500 GB of data, the cost would be around $500.

Should I use a professional service to clear my browsing history?

If you’re concerned about someone being able to recover your browsing history, then using a professional service to clear your hard drive is the best option. This is because professional data erasure services use special software that permanently deletes data from your hard drive, making it impossible for it to be recovered.

What are the consequences of not deleting my browsing history?

If you don’t delete your browsing history, this information could be used to steal your identity or invade your privacy. Additionally, if you have a lot of data stored on your hard drive, not deleting your browsing history can cause your hard drive to fill up and slow down your computer.

Is there anything else I should know about permanently deleting my browsing history?

es. If you’re selling or giving away your computer, it’s important to permanently delete your browsing history before doing so. This will prevent the new owner of your computer from being able to access your personal information.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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