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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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History: Erasing Your Tracks

You’d be shocked to see the kinds of information Internet Explorer stores about you. Behind the scenes, it logs every Web site you ever visit. It stashes your cookies, of course, plus passwords and information you type into Web forms (your name and address, for example). Your hard drive also keeps cache files—graphics and text files that make up the Web pages themselves, stored on your hard drive to speed up their reappearance if you visit those sites again.

Now, some people find it unnerving that Internet Explorer maintains a complete list of every Web site they’ve seen recently, in plain view of any family member or coworker who wanders by. Fortunately, you can delete any or all of these tracks easily enough.

  • To delete just one particularly incriminating History listing, right-click it in the History list. (Click the at the upper-right corner of the window; click History; click the day in question.) From the shortcut menu, choose Delete.

    You can also delete any other organizer icon in the History list: one of the little Web-site folders, or even one of the calendar folders like Three Weeks Ago.

  • To erase the entire History menu, choose Tools→Delete Browsing History, turn on History, and then click Delete.

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