Delete Browsing History, Cookies, and Form Data in IE

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Tech Tip: Delete Browsing History, Cookies, and Form Data in IE
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Internet Explorer (IE), the default web browser that comes with Windows, has a slightly different process for deleting browsing history, cookies, and other web footprints.

Because IE is more Windows wired than other browsers such as Firefox or Google Chrome, adjusting Internet Explorer settings can be done within Windows, rather than within the browser itself.

Adjusting IE's settings and deleting browser footprints is easy. Microsoft puts all Internet Explorer settings in one spot, allowing users to tweak and adjust Windows settings to their individual preferences. To start, navigate the path Start > Control Panel > Internet Options.

Internet Propreties IE

The Internet Properties panel is where you can adjust Internet Explorer's settings, customize IE, and delete cookies and other browser marks.

To delete temporary Internet files, cookies, cache, history, form data, saved passwords, InPrivate Filtering data, and any other aspect of IE’s browsing history, simply click the Delete… button under the Browsing history section (General tab).

Delete Browsing History IE

The Delete Browsing History window will allow selection of each individual item that you wish to clear. There is also a description listed beneath each item, so that you can tell exactly what you are deleting.

Back at the Internet Properties control window, you can also choose the Settings option.

IE Settings

The Temporary Internet Files and History Settings window allows you to configure a couple of IE's settings and preferences. You can configure how you want Internet Explorer to check for newer versions of stored pages, set the allowable disk space for Internet Explorer, and relocate the temporary Internet files folder.

You can also choose whether or not to save browsing history, and how many days to store browsing history.

Temporary Internet Settings IE

At the Internet Properties home window, you can also choose to configure advanced security preferences. Click the Security tab to get started.

Internet Properties Security

You can adjust the security level for each specific zone: Internet, Local intranet, Trusted Sites, and Restricted sites. By default, Windows adjusts these settings. However, you may want to increase the security level, especially if you visit websites that may not be secure. To do this, simply drag the slider to a higher or lower security level, or click the Custom level button to configure advanced settings for each zone.

Security Settings - Internet Zone

Finally, you can adjust Privacy settings for IE. To do so, navigate back to the Internet Properties home screen and click the Privacy tab.

Internet Properties - Privacy

The Privacy Settings tab allows you to control which types of cookies Internet Explorer accepts, and configure the Pop-up Blocker. Adjusting cookie settings for IE Privacy involves moving the slider to adjust general cookie settings, or clicking the Sites, Import, Advanced, or Default buttons to set specific rules for cookie handling.

The Pop-up Blocker is also easy to configure. Simply click to Turn on Pop-up Blocker. However, you may choose to adjust further settings, should you wish to set permissions for individual websites, and customize the blocking level.

Pop-up Blocker Settings

You can also set IE to not collect data for use by InPrivate Filtering and Disable toolbars and extensions when InPrivate Filtering starts.

InPrivate Filtering


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LAST UPDATED 7/29/2010