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Sometimes you just want to clear what you've searched for from the browser's history. These steps clear that information in Internet Explorer 7.

OK, you've show how to do it for Internet Explorer 6 and for FireFox - how about those of us on IE 7? How do we clear the search history?

The good news is that it's apparently very similar to IE 6.

But naturally the names and locations of some items have changed.

In Internet Explorer 7, hit the Tools menu, Internet Options menu item, and you should see something like this:

IE 7's Internet Options Dialog

Underneath Browsing History, click on Delete and you'll get this:

IE7 Delete Browsing History Dialog

Obviously there are many things you can delete here. If you're looking specifically to clear the searches that you've entered into the Google home page, then click on Delete Forms...:

IE7 Deleting Form Data Confirmation

Hit Yes and you're done.

Note that this will clear auto-complete entries from all web forms, not just the Google homepage.

And there are still several other places in Windows that remember things for you - I'll refer you to that previous article: How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar? for more of those.

Article C2834 - November 9, 2006 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

December 13, 2006 4:10 PM

Every time I try to clear my history file in IE7, it gets hung up and doesn't clear the history. I end up having to go into the task manager to stop the process, otherwise it will go on forever - even though it never actually clears anything. I have Windows XP operating system. What can I do to fix this??

January 30, 2007 1:57 AM

IE7 "delete browsing history" HANGS!!!
Everybody knows it but MS DO NOT provide solution nor PATCH.
They are unethical, fraudulent, and unprofessional.

February 10, 2007 3:22 PM

I'm having the same problem, i.e. it hangs up and doesn't delete anything. What gives?

February 23, 2007 3:12 AM

Try to clear your search history whit History Killer v 2.1.

February 27, 2007 2:02 AM

If your IE7 hangs when you try to delete the history, simply try the following procedure which works fine for me:
1. Restart your system (IMPORTANT do not restart IE7 until the delete process is ended)
2. Go to control panel
3. Click Internet options
4. Under the general tab, click Delete button
5. Delete your history in the same way you do it from IE7
That's all.

Colin Wright
March 3, 2007 1:57 AM

I am following the instructions on how to clear history etc in IE7 but I STILL see a list of previoulsy visited websites and folders in the drop-down toolbar. Nothing I do seems to get rid of it, not even 'Delete All'. Any ideas?

March 4, 2007 2:37 PM

I was having a problem with this. mxjazz posted this above and it is the only thing that worked for me other than using Window Washer(tm) which takes a while to run since it cleans the whole computer.

Here's what mxjazz wrote, and it does work.

If your IE7 hangs when you try to delete the history, simply try the following procedure which works fine for me:
1. Restart your system (IMPORTANT do not restart IE7 until the delete process is ended)
2. Go to control panel
3. Click Internet options
4. Under the general tab, click Delete button
5. Delete your history in the same way you do it from IE7
That's all.

You can put a shortcut to "Internet options" right on your desktop if you are lazy and don't want to go through the control panel all the time.

Good luck and thanks jazz-man.

March 7, 2007 5:11 PM

Yep, same thing. URL bar in IE-7 is NOT clearing the history. You can easily see what has been searched for. CCleaner cannot even clear the URL bar history. IE7 tools menu won't do it. Wow, is this ever totally bogus!

March 29, 2007 1:45 AM

Goodbye IE7. I don't have the time nor the space to continue bogus procedures to supplant bugs. It is now official 27% of Windows XP lines of code contain bugs or errors (not the same as a bug). With the Advent of Windows Vista do we want to start this process over without EVER correcting the previous FRAUD which now falls under RICO 1962 (c) act for international acts of fraud.

June 11, 2007 3:21 AM


Check info here ...


Colin Schofield
July 22, 2007 12:45 PM

I've tried this method of preventing hand-up when deleting the browser history and it works once, then when you try next time it just goes back into endless delete mode. You have to Ctl/Alt/Del, and even this wont respond easily! It's driving me crazy, especially as all the other delete options work, but not the browser history. any clues?

November 16, 2007 1:55 PM

I have Internet Explorer 7. I need to be able to view the history but I can't remember how to do it. I do NOT want to delete it. Can you please tell me how to get into the history? Thanks!

Leo A. Notenboom
November 16, 2007 4:47 PM

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January 31, 2008 8:42 PM

how can i delete history in windows vista

February 4, 2008 12:51 PM

Leo - I was excited to find this page. I've not been able to find anything esle this helpful on the issue of the "deleting browser history" function hanging. The problem I have is that I don't see "Internet Options" in my Controll Panel. I thought this was just a function of the IE7 upgrade, but from what you have said, it appears I should have that setting despite having IE7. Any idea why it's not showing up in my control panel and how to fix the situation?

(I haven't found any other way to fix the deleting-browser-history problem so I'm really hoping for a fix with your approach.)


Leo A. Notenboom
February 4, 2008 8:30 PM

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I don't know why it's not in control panel, but the
instructions above get to it it from within IE7 itself. In
IE7's Tools menu you should find Internet Options.


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


July 5, 2008 4:17 AM

I had the same issue with IE7. When I would try to delete the browsing history it would hang indefinitely and I would be forced to close through task manager. I tried everything in the book to fix it, short of throwing my computer out the window...

My problem stemmed from Nero Scout. It's some sort of indexing software that was installed with Nero 7 ultimate. Strangely, when I installed Nero, I remember that I selected to NOT install Scout. Anyway, here's what fixed it for me:

1. Search for NeroScoutOptions.exe and run
2. Uncheck box labeled "Enable Nero Scout" in upper left corner of window
3. Click Ok
4. Reboot
5. Try to delete history

This worked for me after two weeks of pulling out my hair. I unistalled and reinstalled IE, I ran numerous malware removal tools, I did a HJT eval... Funny how one little checkbox can ruin everything.

July 5, 2008 4:52 AM

In addition to the above, you may also want to run msconfig to see if you have NmBgMonitor.exe or NMFirstStart.exe in the startup list. If so you may want to disable them to prevent Scout from running automatically.

If this fix works for you, but you find the problem arising again, bring up task manager via Ctrl-Alt-Del and look for a process titled NMIndexsvr.exe or similar. That's Scout running in the background. End Process to kill it.

Happy Hunting

January 4, 2009 5:53 AM

Why is my history for previous days not there when i start my computer? I have internet explorer 7 and running windows XP. I also have norton antivirus running. Thanks

January 20, 2009 1:24 PM

YES the hanging issue is solved: Nero was the problem Thanks for the shared information.

March 19, 2009 4:55 AM

Is there a way to recover Internet Explorer History files? Mine seem to have gotten corrupted a a certain point & those weeks prior to that date will not open... Using IE7, Vista Ultimate.

January 5, 2010 9:09 PM

You know this is good, but there's a lot more history that is saved on your system. If you download and run privacy software, (free to scan) it pulls up everything stored.

Be warned, if you try it, it may be quite disturbing.

Here's a link to a an article on the the best tested privacy software

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