The popular Google Chrome browser, as with other browsers, stores the browsing history of its users for convenience and future reference. However, there are many situations when you may not want to ever store history. Here is how to permanently stop Chrome from recording your browsing history.
Using Incognito mode is a possible solution, but this also prevents cookies from being stored, which means login details for every site must be constantly re-entered, and can also interfere with extensions.
Unlike most browsers, Google Chrome does not provide an option for not storing history outside of Incognito, so this functionality must be achieved using an extension.
Preventing History Recording
- Click here to go to the Chrome Web Store page for the No History extension.
- Click the ‘Add to Chrome’ button.
- Click ‘Add’ in the popup screen. When it has finished installing, a button with a clock icon will appear near the top-right corner.
- This should be set to ‘On’, meaning that browsing history will NOT be recorded. You can switch between recording and not recording history by clicking the button and clicking ‘On’ or ‘Off’ next to ‘Stop Recording History’.
- To hide the button, right-click it and click ‘Hide button’.
- Click on the Chrome menu button (the one in the top-right corner with three horizontal lines) and then click ‘Settings’.
- At the top, click the ‘Advanced Sync Settings’ button.
- If ‘Sync everything’ is selected in the drop-down box, change it to ‘Choose what to sync’.
- Uncheck ‘History’ and click ‘OK’.
- Congratulations, Chrome will no longer store your browsing history! Note that this will NOT remove your existing history. To remove your existing history, see below.
Removing Existing History
- Press Ctrl+H.
- Click the ‘Clear browsing data…’ button.
- Select ‘the beginning of time’ (or whichever period you wish) next to ‘Obliterate the following items from:’.
- Uncheck everything except for ‘Browsing history’.
- Click the ‘Clear browsing data’ button.
Re-enable History Recording
- To briefly enable history recording, click the No History button (if you hid the button, you can unhide it by clicking on the Chrome menu button and going More tools -> Extensions, finding ‘No History’ and clicking ‘Show Button’) and then click ‘Off’ next to ‘Stop Recording History’.
- To temporarily enable history recording, click on the Chrome menu button and select More tools -> Extensions, find ‘No History’ and uncheck ‘Enabled’ next to it.
- To permanently enable history recording, instead click the trash button next to the ‘No History’ extension, which will uninstall it completely. Then go to Settings -> Advanced Sync Settings and check ‘History’.