Google Chrome Won’t Clear Browsing History: 6 Fixes

Deleting your history on web browsers like Google Chrome is useful as it allows you to cover your tracks. Deleting history is also useful to free up your storage, as the temporary data and cache can take up a lot of space if you browse the internet frequently.

Google Chrome won't clear Browsing History

But what should you do if Google Chrome won’t clear your Browsing History even when you try it many times? Keep reading to find out the causes and solutions.

Important: If Google Chrome is deleting history as usual, but you’re still seeing your search history, it’s because your search history and some other data are saved on your Google account. Delete it from your Google account using the steps in the section “How To Delete Your Search History from your Google Account?”

Why Google Chrome Won’t Clear Browsing History?

  • Google Chrome is buggy.
  • Outdated Chrome browser
  • Some history data or Chrome files are corrupted.
  • Chrome doesn’t have permission to access the storage
  • A suspicious extension is causing this problem

Solutions To Fix Google Chrome Won’t Clear Browsing History

  1. Try to Clear Everything in Your Browsing Data
  2. Delete the Cache Folder from File Explorer
  3. Update Google Chrome
  4. Reset Google Chrome
  5. Use a Browser History Cleaner Software
  6. Reinstall Chrome

1. Try to Clear Everything in Your Browsing Data

Due to a bug or any other issue, sometimes Chrome doesn’t delete your browsing history. The browser doesn’t delete any selected data, and you wonder what the problem is.

So, if you want to remove your browsing history, delete everything by using these steps:

  • On Google Chrome, click the three dots at the top right corner and pick ‘Settings.’
Settings
  • From the side panel, choose ‘Privacy and security and then select ‘Clear browsing data.’
Privacy and security
  • Go to the ‘Advanced’ section.
  • Choose ‘All time’ from the drop-down menu next to ‘Time range.’
  • Checkmark all the options.
  • Select ‘Clear Data.’
Clear Data

This action will remove all the browsing data, cookies, and cache of your web browser locally saved on your storage. This will fix the Google Chrome won’t clear Browsing History issue.

2. Delete the Cache Folder from File Explorer

If your browser is showing an error when deleting browsing history, you can simply delete the history from file explorer.

Every browser keeps your history in location on your hard drive. If you delete that folder, your browsing history from the web browser will be deleted automatically.

The folders of applications that keep temporary files on Windows are hidden. To access them, we need to enable hidden files from folder options.

  • Open the Start menu, type.’folder options‘, and open the first app.
  • When the window opens, navigate to the ‘View’ tab.
  • Under ‘Hidden files and folders,’ choose ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives.’
Hidden files and folders
  • Select ‘Apply’ and ‘OK.’

After performing this action, go ahead to delete the Google Chrome cache folder with these steps:

  • Close Google Chrome.
  • Open File Explorer.
  • Go to Local Drive C > Users > your username > AppData > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data
  • If you have created a profile on Chrome, there will be a folder with the profile name. Select the ‘Default’ folder if you have never made a profile.
  • Now, find ‘Cache.’ Right-click it and choose ‘Delete.’ Perform the same for History Provider Cache and History-journal folders.
file location
  • Later, delete them from the Recycle Bin.
  • Launch Google Chrome. It won’t have your saved history.

For other web browsers, go to these locations to access their cache folder:

  • Mozilla Firefox: C > Users > your username > AppData > Local > Mozilla > Firefox > Profile. To find the exact location of the cache folder, open Firefox, type about:cache on the address bar, and press enter.
  • Opera: C > Users > your username > AppData > Local > Opera Software > Opera Stable > Cache > Cache_Data
  • Microsoft Edge: C > Users > your username > AppData > Local > Microsoft > Edge > User Data > Default > Cache

3. Update Google Chrome

There may be a bug in the Chrome application, or some files may be corrupted, due to which you can’t clear your browsing history. Try updating your web browser as updates fix bugs and improve the application. 

  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click the three dots at the top right corner of the screen.
  • On the menu, hover your mouse cursor over to ‘Help.’
  • It’ll open another menu to its left. Select ‘About Chrome.’
About google Chrome
  • This will open the page that shows the Google Chrome version installed on your PC. This page will also automatically check for a newer version.
Chrome updates
  • Let it check for updates. If there is any update available, it’ll be downloaded and installed.
  • If there is no update, you’ll see the message ‘Chrome is up to date.’

If you’re using another browser, update it with these steps:

For updating Mozilla Firefox:

  • Open Firefox.
  • Click the three horizontal lines at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Choose ‘Help.’
  • Select ‘About Firefox.’
  • This will open a window that will automatically check for updates. Available updates will be downloaded and installed. You’ll see the message that Fire is up to date for no updates.

4. Reset Google Chrome

Google Chrome allows you to reset your browser settings to their defaults. It removes all the extensions from your browser, along with temporary site data, Chrome settings, and Chrome shortcuts. 

This is useful if your browser is not deleting your browsing history due to any suspicious extension or corrupted site data.

Use these steps to reset Chrome and fix Google Chrome won’t clear Browsing History issue:

  • On Google Chrome, click the three dots at the top right.
  • Choose ‘Settings’ from the menu.
  • On the side panel, pick ‘Reset and clean up.’
  • Select ‘Restore settings to their original defaults.’
Reset and clean up
  • On the popup window, click ‘Restore settings.’ (If you don’t want to send your current settings data to Google, uncheck the box that says ‘Help make Chrome better by reporting the current settings.’)
  • After the reset, restart your computer.
  • Try to delete your browsing history.

5. Use a Browser History Cleaner Software

Many third-party applications allow you to delete your web browser’s history and stored data. Many programs also remove junk files from your computer to prevent storage from filling up with temporary data saved by Windows and other installed software.

You can find free versions of these applications to delete the browsing history from any of your web browsers. This fix works for the “Google Chrome won’t clear browsing history” issue. Use these steps:

  • Open a web browser and search on Google ‘free web browser history cleaner.’
  • On the websites that have lists of free history cleaners.
  • Install some programs and keep the ones you find to be the best.

Most of the applications you’ll find will have free and paid versions. Go ahead and install the free versions because they can remove the browsing history of your web browser.

Be aware that these tools remove history from all the web browsers, so make sure only to select the browser you want to delete the account.

6. Reinstall Chrome

If updating and resetting Chrome doesn’t solve the problem, you should reinstall Google Chrome.

  • On your windows computer, click the start menu, type.’add or remove program‘ and open the first app.
  • This will open a list of installed applications on your computer. 
  • Find and select Google Chrome and press the uninstall button. (On Windows 11, select Chrome, click the three dots, and choose ‘Uninstall.’)
Uninstall
  • Google Chrome’s uninstallation wizard will open. Make sure to uninstall Chrome completely.
  • Restart your computer if the uninstallation wizard prompts.
  • Now, open File Explorer and go to C > Users > your username > AppData > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data
  • Find a folder identical to your profile name on Chrome and open it. If you didn’t create any profile on Chrome, open the ‘Default’ folder.
  • Find the Cache, History Provider Cache, and History-journal folders and delete them.
  • Go to the Recycle Bin and delete the folders from there as well.
  • Open Microsoft Edge or another web browser.
  • Open Google and search for Google Chrome.
  • Visit the official Chrome website and download and install Chrome.

How To Fix Google Chrome Not Deleting Browsing History on Android and iOS?

  1. Restart Your Phone
  2. Allow Chrome Storage Access
  3. Update Chrome
  4. Manually Delete Cache and Data of the Chrome App from Android Settings
  5. Use the Cleaner Apps
  6. Reinstall Chrome
  7. Update Your Phone’s OS

1. Restart Your Phone

There may be a temporary bug that is not allowing the browser to clear the browsing history. So, it would help if you first rebooted your smartphone or tablet when Google Chrome doesn’t clear your browsing history.

2. Allow Chrome Storage Access

In some cases, when Google Chrome doesn’t have storage access, it may not be able to delete the browsing history. So, make sure Chrome can access your phone’s storage and try again.

2.1 Allow Storage Access to Chrome on Android

  • Open Android settings.
  • Choose ‘Apps and notifications.’
  • Select ‘See all.’
  • Swipe down and pick ‘Chrome’ from the list of apps.
  • When the Chrome app info page opens, choose ‘Permissions.’
Permissions
  • Ensure that the toggle for ‘Storage’ is enabled. If not, enable it.
Storage

2.2 Allow Storage Access to Chrome on iOS

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Scroll down to reach the installed app.
  • Choose ‘Chrome.’
  • Allow it access to storage or files and folders.

3. Update Chrome

The existing version of the Chrome app on your Android or iOS device could be glitching.

3.1 Update Chrome from the Google Chrome App

  • Launch the Google Chrome app.
  • Tap the three dots (or a red upgrade button) at the top right corner of the app.
  • Select ‘Update Chrome.’
Update Chrome
  • You’ll be taken to the Chrome page on Google Play Store or App Store.
  • Tap the ‘Update’ button and let it update.
Update

3.2 Update Chrome on iOS

  • Open Apple App Store.
  • Tap your profile picture at the top right corner.
  • Swipe down to see the list of apps that require an update.
  • Find Chrome and tap the ‘Update’ button next to it.
  • Wait for the update process to be completed.
  • Launch Chrome and try clearing your browsing history.

4. Manually Delete Cache and Data of the Chrome App from Android Settings

If you face the “Google Chrome won’t clear Browsing History” issue for any reason, go to Android settings and remove the app data stored on your phone’s storage.

  • Open Android settings by tapping the app on the home screen, swiping down from the top, and tapping the cogwheel icon.
  • Go to ‘Apps & notifications.’
  • Choose ‘See all apps.’
  • Find Chrome and select it.
  • On the Chrome app info window, choose ‘Storage.’
Storage
  • Select ‘Clear Cache.’ This removes temporary data saved by your app.
Clear Cache
  • Launch Chrome and try to remove browsing history.
  • If the issue persists, go to the Chrome app info window again.
  • Tap ‘Clear Storage.’ This deletes all the data saved by Chrome on your phone.
  • Open Chrome. Your history will be deleted.

5. Use the Cleaner Apps

Like web-browser cleaner software, you can also find many phone browser cleaner apps that can remove your browser apps’ history and cache. Try these cleaner apps if your Chrome browser isn’t deleting the browsing history.

  • Open Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  • Tap the search bar and type ‘cleaner.’
  • Read the info on the apps and install a few of them.
  • These apps usually scan the device and offer to delete cache and data by app and by type.

When using these apps, be sure only to select the browser for which you want to delete the history.

6. Reinstall Chrome

Start with a clean slate if you updated Chrome and still can’t delete your browsing history. Uninstall the Chrome app completely from your phone and then reinstall it. 

6.1 Uninstall and Reinstall Chrome on Android

  • Tap and hold the Chrome icon on the home screen.
  • Choose ‘Uninstall.’

If you’re worried that this won’t delete the data saved by Chrome on your phone, uninstall Chrome with these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select ‘Apps & notifications.’
  • Choose ‘See all apps.’
  • Pick Chrome from the list of apps.
  • Choose ‘Storage’ on the Chrome app info window.
  • Tap ‘Clear Cache’ and ‘Clear Storage.’
  • Press your phone’s back button to go back to the previous window.
  • Tap ‘Uninstall’ and confirm.
  • Open Google Play Store.
  • Search ‘Chrome’ and install it.

6.2 Reinstall Chrome on iOS

  • Tap and hold the Chrome icon.
  • Choose ‘Remove App.’
  • Select ‘Delete App’ and confirm.

If you completely want to delete any app from the iOS settings, always choose the ‘Delete App’ option. If you select ‘Offload App,’ the app will be deleted, but its data won’t be removed from your phone.

7. Update Your Phone’s OS

In some cases, outdated OS conflicts with apps and causes unusual behavior in apps. If the Chrome app isn’t deleting your browsing history and you have tried the above solutions, update your phone. If it shows an available update, perform the update and then try Method 6 again.

For updating your device, connect it to the power cord and make sure you have an active Wi-Fi network.

7.1 Update Android

  • Go to Settings.
  • Swipe down and choose ‘System.’
  • Select ‘System update.’
  • Check for updates and install them.

7.2 Update iOS

  • Open Settings.
  • Choose ‘General.’
  • Select ‘Software Update.’
  • If you find two updates, try both updates one by one.

How To Delete Search History from your Google Account?

  1. Delete Google Search History on Windows and Mac Using Any Web Browser
  2. Delete Google Search History on Android and iOS Devices
  3. Turn Off Google Search History on Windows and Mac
  4. Turn Off Google Search History on Android and iOS Devices

1. Delete Google Search History on Windows and Mac Using Any Web Browser

The method of deleting Google search history is similar on Windows and Mac computers because you can use any web browser to accomplish this.

  • Open any web browser. We’ll use Chrome.
  • Go to Google. If you aren’t logged in, log in to your account.
  • Click your Google profile picture at the top right corner and select ‘Manage your Google Account.’
Manage your Google Account
  • Now, choose ‘Data & privacy’ from the side pane.
  • Scroll down and select ‘My Activity’ under ‘History settings.’
My Activity
  • You’ll be taken to a page where you can see your search, web & app activity, and YouTube history.
  • Click the ‘x’ button next to the history you want to delete. 
  • If your goal is to delete all the history or remove history by time, press the ‘Delete’ button and select your desired time frame. 
All time
  • Your Google search and web activity are deleted. You can now delete your browsing history from the web browser.

2. Delete Google Search History on Android and iOS Devices

  • Launch any web browser.
  • Sign in to your Google account if you haven’t.
  • Visit Google.
  • Tap the hamburger icon at the top left corner and pick ‘Your data in Search.’
Your data in Search
  • It’ll open your Google account page. Swipe down and select ‘Manage your Search history.’
Manage your Search history
  • You’ll see your web activity and search history. Tap the ‘x’ button to remove individual activity or select the ‘Delete’ button to remove history by any period or entire history.
Delete

Conclusion

The exact reason for the “Google Chrome won’t clear browsing history” problem is unknown, but there are fixes you can apply to solve the issue. If nothing works, uninstall Google Chrome from your device and install it again. Moreover, to completely remove your history, remove your Search history from your Google account.