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How to clear Recent tabs history in Chrome

When you close Chrome, whether you do it normally, it crashes, you force close it, or your system restarts, the browser keeps a list of all the tabs you had open. When you next launch it, you will see an option to restore tabs if Chrome did not shut down properly. If it was shut down properly, tapping Ctrl+Shift+T will reopen your recent tabs. If you’d like to clear Recent Tab history in Chrome, there’s no obvious way to do it. That said, it’s not impossible.

Clear Recent Tab history

Open Chrome and click the more options button at the top right. Under History, check if there are any saved tabs that need to be cleared.

If there are tabs listed under Recent tab, click the Exit button on the Chrome menu. This will quit all instances of Chrome; all windows, and all profiles that are open.

Open Chrome again, click the more options button, and from the menu select Exit one more time. If you’re on macOS, you will have to select ‘Quit’.

When you open Chrome a third time, the Recent Tab history will be wiped clean. Tapping Ctrl+Shift+T won’t open anything. If you go to the more options menu, the History sub-menu will not show you any recent tabs.

It goes without saying that these tabs will still exist in your history. This trick will only remove them from Recent Tabs. The benefit of this is that no one can just open your browser, tap the Ctrl+Shift+T keyboard shortcut and see what you had open last.

The downside is that this will wipe the Recent Tab history for all your Chrome profiles. As stated, exiting the browser closes all instances of it and doing so twice is what clears the Recent Tab history. Since all profiles are closed, it stands to reason that they too will lose their Recent Tab history.

Some alternative solutions to clearing recent tab history include clearing your browsing history for the past hour. This may, or may not work. The Recent Tabs menu might continue to list the items. The one sure way to check is to look under the menu. If you feel you might need to access those pages again, you can either bookmark them, or save the URLs offline in a simple text file. There are extensions that make it easy to do that. Recent Tab history does not sync with your Google profile and it is separate from tabs open on other devices.

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