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How to delete search history from Chrome

Chrome uses your search history to help you enter search queries faster. You may need to search for the same thing over and over again, and in that case, this feature is incredibly useful. In other cases, once you no longer need that particular search query, it just becomes noise in the URL bar. Here’s how you can remove search history from Chrome on both the desktop and the mobile app.

Search history vs browsing history

This is a small but important distinction to make before you proceed. Your search history is the words or phrases that you type in the URL bar to search for something. Your browsing history is the pages that you visit.

For example, if you type in Ice Cream in the URL bar, it will become part of the search history. If you get search results for Ice Cream and visit one of those results e.g., Ben & Jerry’s, those pages will be part of your browsing history. Removing something from your search history has no impact on your browsing history. If you’re using Chrome in Incognito mode, your search history will not be saved.

Remove search history – Desktop

To remove an item from your search history you need to open a new tab in Chrome. Click inside the URL bar and type the first few letters of the phrase. Continuing with my previous example, if you type in Ice, and you’ve previously searched for Ice Cream, Chrome will list it as a suggestion. Use the arrow keys or the mouse to highlight it and then tap the Shift+Delete keyboard shortcut to remove it.

Remove search history – Mobile

Open a new tab in Chrome and enter the search word or phrase that you want to remove. When it appears in the suggestions, swipe left on it and you will see a delete button. Tap it to remove the entry from your search history.

We should mention that search history is one of the things that are synced if you have sync enabled in Chrome. If you searched for something on your desktop and removed it there, but repeated the search on your phone, the phrase will return on your desktop.

If you delete a phrase, it is deleted from all your devices. You don’t have to worry about sync adding it back after you’ve removed it unless you actively search the same phrase again. There is no way to delete your search history in bulk on either the desktop or the mobile version of the browser.

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