How to Remove Previous Searches on a MacBook

Written by shannon cotton
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How to Remove Previous Searches on a MacBook
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

When you perform a web search on your MacBook, the search terms and any pages you visit are stored in your browser’s history. Saved search terms allow a browser's auto complete feature to make suggestions when you type in a search box. As you type the first letter or letters of a word, similar history items are displayed. Whether you are using your MacBook’s Safari web browser or another popular browser such as Firefox, you can easily delete your history to prevent others from viewing your past searches.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Safari and click “History” on the top menu bar.

  2. 2

    Click “Clear History,” which is the last option in the menu.

  3. 3

    Click “Clear” to verify that you want to clear all of your browser’s history.

  4. 4

    Note that you can delete a single search entry by clicking the “Bookmarks” icon on your Safari toolbar. Just scroll through the history to find the search you want to delete, single-click it and press the “Delete” key.

  1. 1

    Open Firefox and click “Tools.”

  2. 2

    Click “Clear Recent History.”

  3. 3

    Choose how much history you would like to delete in the “Time range to clear” box. You can delete everything, or you can select recent history.

  4. 4

    Ensure that everything that you want to delete is checked in the "Details" box. To delete your search history, you will at least want to make sure that “Form and Search History” is checked. Click "Clear Now" to delete the history.

  5. 5

    Note that you can also clear a single web search in Firefox. Just click “Show All History” in the History menu, single-click the history item you want to delete and press the “Delete” button.

Tips and warnings

  • If you check the “Also reset top sites” box when you clear the history in Safari, you will lose the sites that currently appear in your Top Sites menu. Make sure the box is not checked if you want to keep this information.

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