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Erik B.
Erik B., Consultant
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 4614
Experience:  Well versed in several editions of Microsoft Office.
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I have administrator rights to my work computer (Windows 7,

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I have administrator rights to my work computer (Windows 7, IE8) and want to know how to delete my browsing history. The option to do so ("Delete browsing history on exit") is greyed out under Safety/Internet Options/General and "History" is also greyed out under Safety/Internet Options/General/Delete Browsing History
Hi and thanks for choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you.

If those options are grayed out, they may be controlled by something called a Group Policy that is in effect on your network. If this is the case then those options will be unavailable for you to change, regardless of your rights.

If this is the case you can use a third party tool, like CCleaner, to delete those files. You can download CCleaner from here:

and then use it to clean your temporary internet files, history, etc. If you are sure that there is no group policy in effect on your network, let me know and I can give you some more in depth options to try and fix the actual issue. If you are not sure then I would advise contacting your IT person to find out before we go messing around with local settings, as we could create a conflict.

I hope that helps, but please let me know if you need any clarification and I'll be happy to continue assisting. Thanks!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I hit the 'Run Cleaner' on CCleaner and checked the Temporary Internet Files, History, Cookies, etc. boxes before doing so. It appears to have deleted my History file. I have a few follow up questions if you don't mind:


1. How do I confirm my browsing history is in fact deleted?

2. Why does IE8 not allow me to delete my browsing history but Firefox (also installed on my work computer) does?

3. Does Firefox actually delete the history?

4. Do network administrators even use the IE browsing history if they want to check on your history or do they use other programs? Can they actually check your history remotely using IE or do they have to take over your computer directly?

5. How do you enable InPrivate browsing in IE8 and is it a good idea to eliminate running CCleaner for my IE sessions?



Great questions! Here are my answers:

  1. You can open Internet Explorer and click on Favorites, then click on the History tab. If you have just run CCleaner it should be empty.
  2. Network administrators can't control Firefox the way they do Internet Explorer (at least not easily). IE is built into Windows and as such Microsoft provides numerous settings and controls that network admins can use; those same items simply don't exist for Firefox.
  3. Yes Firefox actually deletes its history and temporary files if you tell it to do so.
  4. A lot of admins actually use Group Policy to keep your computer clean, not track you. I would not be surprised to find out that your admins were telling your computer to delete temporary internet files, etc. and that is why the options are grayed out. That being said, they can absolutely check your history without taking over your computer and if they have the right tools they can also track you in real time, so even if you are deleting as you go they could still technically see what you are doing. Again that is only if they have the proper tools.
  5. To enable InPrivate Browsing, simply click on the word Safety and then click on InPrivate Browsing. Anything you view in that browser window will then be immediately erased upon closure and websites will not be allowed to place tracking cookies, etc. on your computer. That being said if may be grayed out, and if is I would recommend CCleaner still. If you can use InPrivate browsing then you can definitely use that instead of CCleaner as nothing will be saved on your computer.



I hope that clears everything up, but let me know if you have more questions. Thanks!

Erik B., Consultant
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 4614
Experience: Well versed in several editions of Microsoft Office.
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