How To: Clear the browser history on your Surface Tablet

clear browser history

So, my boss from my day job came to me with a “hypothetical” question.

He was wondering how one would clear the browser history of embarrassing information if he was using a Surface tablet.

After making a few jokes at his expense and maybe a few thinly veiled accusations of perversion, I gave him the following instructions. I thought I would share them with you as well. I figure there’s a few folks out there just learning how to use their Surface that might find this helpful. 

Clear the Browser History in IE 11 on your Surface tablet (Windows 8.1)

To see how to clear browser history on exiting the browser, see our video instructions on Deleting IE 11 Cache on Exit. If you haven’t upgraded your Surface and are still using Windows 8.0 with Internet Explorer 10, you can use the directions in this PDF to clear your browser history.

  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Ensure all of the tabs are closed. You can see the tabs by swiping down from the top of the screen. Each tab will have a little “x” in the lower right corner (yes, they changed it) that you can click to close the tab. If you don’t close them all then you run the risk of those tabs reappearing in your browser history

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  • You will be left with a white screen and address bar
  • Next, swipe in from the right to get the Charms Bar
  • Tap Settings then Options.

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  • Scroll down until you see “History”, tap the Select button.

clear the browser history

  • Check the boxes next to the items you want to clear. If you leave the defaults (the top 3) your history will be deleted along with cookies and cached images but you wont have to re-enter passwords for websites you may have saved.
  • Tap Delete.

clear the browser history

And that’s it. These procedures not only clear your Internet Explorer browser history in Metro, it will also clear the browser history in the desktop version of IE.

If you’re running a Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 and are using an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome, this procedure won’t clear the cache from those browsers but you can find instructions for doing so below:

Hopefully this will clear up any “hypothetical” problems with your browser history ;-)

Tim

9 thoughts on “How To: Clear the browser history on your Surface Tablet

  1. hi, I am wondering if there is a way to do this automatically each time I close the session, just as I have with my laptop. In my older IE, I just clicked the option to delete on exit in the options screen. I can’t seem to find this with the Surface.

    Also, the black bar you have above, that comes up when I slide my finger up from bottom: Is there a one touch to close it? I can’t seem to figure that out. Currently, I just slide my finger down above it to close, however, that always scrolls the screen “up”.

  2. I have not found a way to set it to automatically delete browsing history on exit. However, when you open a tab, if you click the three little dots icon to the right, you get an “in private browsing” tab which does the same thing.

    • Hi Ernie,
      Thanks for commenting. This may help:
      In the desktop IE, go to options and check it do delete history on exit. Then click settings right next to it.
      Locate the tab that says Caches and databases and uncheck the box that says “allow caches and databases”.
      That did the trick for me.
      I hope that helps.
      Joanna-

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  4. Bravo to you guys. I’m a huge fan of the Surface – I have a first generation RT. It’s the greatest productivity tool since the invention of the laptop. I’m also a diehard Windows 8 fanatic, sold the first time I saw a beta version of the Windows phone at a trade show in April 2012. I had two Windows 7 phones prior to getting my Windows 8 phone and once I had it, couldn’t wait for the Surface. I had a Mac prior to my RT and found it to be the most mediocre, over-hyped, over-priced technology I’ve ever used.

    My question is that I’m trying to find my browser history. Do you know where this can be viewed on the Surface?

    • Jerry,

      The easiest way is probably just to go to desktop mode, open IE and look at it like you would in the past (I always just used the down arrow in the address bar).

      The Metro and desktop versions of IE share settings and history but, the Metro version is somewhat abbreviated in comparison.

      Hope this helps,
      Tim

    • Knouse,

      - Bring up your Internet Options page (you can just search for internet options from the search charm)
      - That will take you to the Internet Options screen of the desktop version of IE (which is shared by the Metro version as well)
      - Under the Browsing History section tap the settings button
      - From there tap the view files button and you should be able to see your cookies (unless IE has been set to delete them on exit)

      Hope this helps,
      Tim

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