Why Does it Take So Long to Delete Browsing History?

By Laura Deibel

Clearing browsing history can take a lot of time.
i Stars of time dropping through an hour glass image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com

For performance, privacy and security reasons, most browsers have a way to clear browsing history. This commonly includes a history of websites visited, cookies, web cache and other information.

The time it takes to clear these elements can be lengthy, depending on how many of these items have been saved during the use of the browser since the last time these items have been cleared.

Information stored in browsing history

The types of information that is automatically stored in browsers often include:

Temporary Internet files (web cache)

Cookies (information like preferences, from websites)

History (list of websites visited)

Form data (information typed into web forms)

This information is stored temporarily to speed up the browser and recall recently used information and settings.

Why clearing the browsing history becomes slow

As time goes on through the use of a browser, the number of items stored can potentially become large. Content-rich sites or sites with many images, in particular, can use a large amount of web cache. Additionally, a lengthy number of URLs in the web history list may be stored and a large amount of cookie data may be saved.

Ways to speed up the browsing history deletion process

Manually clearing browsing history at more frequent intervals can reduce the time it takes to clear it.

Alternatively, you can change the settings of the browser to remove temporary files every time you use the browser. Also, you can often specify that the browser keep a shorter list of information in the website history.