How to Disable Browser History in Google Chrome

Like other web browsers, Google Chrome saves the browsing history of both PC and Mac users. It records every page you visit under the History tab of Chrome, allowing you to keep track of the pages you or other users visited using the browser with the same account.

However, Chrome doesn’t come with a built-in setting where users can automatically clear or prevent saving browsing history. While you can manually delete the browsing history with a few clicks, doing it every time you surf the web isn’t ideal, as most users often forget to do this trick.

Nonetheless, there’s another way to prevent Google Chrome from saving your browsing history. Keep reading as we share how to disable browser history in Google Chrome.

How to Disable Browser History in Google Chrome

Go Incognito Mode

Whether using a Google account or not, users can enable incognito mode, a shortcut key that allows private browsing. By enabling the Incognito mode, Google Chrome will stop saving the user browsing history data.

It’s the simplest way to disable browser history in Google Chrome. But since this option isn’t built-in to Chrome, you should press Ctrl + Shift + N hotkey to enable incognito mode. Another way to activate this mode is to click the three dots in the upper right corner of Chrome.

Select the New Incognito window tab on the drop-down menu. Then, the Incognito browsing window will open. On the other hand, there are limitations if you activate the incognito mode. Aside from browsing history, Chrome will not save site data, cookies, and details you have entered in forms.

Incognito mode will also interfere with several extensions. Meanwhile, your bookmarks, internet service provider, employer, school, websites you visited, and other data will be visible.

Lock the History File

But if you use extensions or want to enjoy the benefit of cookies, activating incognito mode isn’t for you. Instead, you can restrict access or lock the History File where Chrome stores your browsing history data. To disable browser history in Google Chrome, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Clear Browsing Data

Open Google Chrome and click the three dots in the upper right corner. Select History on the drop-down menu or press Ctrl + H (for Windows) and Cmd + Y (for OS X) to open Chrome History. Also, you can press Ctrl + Shift + Del to open the Clear browsing data window.

Step 2: Set Clear Data to All Time

Under the Clear browsing data window, click the drop-down menu beside Time range and select All time. Also, ensure the Browsing history box is checked. Next, click the Clear Data button.

Step 3: Disable Google Search Activity (if applicable)

If you have a Google account, proceed with this step. 

  1. Launch Google Chrome and click your account Avatar.
  2. Tap Manage your Google Account.
  3. On the Google Account window, click Data & Privacy tab.
  4. Under History Settings, click Web & App Activity.
  5. Tap the Turn Off button. Then, choose any of the options below:
  • Turn Off
  • Turn off and delete activity

Step 4: Lock the History File

Before locking the History File, close Chrome to avoid conflicts.

  1. Find the Profile Path by entering the URL: chrome://version/ to your Google Chrome browser.
  2. Beside the Profile Path, copy the path and open it thru Run (Windows +R).
  3. Look for the History File. Right-click the file and click Properties.
  4. On the History Properties, check Read Only and click the OK button.
  5. Restart your PC and start using Google Chrome without saving your browsing history.