Secret Way To Delete Selected History From Your Chrome Browser

Did you ever want to delete a quantity of browser history from Chrome? If you’ve looked around, you may know that it’s easy to delete just one history item, or to delete absolutely everything. But that’s not always practical – it’s never what I want to do! Now I will show you how to delete a portion of your history without blasting all of it – something not documented anywhere that I know of.

How To Exercise Portion Control

Click your Chrome menu. That’s the 3-line thingie near the upper right of your browser. Then click History in the menu that appears.

menu hamburger
Chrome Menu “Hamburger”

Now you’ll see a list of recent history items.

Choose a Group of Items to Delete

To narrow down the items displayed, do a search using the “Search History” box at the top. After you’ve settled on a group of items to delete…

  • Click the checkbox on the first item
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Press the Shift button on your keyboard and hold it down. While holding it down, click the checkbox on the last item. This is the secret trick! This is in no menu, and is not mentioned anywhere on the screen.
  • Scroll back to the top of the page, and click “Remove Selected Items”.

Bottoms Up

You can also select from bottom to top – that is, select the last item you want to delete, and then do shift-click on something above that.

You don’t need to select absolutely everything on your page – you can start with any item on the page, and shift-click something above or below it.

Finally, if you see an item or two that you want to keep amongst your selected items, you can do CTRL-click to unselect each one. (possibly command-click on Apple?) While trying this out, I found that sometimes I’d click the wrong thing and lose the first clicked item. In that case I just closed and opened History again to start over.

google history
Google history ain’t what it used to be

History Doesn’t Repeat Itself

Ain’t that fun? ร‚ย ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s not entirely magic – if you have more than one page of results from your search, you may need to repeat the procedure. But getting about 100 at once is worlds better than manually clicking hundreds of checkboxes!

It’s so nice to clear out unwanted “URL suggestions” when you’re searching for useful things, not to mention having a cleaner, faster history database.

Now you can manage your history like a pro!

27 thoughts on “Secret Way To Delete Selected History From Your Chrome Browser”

  1. OMG whoever you are, you’re amazing!!!! I’ve been looking for that answer for quite a while now…. “You can also select from bottom to top รขโ‚ฌโ€œ that is, select the last item you want to delete, and then do shift-click on something above that.”

    Anyhow, Google Chrome is a pain in the ….

    I’ll let you finish that sentence ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Virginie, Ha ha! Thanks for that good laugh this morning. Oui, Chrome is pretty cool, but does have some annoyances.

      Speaking of that, here’s a separate little thing I noticed lately – I had some really weird stuff happen on some sites, such as problems entering things in a form, and some sites that come up “invisible” even though the code is there! I discovered that it was the ad blocker I was using. C’est fou!

      I’m glad this helped you.

      Merci, Dave

  2. I often want to retain only the last couple days of Chrome history, but I forget to erase the past history for long periods of time. In cases like this, it would be easier and less time-consuming if Chrome would add a field for “Delete from this date ____ to this date_____.” Then you wouldn’t have to go through all pages manually to delete just SOME old history!

    • Sandi, That would be nice. My impression is that managing history is sort of low on their priority list. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Unrelated to this, the fancy new Chrome interface just showed up on my browser. It’s actually pretty nice.


  3. LOL who would of guess that? I was just about to invest my time and energy looking for a plugin to do what “click” + “shift+ “click” does to delete multiple items in the history! BTW you’re article shows up on top, good work!

  4. This absolutely saved me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seriously, this almost seemed too good to be true and then it actually worked… woah. What a relief. You’re awesome for sharing this little stroke of genius ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Emily,
      That’s great, I’m so glad it was helpful.

      It’s also interesting to me that this tip is still working, when Chrome is constantly going through changes from the mothership.

      This modest little hack may be the only one I’ve found that no one else has. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. That works in almost all Windows programs.
    However, what I need is a hot-key that actually works for deleting the selected history items. Bowser history, not input box previous choices.
    Two far apart mouse clicks is slow and klutzy.

  6. This post saved my life. I’ve been trying to figure out how to mass delete all search history for one site due to various cookie and logout issues so this was a massive help after clinking through 1000 boxes manually…

    • Thanks, Jenn,
      I’m glad it helped!

      As a web developer, I often want to expunge certain bunches of stuff so that I won’t have quantities of test site crud annoying me with suggested links. That’s largely what got me going on this quest.

      Best, Dave

  7. Dave,
    I tried the shift and Ctrl before I read your post but I could not get them to work. However, after I read your post and tried them again, voila! It worked. I do not know what happened, but these solutions to many problems are great. I can not thank you enough for posting this solution. Nevertheless, THANK YOU!!!


Leave a Comment