Delete Chrome History and Cache Permanently using CMD

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Internet browsers, such as Google Chrome, store browsing history and cache files to improve your browsing experience. These files often include images, scripts, and other parts of websites that help load these pages faster during your next visit. However, over time, these files can pile up and consume significant disk space, or even cause performance issues. Moreover, your browsing history may contain sensitive information that you’d prefer to keep private.

While Chrome offers built-in features to delete browsing history and cache files manually and permanently through its settings, doing so on a regular basis can become a monotonous task. This is where using the Command Prompt (CMD) can help streamline the process, allowing for swift and efficient cleanup of your browsing data.

Delete Chrome History and Cache Permanently using CMD

Please note that this process applies primarily to Windows operating systems, such as Windows 11 and Windows 10.

How to delete Chrome history and cache via CMD

Step 1: Open Command Prompt

Click the Windows Start menu and type in “cmd“. In the search results, right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator“. Press Enter, and the Command Prompt window should open with the necessary privileges to delete files.

Learn moreHow to Run CMD or PowerShell as SYSTEM in Windows 11

Command Prompt Run as Administrator

Step 2: Identify the correct Chrome path

Before you can delete any files, you need to locate the correct directory where Chrome stores its cache files and browsing history. This step is crucial, as targeting an incorrect directory can lead to unnecessary or harmful deletions.

Typically, Chrome’s cache and browsing history files are stored in a specific folder within your user directory. The general path is:

C:\Users\{Your Username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

Where are Chrome cache and history located in Windows 11

In the above path, {Your Username} needs to be replaced with your actual username on your Windows system. If you are unsure of your username, you can easily find it out by typing whoami in the command prompt and pressing Enter. The command will return the computer name followed by the username.

Also see: How to Copy Chrome User Profile to Another Profile

Step 3: Close Google Chrome

Before proceeding with the deletion process, make sure all instances of Google Chrome are closed. Any running instance of Chrome could interfere with the deletion process, leading to incomplete or failed deletion. You can close Google Chrome by right-clicking on the Chrome icon in your taskbar and selecting either “Close window” or “Exit“. Alternatively, you can close the browser by clicking on the ‘X’ at the top-right corner of the Chrome window.

Step 4: Delete cache files and history

Having closed Chrome and located the correct directory, you’re now ready to execute the commands that will permanently delete Chrome’s cache files and browsing history. In the Command Prompt window, you need to type the following commands, replacing {Your Username} with your actual username:

To delete cache files:

del /q /s /f "C:\Users\{Your Username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache\*"

how to clear chrome cache using cmd

To delete browsing history:

del /q /s /f "C:\Users\{Your Username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\History"

how to delete chrome history using CMD

In these commands, /q option stands for “quiet mode,” which suppresses the confirmation prompts when deleting files, /s deletes specified files from all subdirectories, and /f is used to forcefully delete read-only files.

Remember to press Enter after typing each command.

Related resource: How to Force Delete a File in Use by Another Program on Windows 11/10

Step 5: Verify Deletion

After running the commands, it’s a good practice to verify whether the deletion was successful. You can do this by navigating to the same directory used in the deletion commands. Check if the Cache folder is empty and the History file is gone. If the files and data are successfully removed, you’ve completed the process of deleting Chrome’s cache and browsing history using the Command Prompt.

Useful tip: How to Clear RAM Cache in Windows 11

how to delete chrome history permanently

Creating a batch file to automatically clear Chrome cache and history

If you find yourself frequently needing to clear Chrome’s cache and browsing history, there’s a way to further automate this process—creating a batch file. A batch file, with a .bat extension, is essentially a text file containing a series of commands that the Command Prompt can execute when the batch file is run. You can create a batch file for this specific purpose, thereby speeding up the process and eliminating the need to manually type in the commands every time.

Step 1: Open Notepad

Notepad is a simple text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows. To create a batch file, you’ll need to write your commands in Notepad. You can open Notepad by typing “notepad” on the Windows Start menu and pressing Enter. Alternatively, you can find Notepad under the “Windows Accessories” section in the Start menu.

Open Notepad as administrator

Step 2: Write your batch file

In the blank Notepad document, you’ll need to type in the commands that will delete Chrome’s cache and browsing history permanently. These commands are similar to the ones you’ve used earlier in the Command Prompt, with a few additional lines. Here’s what you should type, replacing {Your Username} with your actual username:

@echo off
echo Deleting Chrome Cache and Browsing History...
del /q /s /f "C:\Users\{Your Username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache\*"
del /q /s /f "C:\Users\{Your Username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\History"
echo Deletion Complete!

CMD command to clear chrome history

In this batch file, @echo off is a command that turns off the display of the commands in the batch file in the Command Prompt window when the batch file is running. The echo commands are used to display a message to the user. In this case, they’re informing the user about the deletion process. The pause command stops the batch file execution temporarily and displays the message “Press any key to continue . . .”.

Handy guide: How to Run Batch File Without the CMD Window

Step 3: Save the batch file

After writing your batch file, you need to save it in a location of your choice (the Desktop is a common choice for easy access). Click on “File” in the top left corner of Notepad and then click “Save As…“. In the dialog box, navigate to where you want to save your batch file, and type in the name of your batch file followed by .bat (for example, deleteChromeCache.bat).

Clear Chrome cache and history using batch file

When saving, ensure you’ve selected “All Files” in the “Save as type” dropdown menu, then click “Save“. This action creates your batch file, ready for use.

Linked issue: Batch (.BAT) Files Not Running in Windows 11/10

Step 4: Run the batch file

Your batch file is now set up and ready to use. Whenever you need to delete Chrome’s cache and browsing history, all you need to do is double-click on this batch file, and it will automatically execute the commands in the Command Prompt.

Delete browsing history on command prompt

Remember, you’ll need to close all Chrome windows before running the batch file to ensure that all files are successfully and permanently deleted.

By creating a batch file, you’ve effectively automated the process of clearing cache and browsing history on Chrome, thus saving time and enhancing efficiency!

Wrapping up

Regular deletion of Chrome history and cache files is a good practice, ensuring that your browser performs optimally, and your privacy is maintained. Utilizing the Command Prompt to perform this task offers a quick and efficient way, particularly if done frequently. However, caution is advised when executing these steps, as deletions are often irreversible. Always ensure you are targeting the correct paths and files before running these commands to prevent unintentional deletions or modifications.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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