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Starred by 32 users

Issue metadata

Status: Assigned
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: All
Pri: 3
Type: Feature

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Issue 87685: Clear search engines, content settings, etc. from Clear Browsing Data dialog?

Reported by, Jun 27 2011 Project Member

Issue description

Should we provide a (off-by-default) checkbox to clear search engines, content settings, and similar from the Clear Browsing Data dialog?  If users expect to be able to nuke evidence of visiting sites from this dialog, then it seems like we should (and similar for anything else that we don't save when exiting incognito mode).

I'm not sure what the right behavior is.  Privacy folks?

Comment 1 by, Jun 29 2011

hum, good question

many of these settings don't have a timestamp attached, and the notion of this dialog is delete browsing data from the last hour/day/etc..

otoh, there are already some settings where you can only select "since the beginning of time"

Anyway, I think this kind of functionality is more suitable for a "forget about this site" action like firefox has

Comment 2 by, Sep 19 2011

Then perhaps a time-stamp should be added to Custom Search Engines.

Every time you perform a search on a web-page, Chromium automatically adds it to the list of custom search engines. As a result, many users probably have hundreds of useless entries from pages that they will never visit again cluttering the dialog. It would be good to allow users to enter their custom search engines, then simply clear out all the automatically added ones from the past day/week/etc.

Comment 3 by, Oct 14 2011

Labels: Feature-Options

Comment 4 by, Jun 8 2012

 Issue 131723  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 5 by, Aug 10 2012

Project Member
Labels: -Pri-2 Pri-3 Action-NeedsReview
Status: IceBox
Due to the age of the issue, changing the priority to P3, however because it has at least 10 stars, marking it for review.

Comment 6 by, Aug 10 2012

Status: Unconfirmed

Comment 7 by, Aug 31 2012

I'm not sure the auto-adding is a good idea, regardless however I think a compromise might be to allow people to turn it off, or at least manage it better. Tens of foreign auto-added entries mixed in amongst a curated list, seems suboptimal from a user design perspective.

Comment 8 by, Aug 31 2012

Labels: -Action-NeedsReview
Status: Available
This feature (basically "reset my profile") is generally interesting. However, as compared to other things on our list, not a high priority at the moment. Pri-3 is correct.

Comment 9 by, Oct 15 2012

Labels: -Feature-Options Feature-Settings

Comment 10 by, Mar 10 2013

Project Member
Labels: -Area-UI -Feature-Privacy -Feature-Settings Cr-UI-Settings Cr-Privacy Cr-UI

Comment 11 by, Aug 14 2013

I just hope the flag would not clear the engines I setup as custom in that list. :)

Comment 12 by, Aug 14 2013

We have no plans to implement some kind of partial clearing.  The sue cases for that are not compelling.

Comment 13 by, Aug 15 2013

But it's my engine configuration, it's not browsing data. Why should it be cleared when I clear *browsing* data if it's an engine I setup? I don't understand.

Comment 14 by, Aug 15 2013

I completely disagree that the use cases are not compelling.  One of the things that hacks me off to no end is chrome adding *dozens* of entries to the search engines list that I didn't put in there.  But I *use* the feature (and shortcuts) myself.

If we can't disable the automatic addition of these things, there definitely needs to be a "this engine was automatically added" flag and a way to clear those out.  The mandatory automatic addition is a horrible feature as it is.

Comment 15 by, Aug 24 2013

> If users expect to be able to nuke evidence of visiting sites from this dialog, then it seems like we should (and similar for anything else that we don't save when exiting incognito mode).

This isn’t a privacy or hide-your-dirty-behavior problem, like welchb said, it is a matter of not wanting hundreds and hundreds of useless search engine entries cluttering and slowing down the browser (though the privacy leak is also an issue).

Just because someone happens to use the search box of a random page doesn’t mean they will ever use it again (indeed, 99%+ of the entries are on pages that will probably never be visited again). I’ve got 167 that I added myself, and there’s 286 that were automatically added (and this is just since the last time I went through it and culled all the useless ones).

Automatically adding them is almost always pointless.

Meh, the usefulness of custom-engines dropped drastically when they blocked it from running JavaScript anyway. For example, “url-decode”, “base64-encode”, etc. don’t work in newer versions, which is yet another reason I no longer update and have to stick with an older version of Chromium.

Comment 16 by, Aug 27 2013

Guys (and/or girls), I'd like to inform you that this issue has been talked previously and with the same arguments:!topic/chromium-discuss/u-YIfyMh8Us

To summarize:
- no way to turn off automatic search engine collection will be provided, nor any way to clean them en masse, nor any sort of plugin API to do that
- a switch/checkbox/button for that option is a bloat in search engine options, dozens of unwanted search engines are not
- apparently, only reason one would like such an option anyway is because of OCD (that's obssessive-compulsive disorder) tendencies, be them realized or not.

I don't mean to shut you down of course, just thought I'll provide some context for a larger picture.

Comment 17 by, Aug 27 2013

Labels: Restrict-AddIssueComment-EditIssue
Cleaning up search engines en masse is precisely what this bug is about.

At the moment, we're waiting on the privacy folks to determine what action should be taken here.  I'm going to close comments for the time being so we don't wind up going in circles until we have a concrete proposal.

Comment 18 by, May 19 2014

 Issue 370346  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 19 by, Mar 3 2016

Ping on this issue - has privacy come to a determination on this? There are quite a few content settings aside from search engines that seem very history-like, yet they're not cleared by Clear Browsing Data.

Comment 20 by, Mar 4 2016


Comment 21 by, Mar 4 2016


Comment 22 by, Mar 4 2016

Status: Assigned (was: Available)
Yes, this is absolutely on our roadmap. You can also see that the HC article for the CBD dialog explicitly calls out content settings as something you may want to delete to cover your tracks.

However, there are still open questions, such as:
- Won't there be too many checkboxes in the dialog? We were thinking of restructuring the dialog to several categories before we add more options.
- How to apply time period selection? What does it mean to delete content settings "from last hour"? Geolocation and notifications permissions do have a notion of "last usage" (when was the setting set or last used with ALLOW value). However, in general, we don't store timestamps with content settings.
- Should we also reset the default settings for consistency, or just delete the exceptions, as they are history-like?

Comment 23 by, Mar 17 2016

Great to hear this is being considered.

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