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Automatically delete Chrome data from devices

Applies to managed Chrome browsers and Chrome OS devices.

Chrome version 89 or later.

As an administrator, you can control how long Chrome keeps data, such as history, cookies, and passwords. You can delete certain data as soon as Chrome closes or when it becomes older than the time that you specify.

Before you begin

  • Turn off Google Sync using the SyncDisabled policy. If you set the policy to delete data at platform level, you need to turn off Sync at platform level. Likewise, if you set the policy to delete data at user level, you need to turn off Sync at user level.
  • The data types that you can delete are:
    • browsing_history—Deletes the browsing history
    • download_history—Deletes the download history
    • cookies_and_other_site_data—Deletes cookies and other site data
    • cached_images_and_files—Deletes cached images and files on the users device
    • password_signin—Deletes saved passwords
    • autofill—Deletes saved autofill data that was saved in the browser
    • site_settings—Resets site settings to their defaults
    • hosted_app_data—Deletes data cache for hosted apps that are installed in the browser

Review policies

Policy Description and settings

ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList

Specify the browsing data types that are deleted when Chrome closes.

This policy does not take precedence over AllowDeletingBrowserHistory.

BrowsingDataLifetime

Configure browsing data lifetime settings for Chrome. Specify the length of time after which Chrome deletes certain types of data.

Specify time_to_live_in_hours:

  • Minimum—1
  • Maximum—2,147,483,647, the largest value that a signed 32-bit integer field can hold

Sometimes data might take slightly longer to delete than the length of time that you specify.

Delete data when Chrome closes

Windows (Group Policy)

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
In your Microsoft Windows Group Policy Management Editor (Computer or User Configuration folder):
  1. Go to Policiesand thenAdministrative Templatesand thenGoogleand thenGoogle Chrome.
  2. Enable Clear Browsing Data on Exit.
  3. Add the data types that you want Chrome to delete. See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
  4. Deploy the update to your users.

For sample code, see the examples below.

Windows (Registry)

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
Under Software\Policies\Google\Chrome, configure ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList to delete certain data types when the browser closes. See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
For sample code, see the examples below.
For instructions on how to add, change, and delete registry keys, see your Microsoft documentation.

Mac

Applies to Mac users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
  1. In your Chrome configuration profile, add or update the following key:
    • Add the data types that you want Chrome to delete to the ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList key.
      See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
  2. Deploy the update to your users.


For sample code, see the examples below.

Linux

Applies to Linux users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
Using your preferred JSON file editor:
  1. Go to your etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed folder.
  2. Create or update a JSON file.
  3. In ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList, add the data types you want to delete.
    See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
  4. Deploy the update to your users.
For sample code, see the examples below.

Delete data after a specified length of time 

Windows (Group Policy)

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
In your Microsoft Windows Group Policy Management Editor (Computer or User Configuration folder):
  1. Go to Policiesand thenAdministrative Templatesand thenGoogleand thenGoogle Chrome.
  2. Enable Browsing Data Lifetime Settings.
  3. InJavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format, add the data types that you want to delete and their lifetime. See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
    Note: Enter JSON data as a single line with no line breaks.
  4. Deploy the update to your users.
For sample code, see the examples below.

Windows (Registry)

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
Under Software\Policies\Google\Chrome, configure BrowsingDataLifetime to specify the data types you want to delete and their lifetime. See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
For sample code, see the examples below.
For instructions on how to add, change, and delete registry keys, see your Microsoft documentation.

Mac

Applies to Mac users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.
  1. In your Chrome configuration profile, add or update the following key:
    • Add the data types that you want to delete and their lifetime to the ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList key.
      See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
  2. Deploy the update to your users.

For sample code, see the examples below.

Linux

Applies to Linux users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome browser.

Using your preferred JSON file editor:

  1. Go to your etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed folder.
  2. Create or update a JSON file.
  3. In BrowsingDataLifetime, add the data types you want to delete and their lifetime.
    See the list of available data types in Before you begin above.
  4. Deploy the update to your users.
For sample code, see the examples below.

Examples

Delete all data types when Chrome closes

Windows (Group Policy)

["browsing_history","download_history","cookies_and_other_site_data","cached_images_and_files","password_signin","autofill","site_settings","hosted_app_data"]

Windows (Registry)

Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\1 = browsing_history
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\2 = download_history
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\3 = cookies_and_other_site_data
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\4 = cached_images_and_files
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\5 = password_signin
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\6 = autofill
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\7 = site_settings
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\8 = hosted_app_data

Mac

<key>ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList</key>
<dict>
 <array>
  <string>browsing_history</string>
  <string>download_history</string>
  <string>cookies_and_other_site_data</string>
  <string>cached_images_and_files</string>
  <string>password_signin</string>
  <string>autofill</string>
  <string>site_settings</string>
  <string>hosted_app_data</string>
 </array>
</dict>

Linux

{
  "ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList": ["browsing_history", "download_history", "cookies_and_other_site_data", "cached_images_and_files", "password_signin", "autofill", "site_settings", "hosted_app_data]
}

Delete profile management data when Chrome closes

When users use Chrome, the browser often caches files and images to make future browsing to the same website faster. As users browse to a lot of websites, the amount of cache stored on their device increases. For users with limited or shared storage on their devices, you might want to prevent profiles from growing too large. Clearing cached images and files, as well as hosted app data, deletes most of the data and keeps profiles at a manageable size.

Windows (Group Policy)

["cached_images_and_files","hosted_app_data"]

Windows (Registry)

Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\1 = cached_images_and_files
Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList\2 = hosted_app_data

Mac

<key>ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList</key>
<dict>
 <array>
  <string>cached_images_and_files</string>
  <string>hosted_app_data</string>
 </array>
</dict>

 

Linux

{
  "ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList": ["cached_images_and_files", "hosted_app_data]
}

 

Delete browsing history every 24 hours, and password sign in and autofill data every 12 hours

Windows (Group Policy)

[{"data_types":["browsing_history"],"time_to_live_in_hours":24},{"data_types":["password_signin","autofill"],"time_to_live_in_hours":12}]

Windows (Registry)

Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\BrowsingDataLifetime = [
 {
  "data_types": [
   "browsing_history"
  ],
  "time_to_live_in_hours": 24
 },
 {
  "data_types": [
   "password_signin",
   "autofill"
  ],
  "time_to_live_in_hours": 12
 }
]

Mac

<key>BrowsingDataLifetime</key>
 <array>
 <dict>
 <key>data_types</key>
  <array>
   <string>browsing_history</string>
  </array>
 <key>time_to_live_in_hours</key>
  <integer>24</integer></dict>
  <dict>
  <key>data_types</key>
   <array>
    <string>password_signin</string>
    <string>autofill</string>
   </array>
  <key>time_to_live_in_hours</key>
   <integer>12</integer></dict>
 </array>

Linux

BrowsingDataLifetime = [
 {
  "data_types": [
   "browsing_history"
  ],
  "time_to_live_in_hours": 24
 },
 {
  "data_types": [
   "password_signin",
   "autofill"
  ],
  "time_to_live_in_hours": 12
 }
]

Verify policies are applied

After you apply any Chrome policies, users need to restart Chrome for the settings to take effect. You can check users’ devices to make sure the policy was applied correctly.

  1. On a managed device, go to chrome://policy.
  2. Click Reload policies.
  3. For ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList and BrowsingDataLifetime, make sure Status is set to OK.
  4. For ClearBrowsingDataOnExitList and BrowsingDataLifetime, click Show more and make sure that the value fields are the same as what you set in the policy.

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