How To Delete Bash History

How To Articles

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to delete your bash history? Perhaps you made a command typo that you don’t want to be reminded of every time you open your terminal. Or maybe you’re just concerned about maintaining your privacy and want to remove any traces of your past commands. Well, fear not! In this article, I will guide you through the process of deleting your bash history, step by step.

Step 1: Locate the bash history file

The bash history file contains a record of all the commands you have executed in your terminal. By default, this file is stored in your home directory and is named .bash_history. To locate it, you can use the ls command to list all the files and directories in your home directory:

ls ~

If you see a file named .bash_history in the output, congratulations! You’ve found your bash history file.

Step 2: Open the bash history file

Now that you’ve located the bash history file, you can open it in a text editor of your choice to view its contents. For example, you can use the cat command to display the contents of the file:

cat ~/.bash_history

This will show you a list of all the commands you have executed in your terminal, with each command on a separate line.

Step 3: Clear the bash history

To delete your entire bash history, you can simply clear the contents of the bash history file. There are a couple of ways to do this. One way is to use the echo command to overwrite the file with an empty string:

echo "" > ~/.bash_history

Alternatively, you can use the truncate command to truncate the file to zero bytes:

truncate -s 0 ~/.bash_history

Both of these commands will effectively delete the contents of the bash history file.

Step 4: Prevent bash history from being saved

Deleting your bash history will remove the existing commands, but it won’t prevent future commands from being recorded. If you want to disable history logging altogether, you can add the following line to your .bashrc file:

export HISTFILE=/dev/null

This will redirect the bash history to the null device, effectively preventing any new commands from being saved.


Deleting your bash history can be a useful way to maintain your privacy and remove any unwanted reminders of past commands. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily delete your bash history and prevent future commands from being recorded. So go ahead, take control of your terminal history and enjoy a clean and private command line experience!