How to Disable Usage History in Elementary OS

Elementary OS has emerged as a light weight and elegant Linux distro in the last few years. It is based on Ubuntu Linux which in itself has won the hearts of the Linux community time and time again. Since it is based on Ubuntu, we can use all the commands and programs just like we do on Ubuntu. For example, Elementary OS supports apt commands for updating and installing software on your PC.

Elementary OS can be installed along side Windows and thus makes it a great first Linux flavor to be tried for Windows users. We can also install it in virtualization software like VMWare Player or Oracle Virtual Box.

In Elementary OS, it saves some of our usage data to provide extra functionality. For example, it saves the list of recently opened or created files so that it can include them when a user searches for files. Similarly, it can save chat logs, documents, music, pictures, presentations, spreadsheets and videos that you have recently accessed.

If you do not want this extra functionality and do not want Elementary OS to store your usage history, then you can easily disable it. Here is how you can turn off usage history in Elementary OS:

  1. Click on the System Settings icon in the dock bar. If this icon is not visible in the dock, then click on Applications in the top-left corner of your screen and then choose System Settings from there.
  2. In the System Settings window, choose Security & Privacy.Disable History in Elementary OS
  3. In the Security & Privacy window, select History from the left-side list and then click on the toggle button to turn it off.
  4. When you have disabled the history in Elementary OS, it will retain any usage data anymore.

If you do not want to turn off all the history, you can also disable individual file types from being saved in the history. For example, you can make it avoid saving all the recently watched videos in the usage history. If it has already collected some of the usage history, you can clear it from the same window.