Before the arrival of Han people, the Hsinchu area was the homeland of Taokas Pingpu, Saisiyat, and Atayal tribes. In 1626, after Spain occupied northern Taiwan, Spanish missionaries arrived at Teckcham (Chinese: 竹塹; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tek-khàm). Fukienese (Hoklo) and Hakka people came during the Ming Dynasty era (1368-1644) and began to cultivate the land from the plains near the sea towards the river valleys and hills.
In 1684, Zhuluo County was established during Qing Dynasty rule, and Han people again cultivated the Teckcham area. Teckcham was first settled by Han Chinese in 1711 and renamed Hsinchu in 1875. Hsinchu was a part of Taipeh Prefecture. In the late 19th century, Hoklo people dominated the coastal plain area, forcing the Saisiyat and Atayal tribes to move to Jianshi and Wufeng area, while the Hakka and Taokas plains tribes settled together in the river valleys and hills area.
In 1920, during the Japanese rule of Taiwan, Shinchiku Prefecture covered the areas of modern-day Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Miaoli County and Taoyuan City.
After the handover of Taiwan from Japan to the Republic of China in 1945, Hsinchu County was established on 25 December 1945.
Xiangshan Township of the county was incorporated into Hsinchu City on 1 July 1982, .