How to Clear Browsing Data in Chrome for iPhone or iPod Touch

Free Space and Recover Privacy by Deleting Saved Browsing Data

delete browsing data on chrome for iphone
Getty Images (Credit: Jonathan Kitchen #469230599)

The Google Chrome app on the iPhone and iPod touch continuously stores data locally as you browse the web, including browsing history, cookies, cached images and files, saved passwords, and autofill data.

These items are saved on your portable device, even after you've closed the browser. While this sometimes sensitive information can prove to be useful for future browsing sessions, it can also present both a privacy and security risk as well as a storage issue to the device's owner.

Because of these inherent risks, Chrome allows users to delete these data components either individually or everything in one fell swoop. Keep reading for more information on each private data type and learn how to delete Chrome's browsing data permanently.

How to Delete Chrome's Browsing Data on the iPhone/iPod Touch

Note: These steps are relevant only to Chrome for the iPhone and iPod touch. See how to do this in Windows if you're using Chrome there.

  1. Open the Chrome app.
  2. Tap the menu button at the top right corner. It's the one with three vertically stacked dots.
  3. Scroll down until you find Settings, and select it.
  4. Open the Privacy settings.
  5. At the bottom, choose Clear Browsing Data.
  6. Select all the areas you want to delete from Chrome by tapping each one individually.
    1. See the next section below for an explanation of these options so that you know what you're deleting.
    2. Note: Clearing Chrome's browsing data does not delete bookmarks, erase the app from your phone or iPod, or sign you out of your Google account.
  7. Tap the Clear Browsing Data button when you've selected what should be deleted.
  8. Choose Clear Browsing Data once more to confirm.
  9. When that last pop-up goes away, you can tap DONE to exit the settings and return to Chrome.

What Chrome's Browsing Data Options Mean

Before removing any data it is important that you understand exactly what you are deleting. Below is a summary of each of the above options.

  • Browsing History: This contains a record of every website you've visited since the last time you cleared the history. You can access these previously viewed sites via Chrome's History screen in the main menu.
  • Cookies, Site Data: Cookies and other website data are files placed on your iPhone or iPod touch when you visit certain sites. Each cookie is used to tell a web server when you return to its page. Cookies can be helpful in remembering certain settings that you have on a website, as well as important information such as login credentials.
  • Cached Images and Files: Chrome for iPhone and iPod touch utilizes its cache to store images, content, and URLs of recently visited web pages. By using the cache, the browser can render these pages much faster on subsequent visits by loading the images, etc. locally from your device's cache rather than from the web server itself.
  • Saved Passwords: When entering a password on a website for something like your email or bank, Chrome will usually ask if you want the password to be remembered. If you choose yes, it will be stored on your device and/or in the cloud and then pre-populated the next time you visit that particular page, similar to a built-in password manager.
  • Autofill Data: In addition to passwords, Chrome also stores other information that you enter into web forms, like your name, address, payment information, etc. This data is then used by the browser's Autofill feature to populate similar fields during subsequent sessions.