How to Clear the Browsing History in Chrome for iPad

Deleting cookies and much more

Illustration of pencil eraser erasing 1s and 0s

wildpixel / Getty Images

The Google Chrome app for iPad stores remnants of your browsing behavior locally on your tablet, including a history of the sites that you visit and any passwords you choose to save. The Chrome app also retains a cache and cookies, which it uses in future sessions to improve your browsing experience. Maintaining this potentially sensitive data provides an obvious convenience, especially in the area of saved passwords. However, it can also pose a privacy or security hazard for any iPad user who occasionally shares the iPad with another individual. 

Chrome Privacy Settings

For owners of iPads who don't want the tablet to store one or more of the five types of data, the Chrome for iOS app offers a way to delete them permanently using only a few taps.

Information in this article applies specifically to iPads running iOS 12 and the current version of the Chrome app. However, the process is similar in earlier versions of the Chrome app.

How to Delete Browsing Data From an iPad

  1. Open the Chrome app on your iPad.

  2. Tap the Chrome menu button (three horizontally-aligned dots), located in the upper right corner of the browser window and tap Settings in the drop-down menu.

    Chome drop-down menu
  3. Tap Privacy.

    Setting panel in iOS Chrome app for iPad
  4. On the Privacy screen, select Clear Browsing Data.

    Privacy settings in Chrome for iPad
  5. At the top of the Clear Browsing Data screen, select a Time Range. Options are:

    • Last Hour
    • Last 24 Hours
    • Last 7 Days
    • Last 4 Weeks
    • All Time
    Selecting a Time Range when clearing data on iPad

    Only items that the iPad acquired or visited during the specified period are cleared. All Time is the best choice if you are clearing all the private browsing data from the iPad.

  6. On the Clear Browsing Data screen, tap each of the categories of data that you want to clear to place a checkmark next to them. After making your selections, tap Clear Browsing Data at the bottom of the screen and confirm the deletion. The data clears from all the devices you have synced to Chrome.

    Categories of data on the Clear Browsing Data screen

Types of Browsing Data You Can Clear

The five types of private browsing data you can select to clear are:

  • Browsing History: Your browsing history is a record of all websites that you visited on the iPad. It is accessible via Chrome's History interface or through the autocomplete feature in the browser's combination address and search bar.
  • Cookies, Site Data: A cookie is a text file that is placed on your iPad when you visit some sites. Each cookie is used to tell a web server when you return to its web page. Cookies can remember settings that you have on a website, as well as important information such as login credentials.
  • Cached Images and Files: Chrome for iPad uses its cache to store images, content, and URLs of recently visited web pages. By using the cache, the browser can render pages faster on subsequent visits to the site.
  • Saved Passwords: When entering a password on a web page for something such as your email login, Chrome for iOS asks if you want the password to be remembered. If you choose yes, it is stored on your iPad and then populated the next time you visit that particular web page.
  • Autofill Data: In addition to passwords, Chrome can also store other frequently entered data such as a home address on your iPad.