How to Clear Browsing Data in Chrome for iPhone

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Chrome Privacy Settings

chrome iphone browsing data
Scott Orgera

This tutorial is only intended for users running the Google Chrome browser on iPhone or iPod touch devices.

Google Chrome for iPhone and iPod touch continuously stores data locally as you browse the Web, including browsing history, cache, cookies, and saved passwords. These items are saved on your portable device, even after you have 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 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. This tutorial describes each private data type and walks you through the process of permanently removing them from your iPhone or iPod touch.

First, open your Chrome browser. Tap the Chrome menu button (three vertically-positioned dots), located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select the Settings option. Chrome's Settings interface should now be displayed. Locate the Advanced section and select Privacy. Chrome's Privacy settings should now be displayed, offering the following options among others: Clear Browsing History, Clear Cache, Clear Cookies and Site Data, Clear Saved Passwords, Clear Saved Autofill Form Data, and Clear All. To initiate the deletion process for any of these data components, first select it from this screen. You should now see a confirmation message, asking you if you are sure you want to delete the chosen item. Select the appropriate option to either complete data removal or cancel.

Private Data Components

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 contains a record of all websites that you have visited. You can access these previously viewed sites via Chrome's History interface or through the autocomplete feature in the Omnibox, your browser's combination address and search bar.
  • 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 to the site by loading the images, etc. locally from your device's cache rather than from the Web server itself.
  • A cookie is a text file that is 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 Web page. Cookies can be helpful in remembering certain settings that you have on a website, as well as important information such as login credentials.
  • When entering a password on a Web page for something such as your email login, Chrome will usually ask if you would like for the password to be remembered. If you choose yes, it will be stored on your device and then prepopulated the next time you visit that particular Web page.
  • In addition to passwords, Chrome also stores other information that you enter into Web forms such as your name and address. This data is then used by the browser's Autofill feature to populate similar fields during subsequent sessions.
  • While Chrome provides the ability to remove individual data components, you may want to delete all of your private information at once. In this case, you would use the Clear All option.