How to Clear Private Data, Caches, and Cookies on Mac

Keep your browsing history a mystery in Safari

To minimize the dangers of using your browser or accessing your email while on a public computer, instruct Safari to purge all information: its cache, the history of visited sites, what you entered in forms, and other information.

Instructions in this article apply to the Safari web browser for Mac and iOS devices.

Clear Private Data, Empty Caches, and Remove Cookies in Safari

To remove your browsing history, cookies, caches, and other website data from Safari on your Mac and across any synchronized devices after visiting an email service on the web from a public computer:

  1. Select Safari > Clear History from the menu bar at the top of the Safari screen.

    Screen shot of Safari Clear History menu option
  2. Select the Clear dropdown arrow and choose either the last hour, today, today and yesterday, or all history.

    Clear all history menu option

    You are notified that the history is also removed on other devices that are signed in to your iCloud account.

  3. Click Clear History.

You can also clear all history by selecting History on the Safari menu bar and choosing Clear History. You have the same options here: the last hour, today, today and yesterday, and all history. There is no confirmation field and the deletion is immediate.

Expanded Safari History menu

You also have options to view all the history or to view history by specific days.

Clear Data (But Not History) for Specific Sites in Safari

Clearing data does not remove the sites from your browsing history. You may want to clear your history in addition to deleting select sites' data.

  1. Select Safari > Preferences.

  2. Select the Privacy tab.

    Mac Safari Preferences privacy tab
  3. In the Cookies and website data section, click Manage Website Data.

  4. Review all sites by domain name that store data via cookies, database, or local storage (such as cookies or files). Read the warning that removing the data may log you out of the websites or change the sites' behavior.

    Mac Safari Preferences Privacy tab
  5. For each site whose data you want to remove, highlight the site in the list and click Remove. To remove all the sites, click Remove All.

  6. Click Done.

  7. Close the Privacy preferences window.

Clear Private Data, Empty Caches, and Remove Cookies in Safari for iOS

To delete all Safari history entries, cookies, and data websites using your iOS mobile device:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to the Safari category.

    Clear Data Steps in iOS Data006_iOS-Safari-Clear-Data-1171077
  3. Tap Clear History and Website Data.

  4. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm and delete all the entries.

View Sites and Selectively Delete Data on iOS Devices

To delete Safari history for a specific website using your iOS mobile device:

  1. Open Settings on the iOS device.

  2. Tap the Safari category.

  3. Select Advanced at the bottom of the screen.

    iOS Safari Clear Data screens
  4. Tap Website Data.

  5. Scroll through the list of entries. Swipe to the left on a single entry and tap Delete to remove it. To remove all the entries, tap Remove All Website Data at the bottom of the entry list.