How to Manage Your Browsing History in Safari

Revisit websites or remove them from your browsing history

An illustration of a person working at a computer, showing icons for websites the person has visited.

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Apple's Safari web browser keeps a log of websites that you've visited in the past. Its default settings record a significant amount of browsing history; you don't have to change anything to save your browsing history in Safari. In time, you may need to use the history or manage it though. You can look back through your history to revisit a particular site, and you can delete some or all of your browsing history for privacy or data storage purposes, whether you use Safari on a Mac or an iOS device.

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Safari on macOS

Safari has long been a standard feature on Mac computers. It is built into the operating system of Mac OS X and macOS. Here's how to manage Safari on a Mac.

  1. Click the Safari icon in the dock to open the browser.
  2. Click History in the menu located at the top of the screen to view a drop-down menu with icons and titles of the web pages you have visited recently. Click Earlier Today, Recently Closed or Reopen Last Closed Window if you don't see the website you are looking for. 
  3. Click any of websites to load the respective page, or click one of the previous days at the bottom of the menu to see more options.

To clear your Safari browsing history, cookies and other site-specific data that's been stored locally:

  1. Choose Clear History at the bottom of the History drop-down menu.
  2. Select the period you want to clear from the drop-down menu. Options are: The last hour, Today, Today and yesterday, and All history.
  3. Click Clear History.

Note: If you sync your Safari data with any Apple mobile devices via iCloud, the history on those devices is cleared as well.

How to Use a Private Window in Safari

You can prevent websites from ever appearing in the Safari browsing history by using a Private Window when you access the internet. 

  1. Click File in the menu bar at the top of Safari.
  2. Select New Private Window

The only distinguishing feature of the new window is that the address bar is tinted dark gray. The browsing history for all tabs in this window is private.

When you close the Private Window, Safari won't remember your search history, the web pages you visited, or any Autofill information.

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Safari on iOS Devices

The Safari app is part of the iOS operating system used in Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. To manage the Safari browsing history on an iOS device:

  1. Tap the Safari app to open it.
  2. Tap the Bookmarks icon on the menu at the bottom of the screen. It resembles an open book.
  3. Tap the History icon at the top of the screen that opens. It resembles a clock face.
  4. Scroll through the screen for a website to open. Tap an entry to go to the page in Safari.

If you want to clear out the history:

  1. Tap Clear at the bottom of the History screen.
  2. Choose from four options: The last hour, Today, Today and yesterday, and All time.
  3. You can tap Done to exit that History screen and return to the browser page.

Clearing the history removes history, cookies and other browsing data. If your iOS device is signed into your iCloud account, the browsing history will be removed from other devices that are signed in.