How to Manage Your Browsing History in Safari

Revisit websites or remove them from your browsing history

Illustration of a person working on computer

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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, though, you may need to use or manage it. 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.

Instructions in this article apply to Macs running OS X Yosemite (10.10) and later, and mobile devices running iOS 8 and above.

How to Manage Browsing History in 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's history on a Mac.

  1. 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.

    History Menu in Safari
  2. Click any of the websites to load the respective page, or click one of the previous days at the bottom of the menu to see more options.

    History item in Safari
  3. To clear your Safari browsing history, cookies and other site-specific data that's been stored locally, choose Clear History at the bottom of the History drop-down menu.

    Clear History in Safari
  4. Select the period you want to clear from the drop-down menu. Options are: The last hour, Today, Today and yesterday, and All history.

    Clear History options in Safari
  5. Click Clear History to delete the list of sites.

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

Clear History button in Safari

How to Use a Private Window in Safari

To prevent websites from ever appearing in the Safari browsing history, use a Private Window when you access the internet. Select New Private Window under the File menu to create one. You can also press Shift+Command+N on your keyboard.

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

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.

New Private Window in Safari

How to Manage Browsing History in 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.

    History on an iPhone
  4. Scroll through the screen for a website to open. Tap an entry to go to the page in Safari.

  5. To clear the browsing history, tap Clear at the bottom of the History screen.

  6. Choose from four options: The last hour, Today, Today and yesterday, and All time.

    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.

  7. Tap Done to exit the screen and return to the browser page.

    Clearing history in Safari