How to Manage Your Browsing History in Safari

Revisit websites or remove them from your Safari search history

The Apple Safari web browser keeps a log of your search history and the websites that you visit. Learn how to manage your browsing history in Safari and how to browse privately.

Instructions in this article apply to Safari for Mac computers with OS X Yosemite (10.10) through macOS Catalina (10.15) and Apple mobile devices with iOS 8 through iOS 14.

How to Manage Safari History on macOS

Safari has long been the standard web browser for macOS. Here's how to manage Safari's history on a Mac:

  1. Open the Safari browser and select History in the menu bar located at the top of the screen.

    The Safari browser with the History tab selected
  2. You'll see a drop-down menu with the titles of the web pages you visited recently. Select a website to load the respective page or select one of the previous days at the bottom of the menu to see more options.

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

    The Safari History tab with Clear History highlighted

    If you want to keep website data (like saved passwords and other autofill information), go to History > Show All History. Press Cmd+A to select everything, then press Delete to remove your browser history while retaining website data.

  4. Select the period you want to clear from the drop-down menu. Options include the last hour, today, today and yesterday, and all history.

    The Clear field in Safari History with today and yesterday selected
  5. Select Clear History to delete the list of sites.

    Clear History selected in Safari History tab

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

How to Use Private Browsing in Safari

To prevent websites from appearing in the browser history, use Private Browsing. To open a private window in Safari, go to File > New Private Window, or use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+N.

Safari Fill menu with New Private Window highlighted

When you close the private window, Safari doesn'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 remains private.

In Safari for Windows, select the settings gear and choose Private Browsing from the drop-down menu.

How to Manage History in Safari on iOS Devices

The Safari app is part of the iOS operating system used in the Apple 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 at the bottom of the screen. It resembles an open book.

    The Safari app showing the bookmark icon
  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 open the page in Safari.

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

  6. Choose one of the four options: The last hour, Today, Today and yesterday, and All time.

    Safari app History screen with Clear selected

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

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

    If you only want to remove individual sites from your Safari history, swipe left on the entry, then tap Delete.

How to Use Private Browsing in Safari on iOS Devices

You can also use Private Browsing in iOS to prevent your Safari search history and web data from being saved:

  1. Open the Safari app and then press and hold the tabs icon (the two overlapping boxes) at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap Private.

  3. Tap the plus sign to open a private browsing window.

    Path to open a private browsing window in the Safari app
  4. When you are in private browsing, the background of the URL address bar is black instead of light gray. Enter a URL or search term as usual.

  5. When you are ready to go back to regular browsing, tap the tabs icon and then tap Private to turn off private browsing.

    Safari app in private browsing
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