How to Manage Your Browsing History in Safari for the iPhone

Clear selected entries or your entire history for privacy purposes

Woman holding iPhone
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The Safari web browser on your iPhone keeps a log of web pages that you visit. This might be helpful at times so that you can revisit a particular website, but you you should also need to know how to clear this information for privacy purposes.

There are two primary places to clear the Safari history on your phone: from the Safari app itself and through the Settings app.

Use the Safari App

Safari history cleaning via browser on an iPhone

When you use Safari to delete the history off your iPhone, you're given various times that you can clear back to, such as just the last hour or even everything Safari has accumulated since the last time it was cleaned.

What you decide to remove is up to you, but no matter which time frame you choose, it's super easy to do:

When you clear the history in Safari for your iPhone, not only is the history removed but also cookies and other browsing data.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap the bookmarks icon on the bottom (the one that looks like a book).
  3. Choose the clock icon on the far right.
  4. Select Clear on the bottom.
  5. Choose an appropriate option from the list: The last hour, Today, Today and yesterday, or All time.

All the history in the period you select is deleted immediately. There's no further confirmation.

To delete only a few entries from the history instead of everything, repeat Step 1–3, but instead of using the Clear button, swipe from right to left over the website you want to remove, and then choose Delete.

Use the Settings App

Safari history cleaning via Settings app on an iPhone

Another way to delete your Safari browsing history that doesn't require opening the browser, is through the Settings app. However, you're not given the option to selectively delete the information; it's an all or nothing deal.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.
  3. Swipe to the bottom of the page and choose Clear History and Website Data.
  4. When you see the confirmation box warning you if you're sure you want to erase all the history, cookies, and other browsing data, tap Clear History and Data.