How to Manage History and Browsing Data in Safari for iPad

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The Safari web browser on your iPad stores a log of websites you visit, as well as other browsing-related components such as a cache and cookies. The history allows you to look back through sites you've visited and revisit them. The cache and cookies enhance the overall browsing experience by speeding up page loads and customizing the look and feel of a site based on your preferences. Despite these conveniences, you may want to delete the browsing history and the accompanying website data for privacy reasons. 

Viewing and deleting browsing history

To view your browsing history in Safari on the iPad, tap the History icon (it looks like an open book) at the top of the Safari screen. In the panel that opens, tap the clock icon. A list of the sites visited over the past month appears on the screen, ordered from most recent to the oldest. Tap any site on the list to navigate to that site on the iPad. 

From the History panel, you can clear the browsing history from your iPad and from all connected iCloud devices. At the bottom of the History panel, tap Clear. You are presented with four options for deleting history:

  • The last hour
  • Today
  • Today and yesterday
  • All time

Make your decision and tap the preferred option.

Deleting history and cookies from the settings app

You can also delete the browsing history and cookies from the iPad's Settings app. Tap the Settings icon on the iPad's Home screen. When the iOS Settings app opens, scroll down and tap on the option labeled Safari to display all the settings for the Safari app. Scroll through the list of Safari settings and tap Clear History and Website Data to clear history, cookies and other browsing data. You will be prompted to confirm this decision. To continue with the deletion process, tap Clear. To return to Safari's settings without removing any data, tap the Cancel button.

Clearing your history and website data will delete all stored data from sites in Safari. If you only want to delete data saved by specific websites, see the next section.

Deleting stored website data 

Some websites store data on your iPad in Safari that are specific to that site. If you want to delete this data, but don't want to clear all of your browsing history, data, and cookies, you can selectively delete specific data saved by sites.

To delete this data, scroll to the bottom of Safari's Settings screen and tap the option labeled Advanced. When the Advanced screen is visible, tap Website Data to display a breakdown of the amount of data currently stored on your iPad by each individual website. Tap Show All Sites to display the expanded list.

To delete data from a specific site, swipe left on its name. Tap the red Delete button to delete only that one site's stored data. To delete the data stored by all the sites in the list, tap Remove All Website Data at the bottom of the screen.