How to Remove Cookies and Web History on the iPad

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It is a common practice for websites to put a 'cookie', which is a small piece of data, on your browser to store information. This information can be everything from a username to keep you logged in on your next visit to data used to track your visit to the website. If you've visited a website you don't quite trust and want to delete your cookies from the iPad's Safari web browser, don't worry, that's a pretty simple task.

You can also use these instructions to delete your web history.  The iPad keeps track of every website we visit, which can be helpful for auto-completing website addresses when we try to find them again.  However, it can be awkward if you don't want anyone to know you've visited a particular website, such as jewelry sites when shopping for your spouse's anniversary gift.  

Apple has combined both of these tasks, allowing you to delete both your cookies and your web history at the same time.  

  1. First, you need to go to the iPad's settings.  (Get help getting into the iPad's settings.)
  2. Next, scroll down the left-side menu and choose Safari.  This will bring up all of the Safari settings.
  3. Touch "Clear History and Website Data" to delete all records of which websites you have been to on the iPad and all website data (cookies) collected on the iPad.
  4. You will be prompted to confirm your request.  Tap the "Clear" button to confirm you want to delete this information.

    Safari's Privacy Mode will keep sites from showing up in your web history or accessing your cookies.  Find out how to browse the iPad in privacy mode.

    Note: When you are browsing in privacy mode, the top menu bar in Safari will be a very dark gray to let you know you are in privacy mode.

    How to Clear Cookies From a Specific Website

    Clearing cookies from a specific website is helpful if you are having issues with a single website, but you don't want all of your usernames and passwords cleared from all the other websites you visit.

     You can delete cookies from a specific website by going into the Advanced settings at the bottom of the Safari settings.

    1. In the Advanced tab, choose Website Data.
    2. If it isn't on the first page, you can choose 'Show All Sites' to get the full list.
    3. You can swipe your finger from right to left on the website's name to reveal a delete button.   When you tap the delete button, the data from that website will be removed.
    4. If you have trouble deleting data by swiping, you can make the process easier by tapping the Edit button at the top of the screen.  This puts a red circle with a minus sign next to each website.  Tapping this button will reveal the Delete button, which you must tap to confirm your choice.  
    5. You can also remove all website data by tapping the link at the bottom of the list.  

    The "Do Not Track" Option

    If you are concerned about your privacy, you may want to flip the Do Not Track switch while you are in the Safari settings.  The Do Not Track switch is in the Privacy and Security section just above the option to Clear History and Website Data.   Do Not Track tells websites not to save cookies used to track your activity across the web.  

    You can also choose to only allow the website you are visiting to save cookies or turn cookies off completely.

     This is done in the Block Cookies settings within the Safari settings.  Turning off cookies except for the current website is a great way to keep advertisements from storing any information on you.