How To Clear History On iPhone (The BEST Way)

by | 10/09/2020 4:49 pm
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If you’re asked what on our iPhone reveals the most about us, you’d probably say the pictures stored on the device, or maybe your emails or messages. And while those are all right answers, there is one other thing that stores a ton of personal information about us on our iPhone: the Safari web browser.

That’s because Safari, like other web browsers, keeps a history of the websites we visit and the searches we perform. That history could give a third-party a good idea of what’s on our mind. For example, are we going to websites with information about a certain disease? It could mean we have that disease.

As you can now see, Safari can give away a ton of data about us. That’s why you should regularly clear its history, so prying eyes that have access to your phone (like a nosey spouse) can’t see everything you’ve done online. Keep in mind if you use incognito mode in your browser all the time you won’t have a history to clear, although your data will still be stored by Apple and Google.

Don’t want ANYONE tracking you online, using and/or selling your data, and following you around the web with cookies? Use the BRAVE browser; it’s 100% private and it is 6x faster than Safari.

If you want to stick with Safari, here’s how you clear the history on your iPhone (and iPad)…

Option #1: Clear Your iPhone History Using The Safari App

There are actually multiple ways to clear your iPhone’s Safari history. At least in iOS 13, so make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of the OS–it’s got a TON of great features. The first is the most direct: learning your history from within the app itself. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Safari app on your iPhone.
  2. At the bottom of the browser window press the Bookmarks icon (this looks like an open book).
  3. In the pop-up screen, you’ll see three tabs: Bookmarks, Reading List, and History. Tap the History tab.
  4. At the very bottom of the History tab, you’ll see a button labeled “Clear.” Tap this.
  5. From the pop-up, select whether you want to clear the history for the last hour, today, today and yesterday, or all time. All Time is generally the best. Tap your selection.

Once you’ve done this your Safari browsing history has been deleted from your iPhone.

Option #2: Clear Your iPhone History Using The Settings App

How To Clear History On iPhone
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But there’s a second way to clear your Safari history on the iPhone. You can also do this from the Settings app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down until you see Safari listed and tap it.
  3. On the Safari settings screen, scroll down until you see the Clear History and Website Data button and tap it.
  4. From the popup, tap the red Clear History and Data button.

Once you’ve done this your Safari browsing history has been deleted from your iPhone.

It’s important to note that if you’re signed in to your iCloud account when you clear your Safari history (using either of the steps above) your history will be cleared in Safari on all other Apple devices (like your Mac or iPad) that you are signed into with your iCloud account.

But on your iPhone itself, clearing Safari’s history will also clear the cookies stored in Safari. Apple does this so websites can’t continue to track you around after you’ve cleared your Safari history. However, note that once cookies are cleared, you’ll have to log back into certain websites.

Don’t Forget About Clearing Open Tabs

While either of the two options above will completely clear your iPhone’s Safari history, they will not clear or close any open windows you have in Safari. This means web pages currently displayed in the app on any tab will remain open.

How To Clear History On iPhone
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So to fully clear your Safari browsing history you’ll want to close any open tabs or windows in the app too. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Safari app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the double-box icon at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up the tabs window.
  3. The tabs window shows all the open tabs/webpages you have in Safari. Simply swipe any open page to the left and push it off screen to close it.

Alternately, you can set Safari to automatically close these open tabs after a set period of time. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down until you see Safari listed and tap it.
  3. On the Safari settings screen, scroll down until you see the Close Tabs menu and tap it.
  4. On the next screen select how often you would like Safari to automatically close open tabs: after 1 day, after 1 week, or after 1 month. Set this to “manually” if you don’t want Safari to close open tabs automatically.

While clearing your history is a good practice to do from time to time, keep in mind you should do much more if you’re giving your phone to someone else (like selling it to them). In that case, you should do an entire factory reset on your iPhone.

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