Clear Your Browsing History And Web Data From Mobile Safari [iOS Tips]

Safari Data

With all the sites we visit on a daily basis on our iPhones and iPads, we are capturing and storing where we visit in the background of every web page we see. You may want to clear your browsing history or other stored web data from your iPhone from time to time, if you’re of a security or privacy turn of mind.

iOS makes it fairly simple to do so; here’s how.

First, head into your Settings app with a tap, and then scroll down to the Safari settings. Tap into it, and then scroll down to the section that has Clear History and Clear Cookies and Data. Tap the Clear History button to get rid of the list of sites you’ve visited since the last time you cleared your history file, if at all. You’ll get a message that says, “are you sure you want to clear history? This cannot be undone.” If you’re cool with that, tap Clear History. If not, hit the black Cancel button.

Similarly, when you tap the Clear Cookies and Data button, you’ll get a confirmation message. This one says, “This will clear data that could be used for tracking, but is also used by websites to preserve login information and to speed up browsing. All open pages will be closed.” If you’re good with doing so, tap the gray Clear Cookies and Data button. Hit the Cancel button to do just that.

To get even more fine-grained, scroll to the bottom of the Safari preferences page and tap the Advanced area. Tap again on the Website Data button to see all the other data various sites are keeping on your iPhone or iPad, along with the file size of this data. Tap the Edit button in the upper right to reveal the delete button next to each entry; tap the red circle to delete individual entries. Alternately, you can swipe to the left, just like you can in the Mail app, to reveal a red Delete button.

If you’d like to delete all this web data in one fell swoop, scroll to the very bottom of the list and tap the red Remove All Website Data button. You’ll get the same confirmation message as for the Clear Cookies and Data button. Tap Remove Now if you want to get rid of it all, or Cancel to belay that order.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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