How To Manage Your Browsing History in Safari for The iPhone

The Safari web browser on your iPhone always keeps a log of all the web pages that you visit. Though this feature is indeed really helpful at times when you need to revisit a particular website, you should also know how to clear this information for privacy purposes.

You can clear up all your browsing information from the Safari browser in two ways. One method is doing so directly using the Safari app itself and the other from the Settings app on your iPhone.

Before starting, just make sure you are using an updated version of iOS on your iPhone. If not, you can always update your software by going to Settings, tap on General and then tap on Software Update, to download and install the latest version available of iOS.

By Using The Safari App

You can clear your browsing history directly from your Safari app by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Safari app
  2. Tap on the bookmarks icon present on the bottom (the icon looks like a book)
  3. Tap on the clock icon, present on the far right of the screen
  4. And finally select Clear, present on the bottom of the screen

With Safari you can choose a particular period of your browsing history which you wish to delete. The options you get are The last hour, Today, Today & Yesterday or All-Time.

All the history related to the selected period is deleted immediately and remember that there is no further confirmation for this process once you have selected what you wish to do.

To remove only a few selected entries from your browsing history, you can follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Safari app
  2. Tap on the bookmarks icon
  3. Tap on the clock icon
  4. And now instead of tapping on the Clear icon, you need to swipe left over the website you wish to remove and then choose Delete

If you are still using the older iOS 10 software, the process to get rid of your browsing data is similar to what is mentioned above. But the access to your History pane is slightly different. With iOS 10 you can follow these steps:

  1. Open Safari and tap on the bookmarks icon present at the bottom of the screen
  2. Tap on History, which is near the top of your list of bookmarks
  3. Now tap on Clear, which is present at the bottom and select how far back you wish to delete the history or simply swipe left to delete any particular entry

By Using The Settings App

You can even delete your browsing history directly from the Settings App, instead of deleting them from the Safari App, by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Open settings
  2. Scroll down and tap on Safari
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and from there choose Clear history and website data
  4. You will see a confirmation box warning that asks if you are sure and you want to delete or erase all the history, cookies and other browsing data
  5. If you are sure you want to perform this action, then tap on the Clear history and data

Remember when you are deleting your browsing history by using the Settings app, you cannot be selective of the data you wish to delete. This is either; delete all of your data or nothing at all, you don’t have the option to select a few entries or a time-frame to delete the browsing history.

When you delete history from the Settings App, the same will also delete all cookies and other browsing data. And if you prefer to keep them, it is recommended that you use the Safari App itself and delete all of the histories by simply selecting the All-Time option.

The Safari app also gives you the option of Enabling its private browsing mode, known as the Safari’s Private Browsing Mode. Enabling this mode is important in three ways:

  1. It prevents the browser from creating a history of the pages that you visit
  2. It will stop the AutoFill information, like usernames and passwords being remembered
  3. Any tabs that you open won’t get stored in iCloud

With this mode of operation, Safari will automatically prevent cross-site tracking, and request sites and third-party content providers not to track you, as a rule. It also stops sites from modifying any information that is stored on your iOS device and automatically deletes cookies when you close the associated tab.

To enable the Safari Private Browsing Mode, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Launch Safari, tap on the Pages icon (which looks like two squares); this will bring up the open Tabs view. In here, tap on Private, after which the interface will turn dark grey
  2. Tap on the “+” icon and it will open a private tab
  3. When done with browsing, return to the open tabs view, individually swipe all of the open tabs and close them and finally tap Private again
  4. Your private browsing session is now cleared from memory

All these methods ensure the safety of your data from being discovered by other people in the same household.

If you wish to enhance your security and anonymity online, you could always consider subscribing to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers an iOS client or support other VPN.



Michael G

Michael is a self-taught writer, editor, and software developer who has a passion for content that is carefully tailored to add value to the lives of any who interact with it through any medium. He is a Nigerian from the oil-rich Delta State.

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