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Reader Approved

How to Clear History on an iPhone

Seven Methods: Safari Browsing History Chrome Browsing History Call History iMessage History Keyboard History Google Search App Erasing All Data Community Q&A

Your iPhone stores a lot of data about what you do. Usually this is used to make things easier for you, such as tracking down a website you’ve visited or finding a call you missed. If you’re worried about someone seeing something they shouldn’t, you can clear the history for the various services on your iPhone, or erase everything completely.

Quick Summary

1. Open Settings.
2. Tap Safari.
3. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
4. Confirm deletion.

Did this summary help you?

Steps

1

Safari Browsing History

  1. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 1

    1
    Open the Settings app. You’ll be clearing your browsing history from the Settings app, not from the Safari app. While you can delete your browsing history in Safari, this won’t remove any autofill information or cookies. Clearing your history through the Settings app will ensure that everything is deleted.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 2

    2
    Scroll down and tap “Safari. You should find this in the fifth group of options.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 3

    3
    Scroll down in the Safari menu and tap “Clear History and Website Data. A window will pop up asking you to confirm.

    • If this button is grayed-out, you’ll need to disable website restrictions. Return to the Settings menu and select “Restrictions.” Enter your restrictions passcode then tap “Websites.” Select “All Websites” to allow clearing history. If you don’t have the restrictions passcode, you won’t be able to clear the history. [1]
  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 4

    4
    Confirm that you want to delete the history. Your Safari browsing history, cache, autofill, and cookies will be deleted. Your browsing history will also be deleted on any other devices you are signed into with your iCloud account.

2

Chrome Browsing History

  1. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 5

    1
    Open the Chrome app. If you use Chrome on your iPhone, you can clear the browsing history from within the Chrome app itself.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 6

    2
    Tap the Menu button (⋮) and select “Settings. You may have to scroll down to see it.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 7

    3
    Tap the “Privacy” option. A new menu will appear with a variety of reset options.

  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 8

    4
    Tap “Clear Browsing History” to clear your history. You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to delete it.

  5. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 9

    5
    Tap “Clear All” to delete all of your browsing data. This will clear your history, cache, site data, and cookies.

  6. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 10

    6
    Tap “Clear Saved Autofill Form Data” to remove autofill information. This will clear out the suggestions that appear when you select text fields

3

Call History

  1. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 11

    1
    Open the Phone app. You can delete your call history so that none of your calls appear on the Recents list.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 12

    2
    Tap the “Recents” tab. This will display a list of recent calls that you’ve made and received.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 13

    3
    Tap “Edit” in the upper-right corner. Red minus signs will appear next to each call in the log.

  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 14

    4
    Tap a red minus to delete a single entry. Tapping the minus sign next to an entry will delete it.

  5. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 15

    5
    Tap “Clear” to delete all of the entries at once. If you want to delete the whole list, tap “Clear” in the upper-left corner. This only appears after you’ve tapped “Edit.” All of the entries in the Recents tab will be deleted.

4

iMessage History

  1. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 16

    1
    Open the Messages app. You can delete text message conversations using the Messages app.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 17

    2
    Tap the “Edit” button. This can be found in the upper-left corner.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 18

    3
    Select each conversation that you want to delete. Tap the checkbox for each conversation that you want to remove. You can select multiple conversations.

  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 19

    4
    Tap “Delete” after selecting conversations. All of the selected conversations will be deleted without confirmation.

  5. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 20

    5
    Change your message history settings. By default, Messages will store all of your messages forever. You can change these settings to only keep messages for a year or for 30 days, which can free up space and reduce clutter:

    • Open the Settings app.
    • Select “Messages.”
    • Tap “Keep Messages.”
    • Select how long you want to store messages for. This will automatically delete messages that are older than the new setting.

5

Keyboard History

  1. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 21

    1
    Open the Settings app. If you want to get rid of words added to your iPhone’s autocorrect dictionary, you can do so from the Settings app.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 22

    2
    Select “General. A list of your general iPhone options will open.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 23

    3
    Scroll down and tap “Reset. Various reset options will appear.

  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 24

    4
    Tap “Reset Keyboard Dictionary. You’ll be asked to confirm. All of the custom words that you have saved will be deleted.

6

Google Search App

  1. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 25

    1
    Open the Google app. If you use the Google app to search Google, you can clear your search history through the app.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 26

    2
    Tap the Gear button in the upper-left corner. This will open the Settings menu.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 27

    3
    Scroll down and tap “Privacy. You’ll see your active account.

  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 28

    4
    Tap the “Browsing” option. The “History” section will appear at the top of the screen.

  5. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 29

    5
    Tap “Clear on-device history” to delete your search history. Note that this will only delete the search history for your app. Your searches will still be stored with the active Google account.

7

Erasing All Data

  1. Image titled Prepare to Sell Your iPhone Step 7

    1
    Use this option if you want to completely erase your iPhone. This will delete all of the history and data on the iPhone, and you’ll be prompted to set it up as new when the process is complete.

  2. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 31

    2
    Open the Settings app. If you’re sure you want to erase everything on your iPhone, open the Settings app.

  3. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 32

    3
    Select the “General” option. Your iPhone’s general settings will open.

  4. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 33

    4
    Scroll down and tap “Reset. Your device’s reset options will appear.

  5. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 34

    5
    Tap “Erase All Content and Settings. You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to completely delete everything.

  6. Image titled Switch from Android to iPhone Step 12

    6
    Wait while your iPhone resets. This process may take a little while to complete.

  7. Image titled Clear History on an iPhone Step 36

    7
    Set up your iPhone. Once the reset is complete, you’ll be taken through the initial setup. You can setup your iPhone as new, or restore an iTunes or iCloud backup.

Community Q&A

Search

Add New Question

  • Question
    When I search for a person on Facebook, my phone won’t let me delete it. Why?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    This may be because you are using the Facebook app and that Safari does not interact with the app’s searching system.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 3
    Helpful 9

  • Question
    How do I delete the history from my iPhone, like the stuff that is behind the home screen?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Tap the home button 2 times to open the menu, then swipe up on any open app or game to close it out.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 6
    Helpful 11

  • Question
    How do I delete apps from my iPhone?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Go to your home screen and press down on your app until it starts to shake. An X will appear in the in corner, which you can then click on to uninstall the app.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 7
    Helpful 11

  • Question
    How can I clear my recent searches on my iPhone?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Tap the “Settings” icon on the iPhone home screen. In the Settings menu, select the “Safari” tab. Look for the options that read “Clear History” and “Clear Cookies and Data.” If you want to remove only your recent searches, tap on the “Clear History” button.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 16
    Helpful 20

  • Question
    How can I delete a number from my history if the contact has already been erased?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Go to “Phone,” then “Recent.” Press “Edit” at the top. Then press the red circle next to the number you would like to erase, or press “Clear” to erase all recent calls.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 11
    Helpful 15

  • Question
    How can I erase a specific portion of my history?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Go to History, hold on the items you want to erase and wait until options pop up. Choose to delete. You can use private browsing next time you do not want your history to show up on your iPhone.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 11
    Helpful 13

  • Question
    How do I clear all of my data from old iPhone and keep all my data on a new iPhone without it all disappearing?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    You will need to transfer the data to your new iPhone, probably using an iCloud backup. Once you’ve done that, you can wipe the original device from the Settings.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 0
    Helpful 1

  • Question
    How can I delete the history or open apps when my home button doesn’t work?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch places a button that floats around on the home screen. This “virtual” button can now be used instead of the mechanical home button for every function except turning on the phone – which is accomplished by plugging it into a charger.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 0
    Helpful 1

  • Question
    How do I see my call history?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Go to your phone application and press “Recents.” At the top, there is an option to see “All” calls or just the “Missed” calls. (Going to “All” will also include missed calls.)
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 0
    Helpful 1

  • Question
    How do I clear recent notifications on my iPhone 7?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer

    Go to the home page and pull your finger down from the top of the screen to the bottom. A notification bar will pop up that shows all of your notifications. Tap the “X” at the top right and then press “Clear.” Do that to all of the notifications you want to clear.
    Thanks!

    Yes
    No
    Not Helpful 0
    Helpful 1

Show more answers

Unanswered Questions
  • Can I delete the history of past screens that I have on my iPhone SE? I can’t seem to find a way to clear all those past screens.
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  • How can I erase information my iPhone without automatically erasing it also on my Mac Laptop?
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    Sources and Citations

    1. http://www.igeeksblog.com/clear-history-and-website-data-grayed-out-in-safari-on-iphone-ipad/

    Article Info

    Categories: IPhone

    In other languages:

    Español:  borrar el historial del iPhone , Deutsch:  Die History auf einem iPhone löschen , Italiano:  Cancellare la Cronologia su un iPhone , Português:  Limpar o Histórico em um iPhone , Français:  effacer l’historique sur un iPhone , Русский:  очистить историю посещаемых сайтов на iPhone , 中文:  在iPhone上清除浏览器历史记录 , Nederlands:  De browsegeschiedenis van de iPhone verwijderen , Bahasa Indonesia:  Menghapus Riwayat pada iPhone , العربية:  مسح سجل التصفح على الآيفون , ไทย:  ลบประวัติการใช้งานใน iPhone , Tiếng Việt:  Xóa lịch sử trên iPhone , 日本語:  iPhoneの履歴を消去する , हिन्दी:  आईफोन पर हिस्ट्री मिटाएँ , 한국어:  아이폰의 기록 지우는 법

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    About This Article

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    Co-authors: 12
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    Mobile

    How to clear your browsing history on your iPhone or Android device

    Carlos Vega


    By


    Carlos Vega

    @carlosmcse

    April 26, 2017 – 9:00AM
    4.26.17 – 9:00AM








    how to delete cookies and browsing history on an iphone or android device clear data from browsers
    Carlos Vega/Digital Trends

    Did you know that every time you browse the internet and visit a website, files are being stored on your smartphone? It’s not just your browsing history, which lists all the websites you’ve visited, but also temporary internet files and cookies. Temporary internet files include images and webpage elements that act as a cache and can enable websites to load faster the next time you visit. Cookies are small files that a website stores on your computer or smartphone that contain data about your browser, or login data, which is often used for advertising purposes.

    Temporary internet files and cookies can pile up over time, however, and they will slowly eat away at your smartphone’s internal storage if you don’t manage them. So, we’re going to show you how to delete your browsing history and cookies on an iPhone or Android device. Below are a few guides that you can follow to clear your browsing history and cookies from Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

    How to clear your browser history on an iPhone

    If you use an iPhone or an iPad, then you’re probably using Apple’s default browser (Safari). Unlike most browsers, however, you can’t clear your browsing data from directly within the browser, so we have to go into the device’s settings to accomplish it. Let’s take a look.

    Safari

    1 of 4

    delete browsing data ios safari

    delete browsing data ios safari

    delete browsing data ios safari

    delete browsing data ios safari

    1. Open Settings.
    2. Scroll down to Safari.
    3. Scroll down to Clear History and Website Data, and select it.
    4. A pop-up message will appear, notifying you that this will remove the data from your device and other devices signed into your iCloud account. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

    Chrome

    1 of 6

    delete browsing history chrome ios

    delete browsing history chrome ios

    delete browsing history chrome ios

    delete browsing history chrome ios

    delete browsing history chrome ios

    delete browsing history chrome ios

    1. Tap the more icon ( more menu ) in the upper-right corner.
    2. Go to Settings.
    3. Go to Privacy, and then tap Clear Browsing Data.
    4. Check what you want to delete from the list, and then choose Clear Browsing Data.
    5. Tap Clear Browsing Data again to confirm your decision.

    Firefox

    1 of 4

    firefox clearing history ios

    firefox clearing history ios

    firefox clearing history ios

    firefox clearing history ios

    1. Tap the hamburger menu  ( hamburger menu ) at the bottom, and then tap Settings.
    2. Go to Clear Private Data.
    3. Select the things that you want to delete, and then select Clear Private Data again.
    4. A reminder will appear signifying that this data will be deleted, and that the action cannot be undone. Tap OK to confirm your decision.

    Opera

    1 of 5

    clearning history opera ios

    clearning history opera ios

    clearning history opera ios

    clearning history opera ios

    clearning history opera ios

    1. Tap the red “O” at the bottom of your browser.
    2. Tap Settings in the resulting pop-up menu.
    3. Go to Clear. Afterward, you can either clear specific things, such as saved passwords or cookies, or you can just select Clear All.
    4. You will be asked if you’re sure you want to clear the data. Choose Yes.

    How to clear your browser history on an Android device

    Because Google is behind Android, the default browser on Android devices is usually Chrome. Some manufacturers make their own browsers, however, and there are many third-party browsers you can install. Let’s take a look at Chrome first.

    Chrome

    1 of 5

    chrome clear history android

    chrome clear history android

    chrome clear history android

    chrome clear history android

    chrome clear history android

    1. Tap the more icon ( more menu ) in the upper-right corner.
    2. Go to Settings.
    3. Go to Privacy, and then tap clear Browsing Data.
    4. Check what you want to delete from the resulting list. You can also delete your data from a specified time period, if desired. Choices range from the past hour, to the beginning of time.
    5. Choose the blue button that says Clear Data.

    Firefox

    1 of 7

    firefox delete browsing android

    firefox delete browsing android

    firefox delete browsing android

    firefox delete browsing android

    firefox delete browsing android

    firefox delete browsing android

    firefox delete browsing android

    1. Tap the more icon ( more menu ) in the upper-right corner.
    2. Go to Settings.
    3. Tap Privacy, and then select Clear private data on exit.
    4. Select the things you want to delete, and then select Set.
    5. A reminder will appear signifying that this action cannot be undone. Tap OK to delete the data.
    6. Go back to the home screen in Firefox, tap the more icon ( more menu ) in the upper-right corner, and select Quit at the bottom.

    Opera

    1 of 4

    opera clear browsing data android

    opera clear browsing data android

    opera clear browsing data android

    opera clear browsing data android

    1. Tap the hamburger menu  ( hamburger menu ) at the bottom, and then tap on the Settings cogwheel.
    2. Scroll down to the Privacy section, and tapClear browsing data.
    3. Select what you want to delete, and then tap OK.

    Editors’ Recommendations

    • How to clear cookies
    • How to transfer files from Android to your PC
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    Mobile

    SMS Connect will allow you to use Skype to text from your PC

    If you’re a fan of Skype, then we have some good news for you. Microsoft is working on a new Skype feature called SMS Connect, which will allow you to use Skype to send and receive text messages on your PC, provided you have an Android…
    Posted

    By
    Eric Brackett

    awesome tech you cant buy yet lyd bottle feat

    Emerging Tech

    Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

    Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can’t buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
    Posted

    By
    Drew Prindle