Apple iPhone comes with Safari as your default browser. Like any other browser, Safari will cache the content of all webpages you browse locally on iPhone. The idea is to speed up the browsing when you visit the same webpage or site. however, over period the accumulated browsing history can negatively impact the speed and affect your browsing experience. If you feel the browser is not working properly, here is how to delete the Safari browsing history in iPhone.
Why to Delete Browsing History in Safari?
There are many reasons for this:
- Safari works too slow even though you have good internet connection.
- Sometimes site owners might have changed the configuration like DNS or theme. In such case, accessing the site with previously cached content will not load the page properly.
- Safari will show frequently visited sites on the startup page from your history. This may affect your privacy if you have accessed private pages. Clearing history will also remove the site lists on the home page.
- You want to free up some storage space occupied by the cached content.
If you are using Mac, check our article on how to delete browsing history in Safari Mac.
1. Delete Browsing History in Safari
Whatsoever your concern, follow the below steps to delete browsing history in Safari.
- Tap on “Settings” app and scroll down to find “Safari” app. This will be listed in the Apple apps group along with FaceTime, Stocks, etc. Alternatively, swipe down from the top to view search box. Type “safari” in the search box and open “Safari” option from the list to access the browser’s settings page.
- Scroll down on the settings page and tap on “Clear History and Website Data” link.
- This will show a pop-up and confirm your action by tapping on “Clear History and Data” option.
What Data Will be Deleted?
People confuse deleting browsing history with deleting bookmarks or favorites. Here is what will be deleted when you clear the browsing history in Safari:
- Cookies cached from websites for tracking the sessions and activities. This means you will be logged out of all sites when clearing browsing history. If you are doing some important stuff, make sure to logout from sites before deleting history in Safari.
- Your bookmarks, favorites and passwords will not be deleted.
As you can see in the confirmation pop-up, browsing history will be deleted from all your devices signed in with iCloud account.
2. View Details and Delete Single Site from History
Though the above method is super easy, it will delete the complete history. What if when you want to delete a single site that you have accessed before?
- When you are in the settings page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on “Advanced” option.
- On the next page, tap on “Website Data” to view the list of top websites cached by Safari along with the data size. You can also tap on “Show All Sites” link to view the full list of sites.
- Tap on “Remove All Website and Data” option showing at the bottom and confirm the action by tapping “Remove Now”.
- This will do the same action of completely deleting the history as explained in method 1.
- For deleting a single website from the list, swipe the item to left. You will see a “Delete” button, tap on it to remove that particular website from history.
3. Delete Home Page Icons
If your only concern is the icons showing on the home page, then you do not need to delete the history for this.
- Simply tap and hold on an icon on the home start page.
- You will see a list of menu items and select “Delete” to remove that icon.
4. Disable Start Page Sections
Safari start page shows webpage icons from history under different sections like Favorites, Frequently Visited and Reading List. If you want to completely disable any of these sections, simply scroll down on the start page and tap on “Edit” button.
On the pop-up, disable the items that you want to remove from the home page.
5. Disable Tabs History from Mac
When you have Mac singed with the same Apple ID, then your iPhone will also show an additional section “From MacBook…..”. This section will show the Safari browsing history from your Mac to iPhone. You can remove this section by tapping on “Edit” button and then disabling “iCloud Tabs” option.
If you want to completely disable Safari syncing from Mac, then go to “Settings” app and tap on your Apple ID. After that navigate to “iCloud > Show All” options and disable “Safari” item from the list. You will see a prompt and choose “Delete from My iPhone” to delete the already synced content. Remember, this will also disable syncing of bookmarks from Mac to iPhone.
Using Private Mode
You can also use private mode so that Safari will NOT store your browsing history. However, private mode will not delete your previous history and you will continue to see the site icons on the start page. You need to first delete the history as explained in method 1 and then start using private mode to get rid of all history.
Deleting Safari browsing history will slow the webpages when you open for the first time as locally cached files are deleted. However, Safari will again cache the content after first time accessing the pages and improve the page losing time. Periodically deleting the browsing history will also help to clean up the storage space. If you do not want to delete the complete history, follow one of the options explained above to delete single site or disable the unwanted sections from start page.