Over time browsing history, website data, and cookies build up on our iPhones and iPads, and it can be a good idea to clear it out to keep devices running smoothly. As iCloud allows the option to synchronize Safari data between multiple Apple devices, it can build up even more quickly. Let’s take a look at how to view and delete website history and data on iPhone and iPad.
If you’re seeing strange behavior from a website or Safari in general as you’re browsing the web, it’s worth deleting your history and website data. There are of course a host of other reasons you may want or need to do this…like making sure a gift you’re buying for someone close to you remains a surprise 🤓 (if you know ahead of time that you’d like to keep your web history discrete give a shot to Private Browsing).
We’ll look at the few different ways to do this including deleting your history manually or deleting everything with optional time period selections. The photos in the walkthrough below picture an iPhone, although it’s the same process for iPad (and iPod touch).
One last thing to keep in mind before diving in: if syncing Safari data with iCloud is turned on, your device will look just like mine. If not, you’ll need to repeat these steps for your other devices to remove the data (navigate to Settings → iCloud → Safari to check if syncing is on or off).
Start by opening Safari, tap on the 📖 icon, and tap History (if you’re screen shows Favorites after tapping the 📖 icon, tap Bookmarks in the top left hand corner of your screen, also make sure the 📖 is selected and not the glasses or @ icon).
You should be looking at your history. Tap Clear for options on how much of your history and website data to clear and make your selection. Alternatively, on the history screen before tapping Clear you can slide from right to left on individual links in your history to delete them manually (shown in the photo on the right below).
Note that if you sync Safari data with iCloud, your history will be cleared from all devices connected to the same account, but website data and cookies will only be cleared from the device you’re currently using.
Here’s a secondary way to accomplish this goal. Navigate to Settings → Safari.
Now swipe to the bottom of the Safari settings and tap on Clear History and Website Data. Deleting your website data this way won’t give you any options for time periods, but will just wipe it all out.
For more help with your Apple products, check out our how to guide and here’s a few of our other recent how to articles:
- How to clean your iPhone and iPad
- How to print from your iPhone and iPad with or without AirPrint
- How to remove duplicate songs in iTunes with macOS and third-party apps
- How to track your sleep using Apple Watch or iPhone with these third-party apps
- How to customize the MacBook Pro Touch Bar, add shortcuts, hide Control Strip, remove Siri button, more
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