How to View & Delete Browsing History on Safari

By Jay White

May 2, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Browsing history is a double-bladed sword. On the one hand, you can easily find the URL to a website you forgot to bookmark or didn’t realize you’d need in the future. On the other hand, people can use your history to spy on you, and you don’t want that, especially if you’re browsing websites you’d rather not have people know about.

Safari not only allows you to track and view your browsing history, but deleting it as just as easy.

<strong>View and Delete Safari History on OS X</strong>

Viewing your history is as easy as choosing “View All History” from the History menu.

To delete history, follow these steps.

1.Select “History” from “Clear History” in the top menu bar.
2. Choose “Clear” to remove all items.
3. Or select some entries and press “Delete” on your keyboard to delete some entries.

You can change your preferences to automatically delete your history after a certain period of time. Open the drop-down menu at “Safari > Preferences > General > Remove history items.” You’ll be able to delete daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or yearly; or you can select to manually delete your history.

Alternatively, Private Browsing Mode won’t save any history items or private data. To enable this, click “Safari” menu and select “Private Browsing.”

<strong>View and Clear History in Safari on iOS</strong>

If you’re using Safari on an iOS device, including the iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to take different steps to view or delete the history items.

To view history, open Safari on your device. Long-hold the back arrow to open your history. You’ll see the thumbnails of pages and can tap to open the page again or swipe to remove it from the history list. In previous versions of the operating system, you’ll see a list without the page thumbnails.

Delete your history in Safari on the iPhone or iPad using this method:

1. Open the Settings app.
2. Select “Safari.”
3. Choose “Clear History and Website Data.”

In previous versions of iOS, you’ll need to tap “Clear History and tap Clear Cookies and Data.”

Clearing history and browser data frequently can help to boost performance of your browser and clear the number of options that appear in the address bar when you’re typing addresses. Clear your history periodically to reduce clutter and keep your browsing private.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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