How To Delete Safari History: 4 Easy Steps

Your Internet browser history is probably riddled with odd – and maybe even embarrassing – search queries and website visits. As a true crime junkie, mine might’ve already landed me on a few government watchlists! (I kid, but hey, you never know.)

I’ve had to delete my Safari browser history more than once because I felt like maybe Safari was going too far with its tracking. Granted, Safari isn’t as obnoxious with tracking as other browsers, but it kept suggesting sites to visit – based on my previous queries and visits – that I wasn’t remotely interested in. I felt that Safari’s analytics were way off. So, I decided to learn how to delete my Safari history.

How To Delete Safari History 1 How To Delete Safari History: 4 Easy Steps

How To Delete Safari History

To clear your search history in Safari:

  • Choose Clear History, which you will find at the very bottom of this menu.
  • A dialog box will then pop up. Within it, you’ll need to select between clearing the last hour of browsing, today, today and yesterday, or the entire existing history.
  • Once you make your choice, go ahead and click on where it says Clear History.

You can delete your Safari history from your iPhone or Mac computer. You can choose to delete all of it if you’d like. Or, if you’re on your Mac, you can delete a selected item or time period of usage.

As it turns out, you can delete the entirety of your browser’s history or just one thing. If you are on a Mac, you can choose to wipe away just the last hour’s worth of history. If you share your Safari with, say, your twin sister and don’t want her to see what you’re buying her for Christmas, you can buy the gifts, then delete that little stretch of browser history.

Convenient, right?

If this is your first time trying to delete your Safari history, let’s walk through how to accomplish this task, which will differ depending on whether you’re on a Mac or iPhone. We’ll also go over what doesn’t get deleted so you can be in the know.

How do you clear your Safari search history on a Mac?

If you’re working from a Mac computer, it is actually pretty easy to clear your Safari’s history. Once you’ve done it the first time, it will become second nature. There are actually a couple of ways that you can clear Safari from your Mac. This is the easiest way for most folks:

  1. Open up Safari, then select the History menu.
  2. Choose Clear History, which you will find at the very bottom of this menu.
  3. A dialog box will then pop up. Within it, you’ll need to select between clearing the last hour of browsing, today, today and yesterday, or the entire existing history.
  4. Once you make your choice, go ahead and click on where it says Clear History.

There is an alternative method you can perform. Go into Safari, then press down on Command and Y at the same time. The page you’re currently on will turn over to your Safari’s history list.

Look for the Clear History button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. When you click on that, you’ll see the same dialog box asking you to select how much history you want to delete. What’s more, this page gives you an additional option – deleting just one particular item.

How do you clear a single item from your Safari search history on a Mac?

Okay, let’s go a little more in-depth with this single-item deletion method. It’s actually quite simple, but you need to know the proper steps to take, which are thus:

  1. Go into Safari, then simultaneously press Command-Y.
  2. Click once on a single item from the history list that comes up.
  3. To bring a menu up, right-click; next, select Delete.

Additionally, you can select one, two, or even more items from that history list. Once you have them selected, just press the Delete key to wipe them all away. Like I said, easy.

The downside? You can only do this kind of precise deletion from your Mac, not on iOS. There is, however, a way to somewhat replicate this process on iOS – but you need to have iCloud set up first. And you still need that Mac.

Have iCloud set up to share your Safari history? Then you can proceed with this method on your Mac, and it will wipe the selected history from all connected iOS devices, like your iPhone and iPad.

If you don’t own a Mac, though, you’re in the same boat I got stuck in – clearing Safari from your iPhone itself.

How do you clear your Safari search history on an iPhone?

That being said, let’s jump right into how to clear Safari from your good ol’ iPhone.

There are only a few short steps involved in this process, so after you run through it the first time, you should feel confident in your ability to do so again in the future without having to look up instructions once again.

Here’s how to delete your Safari history from an iPhone:

  1. On your phone, go into Settings.
  2. Locate Safari in the list, then tap on it.
  3. Scroll down to where it says Clear History and Website Data.
  4. Tap on it.
  5. Next, you will need to tap on Clear History and Data to confirm that this is indeed what you wish to do.

Just keep in mind that you cannot precisely remove an item, such as yesterday’s browsing history, directly from your iOS device. You either have to delete everything or not delete it at all – your call.

What doesn’t get deleted in the process?

Remember how I said before that there are some things that don’t get deleted? Yeah, we need to talk about that before I close this guide out. What does get removed in this process are the webpages and sites you’ve visited within the selected timeframe.

In other words, you cannot simply go back to the Wikipedia page you were on two Thursdays ago just by doing a Safari history search. If you deleted it, it won’t be there – simple as that.

What is left behind, however, is specific data like cookies and AutoFill info. If you have your address and phone number saved in AutoFill, those things will still be there. 

If you want to delete more specific information, you might want to consider using a reputable cleaner app (such as CCleaner for Mac) to purge this data from your device. Otherwise, it will still be there, accessible whenever you want to use it.

Closing Thoughts

Deleting the history from your Safari web browser is quick and simple. Doing it from a Mac clearly gives you more leeway with what you get to delete, but if you do not have a Mac, deleting from an iOS device is all-or-nothing. You will have to consider whether it is actually worth it to delete your search history or if you should just keep it going. 

If you can do it via Mac, I highly recommend going this route, but if not, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of your decision to delete or keep.