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How to delete iPhone search and browsing history
Whether you’re worried about security, border searches, or embarrassment, there can be plenty of good reasons to scrub your web activity. Here’s how to delete search history on iPhone, whether you’re using Safari, Siri, Chrome, or Google Search.
To delete your Safari browsing history on an iPhone, open the Settings app, select Safari, then tap Clear History and Website Data. If you're using Google Chrome, launch the app and navigate to More (…) > History. Towards the bottom, tap Clear browsing data, then select the types and amount of data you want to wipe.
JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS
How to delete Google Search history on your iPhone
While it’s the default search engine in Safari and of course Chrome, the best way to manage your Google history is via the dedicated Google Search app:
- Open Google Search, then tap your profile image/icon in the top right.
- Tap Search history.
- Using the Delete drop-down button or your search timeline, select the history you want to remove. This can be all of it, a narrow timerange, or just specific searches.
- If you want history deleted automatically, go to Search history > Controls then toggle Auto-delete. You can choose how often wipes occur.
How to delete Siri search history
Siri is usually just thought of as a voice assistant, but it has tendrils throughout Apple platforms, including dictation features. Thankfully, it’s extremely easy to scour your iPhone’s recent Siri history:
- In the Settings app, open Siri & Search.
- Select Siri & Dictation History.
- Tap Delete Siri & Dictation History.
The catch is that you don’t have control over the timeframe — following these instructions will wipe Apple servers of all Siri interactions with your iPhone within the last six months. Anything beyond that is dissociated from your random identifier and kept anonymously by Apple to improve Siri.
You can use Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements to opt out of Siri recordings entirely. If you delete something within 24 hours, no one at Apple will ever review it.
How to delete Safari browsing history
As you’d hope with the iPhone’s native browser, clearing Safari history is straightforward.
- Open the Settings app, scroll down a bit, and select Safari.
- Further down the page, hit Clear History and Website Data. Don’t worry — you won’t lose saved AutoFill information for web forms.
How to delete Chrome browsing history
Chrome’s option isn’t as easy to find as Safari’s, but it isn’t hard either, and it’s quite flexible.
- Open Chrome.
- Navigate to More (…) > History.
- At the bottom of the next page, tap Clear Browsing Data.
- Choose a timerange, then the kinds of content you want to purge. Make sure that only Browsing History is selected if you don’t want to delete things like cookies or cached files.
- Tap the red Clear Browsing Data button.
How to use Safari Private Browsing mode
Like other browsers these days, Safari offers an anonymous mode so you don’t have to bother deleting history in the first place. Here’s how to turn on Private Browsing:
- Launch Safari on your iPhone.
- Tap the Tabs button in the lower-right corner.
- At bottom center, tap the button with the gray down arrow next to it. This may read “[number] Tabs” if you already have content open, or “Start Page” if you don’t.
- Select Private, then Done.
You can exit Private Browsing the same way, simply by choosing one of your regular tab groups instead of Private. Remember that when you close a Private tab, you’ll lose any and all info from that session, including anything you entered as AutoFill information.