How to clear history on an iPhone

On desktop devices, clearing history is a common way to protect personal info from snooping eyes. Not so much on mobile (though this bit of data hygiene is just as easy…and important).

When people ask how to clear history on an iPhone, they’re usually referring to their browser history. But history can also be cleared in search engines and other apps, too. This effectively removes the (sometimes sensitive) data iOS devices accumulate in the background, and frees up storage space in the process.

In this short article: how to clear browsing history, search history, and app history on an iPhone.

How to clear Safari browsing history on iPhone

iPhones come with Safari as their default browser; clearing history from Safari is easy:

  1. Open your iPhone’s Settings.
  2. Select Safari.
  3. Tap Clear History and Website Data.

How to clear Google Maps and Apple Maps history

If you want to delete your Google Maps history:

  1. Open the Google Maps app, select Settings and then Map history.
  2. If you had previously opted for Google Maps to save your history, select a destination, tap More, and then tap Delete.

To clear your Apple Maps history:

  1. Open the Apple Maps app.
  2. Swipe up to see recent destinations.
  3. Swipe left on the destination you wish to delete, and choose Remove.

How to clear search history on iPhone

Google is usually the default search engine in the Safari browser. If you’d like to delete just your search history:

  1. Open the Safari browser, and then navigate to Google.
  2. Tap the “” menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Search history, and select the period of time for which you’d like to delete history.

Note: The steps above only clear search history from your device. Google still tracks online activity, and a record of your search history is still tied to your account on Google’s servers, even after it’s cleared from your device.

To customize what Google tracks:

  1. Open the Safari browser, and then navigate to Google.
  2. Tap the “” menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Your Data in Search.
  4. Choose what information Google can store when you search. You can also Pause Google’s record of your searches, making it safer for you to use Google search for a set period.

Best private browsing alternatives for iPhone

If you’re worried about who can see your browsing history on your device (or your history in other apps), the sections above should help. However, you might consider a privacy browser / search combo like Brave, instead of Safari and Google. Brave has native privacy features like out-of-the-box blocking of ads & trackers; and Brave doesn’t track your browsing / search history.

If you make Brave your primary mobile browser, you can limit privacy concerns, save on mobile data, and save storage space on your device. And, since Brave doesn’t track what you do online, deleting your browsing and search history from your device means that history is deleted for good.

Get started with Brave!

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