When you use a browser to surf the internet, it keeps a track of all the websites you visit in the form of ‘History’. With history stored in the browser, you don’t have to enter the complete URL of the page, rather the browser provides a list of web-pages that you have visited and you can select one. It certainly saves a lot of time.
However, there are instances when you have to delete the browser history. For instance, you share the browser with some and don’t want them to find out the websites you frequent or simply for privacy. The iPhones are said to be one the safest handsets in the market with high safety and security protocols in place.
Deleting the browser history every now and then may consume a lot of time and isn’t practical if done periodically. The alternative is to use a Private or Incognito mode on your browser. When you browse on private/incognito mode, the browser doesn’t record or save it however, your internet provider may still be able to track the websites you visit. It’s an intricate concept that requires an in-depth understanding, but for general browsing, you are well-off with either deleting the browser history or using an incognito window.
In the next few sections, we will see how to delete browser history on iPhone for Safari, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox). Please know that once you have deleted the browsing history, it cannot be restored.
Deleting History for Safari on iPhone
The option to clear browsing history is not built-in the Safari, which is the case with most of the browsers. It’s found in the app settings which is accessed through iPhone settings. To delete browsing history for Safari, tap on the ‘Settings’ icon on the home screen.
In Settings, scroll down to the section where all the installed apps are listed and select ‘Safari’ from the list.
Next, tap on ‘Clear History and Website Data’, next to the ‘Privacy and Security’ section.
After you tap on it, a confirmation box will pop-up. Tap on ‘Clear History and Data’ in the confirmation box and the browser history will be cleared instantly.
Deleting History for Microsoft Edge on iPhone
Another browser very commonly used by people on iPhone is Microsoft Edge, therefore we will be discussing how to delete its browsing history as well.
Open the browser and tap on the ellipsis (three horizontal dots) at the bottom.
You will now see a lot of options in the menu, ranging from favorites to history, collections, and settings. Since we are interested in deleting the history, tap on the ‘History’ icon, which is second from the left.
You can now see all the web pages you have visited, with the latest being at the top. To delete the browser history, tap on the ‘Delete’ icon at the top-right corner. The delete icon resembles a dustbin which is the generally accepted symbol for it.
Whenever you delete history in a browser, a confirmation box generally pops-up which is the case with Microsoft Edge as well. Tap on ‘Clear’ to confirm the change and delete the browser history.
Deleting History for Google Chrome on iPhone
When you open the Google Chrome browser, tap on the ellipsis at the bottom-right corner to open the menu.
You will now see multiple options in the menu, including settings and history. Next, select ‘History’ from the list of options.
You can now see all the webpages you have visited in the past. At the bottom of the screen, you will see the option to ‘Clear Browsing Data’.
On this page, you have to select the time range at the top, select the data that you want to delete and then tap on ‘Clear Browsing Data’ at the bottom to delete the browsing history.
Next, tap on the ‘Clear Browsing Data’ in the confirmation box that pops-up at the bottom.
Deleting History for Firefox on iPhone
When you open the Mozilla Firefox browser, you will see the ‘Top Sites’ section at the top and ‘Your Library’ under it. At the bottom of the page, you have the option to open the menu by tapping on three horizontal lines at the bottom-right corner.
In the menu, select the ‘Settings’ option from the list.
Next, select ‘Data Management’ under the ‘Privacy’ section.
At the bottom of the screen you will see the option to ‘Clear Private Data’, tap on it.
As was the case with the other browsers we saw earlier, a confirmation box pops-up. Tap on ‘OK’ to confirm the change.
In the last couple of sections, we have seen how to delete browsing history in multiple browsers. However, as discussed earlier, we can opt for private/incognito mode where the history is not stored at all.
The private or incognito mode is built-in in most of the browsers available on the App Store. Let’s see how to switch to private/incognito mode in Safari and Google Chrome.
Switching to Private/Incognito Mode on Safari
To switch to private mode on Safari, tap on the ‘Tabs’ icon at the bottom-right corner of the browser.
Next, tap on the ‘Private’ option at the bottom-left.
You have now switched to ‘Private’ tab but you will need to open a new tab to browse the web.
When a new tab opens, you will see ‘Private Browsing Mode’ mentioned just under the URL section.
Switching to Private/Incognito Mode on Google Chrome
Google Chrome has the largest user base amounting to almost half of the web traffic. Therefore, every user must know how to switch to private mode on Google Chrome.
Tap on the ‘Tabs’ icon at the bottom of the screen, just next to the ellipsis.
Next, click on the ‘Incognito’ icon, just left to the tabs count at the top.
The incognito/private mode is now active but you will have to open a new tab to browse the web. To open a new tab, tap on the ‘+’ icon at the bottom of the screen.
You can now start browsing in incognito mode without the risk of history being accessed by someone else using the computer.
You can similarly switch to private mode on other browsers as well just like the two we discussed above.