How to clear your browsing history on your iPhone or Android device

how to delete cookies and browsing history on an iphone or android device clear data from browsers
Carlos Vega/Digital Trends
Did you know that every time you browse the internet and visit a website, files are being stored on your smartphone? It’s not just your browsing history, which lists all the websites you’ve visited, but also temporary internet files and cookies. Temporary internet files include images and webpage elements that act as a cache and can enable websites to load faster the next time you visit. Cookies are small files that a website stores on your computer or smartphone that contain data about your browser, or login data, which is often used for advertising purposes.

Temporary internet files and cookies can pile up over time, however, and they will slowly eat away at your smartphone’s internal storage if you don’t manage them. So, we’re going to show you how to delete your browsing history and cookies on an iPhone or Android device. Below are a few guides that you can follow to clear your browsing history and cookies from Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

How to clear your browser history on an iPhone

If you use an iPhone or an iPad, then you’re probably using Apple’s default browser (Safari). Unlike most browsers, however, you can’t clear your browsing data from directly within the browser, so we have to go into the device’s settings to accomplish it. Let’s take a look.

Safari

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Safari.
  3. Scroll down to Clear History and Website Data, and select it.
  4. A pop-up message will appear, notifying you that this will remove the data from your device and other devices signed into your iCloud account. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

Chrome

  1. Tap the more icon (more menu) in the upper-right corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Go to Privacy, and then tap Clear Browsing Data.
  4. Check what you want to delete from the list, and then choose Clear Browsing Data.
  5. Tap Clear Browsing Data again to confirm your decision.

Firefox

  1. Tap the hamburger menu  (hamburger menu) at the bottom, and then tap Settings.
  2. Go to Clear Private Data.
  3. Select the things that you want to delete, and then select Clear Private Data again.
  4. A reminder will appear signifying that this data will be deleted, and that the action cannot be undone. Tap OK to confirm your decision.

Opera

  1. Tap the red “O” at the bottom of your browser.
  2. Tap Settings in the resulting pop-up menu.
  3. Go to Clear. Afterward, you can either clear specific things, such as saved passwords or cookies, or you can just select Clear All.
  4. You will be asked if you’re sure you want to clear the data. Choose Yes.

How to clear your browser history on an Android device

Because Google is behind Android, the default browser on Android devices is usually Chrome. Some manufacturers make their own browsers, however, and there are many third-party browsers you can install. Let’s take a look at Chrome first.

Chrome

  1. Tap the more icon (more menu) in the upper-right corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Go to Privacy, and then tap clear Browsing Data.
  4. Check what you want to delete from the resulting list. You can also delete your data from a specified time period, if desired. Choices range from the past hour, to the beginning of time.
  5. Choose the blue button that says Clear Data.

Firefox

  1. Tap the more icon (more menu) in the upper-right corner.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap Privacy, and then select Clear private data on exit.
  4. Select the things you want to delete, and then select Set.
  5. A reminder will appear signifying that this action cannot be undone. Tap OK to delete the data.
  6. Go back to the home screen in Firefox, tap the more icon (more menu) in the upper-right corner, and select Quit at the bottom.

Opera

  1. Tap the hamburger menu  (hamburger menu) at the bottom, and then tap on the Settings cogwheel.
  2. Scroll down to the Privacy section, and tapClear browsing data.
  3. Select what you want to delete, and then tap OK.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Mobile

Having trouble logging in? Here's how to reset your Apple ID password

To use any of Apple's services, you need to have an Apple ID and know your password. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with forgotten passwords and regain access to your account. Here's how to reset your Apple ID password.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Mobile

Is your smartphone frozen? Here's how to reset your iPhone

You can do a lot with an iPhone, but if you ever run into an issue with it, the first thing you should do is restart it. In this guide, we tell you how to reset your iPhone, and explain how it differs from a factory reset.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.