The default and most common browser on iOS devices is mobile Safari. Over time, your browser can become slow and often times needs a fresh start. As you continue to visit websites, mobile Safari will save portions of websites, which is known as caching. By keeping a file locally, it should allow for faster downloads when visiting a site you have visited previously. With the fast connections we enjoy today, cached sites aren’t terribly necessary and a sluggish browser is just one of the reasons for deleting cache. If you are sharing your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with a family or friend, deleting history might be for privacy reasons. Here’s how to delete cache, history and cookies in Safari.

How to clear website history and data

1. Open the Settings application.
2. Scroll down and tap on Safari.
3. Scroll to Privacy and Security.
4. Tap on the blue link Clear History and Website Data.
5. Confirm by tapping on Clear History and Data.

Clear History and Data

This will remove your history, cookies, and other browsing data. It’s also important to note that if you have multiple iOS devices, your history will be deleted from all devices that are signed into your iCloud account.

How to clear individual websites from history

There may be an instance where you want to remove traces of a single website. You no longer have to delete your entire history to make this happen.

1. Open the Settings application.
2. Scroll down and tap on Safari.
3. Scroll down and tap on Advanced > Website Data.
4. You’ll see a list of recently visited sites. Tap on Show All Sites to see your entire history. Swipe from left to right over any website you’d like to remove. You can also tap on the Edit link at the top right and tap on the ‘-‘ next to the sites you’d like to remove.

Delete individual site

Tip: When you delete cookies, you will delete any login credentials that were previously entered to visit a website. Let’s say that you frequent the world’s first iPhone forum, you would have to re-enter your username and password to login once you deleted cookies from Safari.

You may be thinking, “why would I delete cookies and not browser history or vice versa?” It all depends upon your reasons for deletion. History will remove all of the sites that you’ve visited over time through Safari. However, there still may be ‘footprints’ left by cookies which are used to track user activity. Technically, you could delete a site from browser history, but there could be a cookie left behind.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to clear your cache, history and cookies from Safari. Over time, you browser might get bogged down by the continous saving of files. For some, they want to hide or remove browsing history and cookies due to privacy concerns. Following this short and easy guide, you can bring Safari back to it’s default factory state. While this will delete cached files, cookies and your browsing activity, you can rest assured that all of your bookmarks are safe and secure. You can repeat this process as little or as often as you’d like and the process is the same on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you see improvements to your browsing experience.

Original publish date: February 26, 2013. Updated on March 20, 2015.