How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode and Delete Your Browsing History

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    This article explains how to use Safari's Private Browsing mode, which prevents your browsing history from being logged on your Apple devices. It's a useful feature if you're buying gifts online for friends or family, for instance, and you don't want anyone with access to your devices to find out what you're up to.

    Of course, if you've already been browsing where you shouldn't have and didn't use Safari's dedicated privacy mode, don't worry - we'll also show you two different ways of deleting your existing browsing history. Keep reading to find out how.

    Using Safari's Private Browsing Mode

    Enabling Private Browsing limits Safari in three important ways: It prevents the browser from creating a history of the pages you visit, it stops AutoFill information like website usernames and passwords from being remembered, and any tabs you open won't be stored in iCloud.

    Also, for added peace of mind when you browse privately, Safari automatically prevents cross-site tracking, and requests that sites and third-party content providers don't track you as a rule. Additionally, the privacy mode stops sites from modifying any information stored on your iOS device, and deletes cookies when you close the associated tab.

    To enable Private Browsing in Safari, follow these steps.
    1. Open Safari on your iPhone or iPad, tap the Pages icon (consisting of two squares) to bring up the open tabs view, and then tap "Private". Notice how the interface turns a dark gray.

      Tap the "+" icon to open a private tab.

      When you're done browsing, return to the open tabs view, individually swipe any open tabs to close them, and then tap "Private" again. Your private browsing session is now cleared from memory.
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    Clearing Existing Browsing History

    When you clear your browsing history on a device running iOS 11 or higher, the same logs are cleared on any other devices signed into your iCloud account. The following methods also clear all cookies and web data on the device you're currently using, although AutoFill information remains unchanged.

    Method 1

    The first method outlined below allows you to either limit the clearing of history, cookies and website data to a specific timeframe, or to delete your existing web history altogether.
    1. Open Safari and with a tab open, tap the Bookmarks icon (the open book) located at the bottom of the screen.

      Tap the tab at the top of the screen with a clock symbol, and you'll see a history of your browsing activity.

      To remove instances of recorded visits to specific web pages, swipe leftwards across individual logs in the list and tap the red delete button that appears.

      To delete the entire browsing history list, tap "Clear" and select the option you prefer from the following: The last hour; Today; Today and yesterday; and All time.
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    Method 2

    The second method of wiping your browsing history might be considered the 'nuke' option, since it clears all history, cookies and website data on that device, regardless of when the sites were accessed.
    1. Open the Settings app and scroll down to Safari in the list.

      Tap the "Clear History and Website Data" option near the bottom of the menu. (Note that this setting might be grayed out if there's already no history to clear or if parental controls are set for websites.)

      Tap "Clear History and Data" in the popup overlay.
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    And that's it. Note that these built-in Safari features only make you safer from discovery by other people in the same household.

    If your privacy concerns extend to a desire for enhanced security and anonymity online, consider subscribing to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers an iOS client or supports OpenVPN (Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN are two popular options), and using a Tor-powered browser for iOS.

    Article Link: How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode and Delete Your Browsing History
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    ...yeah... yeah, that’s right... we use it for shopping...

    In all seriousness, great article.
     
  3. testcard macrumors 68040

    testcard

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    #3
    “...buying gifts online for friends or family...”
    That’s one euphemism I need to work into more conversations.
     
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    NY
    #4
    apple really should just change the name to what we really know what its used for already...
     
  5. Krayzkat macrumors 6502a

    Krayzkat

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    UK
    #5
    If you know how to navigate internet forums but don’t know how to delete your porn history, then you are a bit retarded
     
  6. Newjackboy macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2012
    #6
    Always wish that the “clear website data” was available as a 3D Force touch in the safari icon.
     
  7. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #7
    One of the reasons I use Firefox is that I can set the deletion of history, etc. upon exiting the browser - so instead of going through a bunch of steps I can just close the browser and no one can see where I shopped or looked at MacRumors.
    Wish Safari had that option.
     
  8. Hastings101 macrumors 68020

    Hastings101

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    #8
    Now no one will know I was using my iPhone to buy sex toys for my friends or family
     
  9. markgpearse macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2010
  10. ghostface147 macrumors 68030

    ghostface147

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #10
    Yeah I use it for what everyone else uses it for, but also to get around websites that only give you a handful of free articles to read a month. You’ve reached your limit...please sign up for like a dollar a month. Whatever...private mode it is.
     
  11. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

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    #11
    How is that different from using private mode on safari?
     
  12. edwardruff11 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 30, 2018
    #12
    Wife: WHAT are you doing!?! Gasp!!

    Husband: Honey!! Um, er... I’m uh, buying gifts online f-for friends and family... ?
     
  13. rizzo41999 macrumors 6502

    rizzo41999

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    MA
    #13
    Private Browsing can spare you from a lot of situations, depending on how you roll lololol
     
  14. Braderunner macrumors 6502a

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    Tralfamadore
    #14
    I can really use this info, because I’m always “buying gifts”. ;) :cool:
     
  15. testcard, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018

    testcard macrumors 68040

    testcard

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    #15
    Impressed that you can still manage to use a keyboard. ;)
     
  16. sunseeker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    #16
    Using iCab Mobile is a better idea.
    It can be configured to require a password when opening and to close all tabs, lock and delete the history the moment you exit the app
     
  17. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #17
    "friends and family" o_O
     
  18. Braderunner, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018

    Braderunner macrumors 6502a

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    #19
     
  19. jbizzybeetle macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 9, 2015
    #20
    no “private” choice when I tap Pages.
     
  20. BBOY_FYC macrumors newbie

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    Jul 13, 2017
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    USA
    #21

    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2018 ---
    Just saying...
     
  21. Braderunner macrumors 6502a

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    Tralfamadore
    #22
    Not surprised you don't get the joke.
     

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