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How to delete or clear the search history on the iPad or iPhone

Updated on October 12, 2011

Why would you need to clear the search history for an iPad or iPhone? Web browsers keep the history on not only where you have gone but all of the terms you have ever searched on. The search history is recorded to help the user recall a search item if they want to search on it again. However this can be very revealing if someone ever takes a look at your iPad or iPhone. Have you ever been embarrassed by what shows up in the search bar on your iPad or iPhone? Then you should consider regularly deleting the search history of your iOS device. Clearing the search history on the iPhone or iPad actually turns out to be pretty easy. Unfortunately it is not a well documented feature and is more than a single step operation.

Step 1

Start the “Settings” application on the iPad or iPhone.

Step 2

There are a lot of options in the “Settings” application and you need to scroll down to find the settings for Safari which is the default iOS browser.

Step 3

Select the “Search Engine” option. This is the option that indicates which search engine is the one to use in the search bar. You want to pick a different search engine from the one you have been using. Don’t worry, this change is not permanent. You will change it back once you delete the search history.

Step 4

Next look at the bottom of the screen and you will find the option “Clear History”. Reconfirm that you want to clear the Browser history by selecting “Clear History”.

Step 5

Clear the cookies in your browser by selecting “Clear Cookies” and reconfirming the selection.

Step 6

Clear your browser cache by selecting “Clear Cache” and reconfirming the selection.

Step 7

Go back to the top of the Safari selection screen and change your search engine back. The search history should now be completely gone from your iOS device.


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