When you enter a website from your iPhone, the browsing history, browsing data, cookies, and cache are saved in the Safari app. Clearing the browsing history and website data is easy, right? You just have to open your Settings, choose Safari, and then simply clear all the data.
For most users, this process works just fine. But iPhone users have faced some difficulties while cleaning their browsing history. You might find the clear history option grayed out, or there are some privacy restrictions.
In that case, you might be asking your close ones why can’t I clear my history? To help you with this issue, here we have discussed all the possible reasons and provided some easy and quick solutions.
So, let’s jump right in to find out which one is effective for your iPhone 6.
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How to Clear History and Browsing Data on iPhone?
You probably know the common ways of clearing your website data and browsing history. Of course, using your iPhone Settings is the easiest way to do it. Here’s the process –
- Open your iPhone Settings and select ‘Safari.’ Now, tap ‘Clear History & Website Data.’
- Confirm your action.
- The Clear History and Website Data option will turn gray, and all your websites, search history, and website data will be deleted.
But what to do if all the regular methods fail? Below you’ll find some easy methods with easy-to-follow steps to get rid of this problem. Let’s check them out.
Method One – Disable Content and Privacy Restrictions
Web content and privacy restrictions are added to Apple devices to maintain age limits and keep children away from harmful web pages. While this feature is extremely handy, it might be restricting you from clearing your browser history.
You can edit and control the restrictions using the Screen Time settings on your iPhone. If you’re on iOS 11 or below, you can use the General settings for this task. Here’s how to disable Safari restrictions on iPhone 6 –
From your iPhone home screen, open your Settings app by tapping on the gear icon. If you fail to locate the gear icon, swipe down and use Spotlight Search to find the app easily. Enter the search term ‘Settings,’ and the app will instantly appear on your screen.
Scroll down and look for the option ‘Screen Time.’ Tap on it and select ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’ from the list.
If asked, you have to type your Screen Time Restrictions passcode. On the new page, you can see a toggle next to ‘Content and Privacy Restriction.’ Tap on the toggle and swipe left to turn off the restrictions successfully.
In case you don’t want to turn off the restrictions entirely, tap on the ‘Content Restrictions’ option and select ‘Web Content.’ Then you have to choose ‘Unrestricted Access,’ and a checkmark will appear next to the text.
Once you’re done, try to clear history and browsing data. If you’re still facing the same problem, temporarily disabling the Screen Time feature will do the work. And here’s how you can do it –
Open Settings and go to ‘Screen Time.’
Scroll down a bit and select ‘Disable Screen Time.’
If prompted, type the Screen Time passcode, and your job is done. The process will be the same for your iPad and iPod Touch.
Method Two – Disable iCloud Sync for Safari
You probably know that iCloud syncs your browsing history, reading list, and bookmarks on all Apple devices containing your iCloud account. Usually, this doesn’t restrict you from clearing your website data and browser history.
But, sometimes, it can bring back the data and history you have already deleted. To be honest, fixing this issue is a bit troublesome.
You have to disable Safari sync over iCloud, then clear history and data from each of your Apple devices individually. After that, you can turn on Safari sync again if you want.
Follow the steps given below to disable Safari sync and delete history –
Stop Syncing Safari on iPhone or iPad
On your home screen, tap ‘Settings’ and tap your name on the top.
Select ‘iCloud’ and tap ‘Safari.’ Then turn off the toggle next to it.
Now, tap on the option ‘Keep on My iPhone’ and open Safari settings. Tap ‘Clear History and Website Data’. This should turn off the sync and clear your browser history and data.
Stop Syncing Safari on Mac
If you’re using macOS Catalina, open your ‘System Preferences’ from the Start menu button. Then click on your Apple ID and select ‘iCloud.’
As for macOS High Sierra, launch ‘System Preferences’ and choose ‘iCloud.’
Scroll down and locate ‘Safari.’ Uncheck the box next to it. After that, open the Safari app.
From the Safari settings or menu bar, choose ‘Clear History…’ and confirm your action by clicking on ‘Clear All History.’
Go back to the Safari page and select ‘Preferences.’ Click on ‘Privacy’ and choose the ‘Manage Website Data’ button.
Click on ‘Remove All,’ and all the website’s history and data will be deleted.
Method Three-Block Your Device Cookies in Safari
As cookies on your Safari, Chrome app and Firefox are different, clearing or blocking cookies from Safari won’t affect other browsers at all. Here’s how to block cookies in Safari –
Block Cookies on iOS 11
On your iPhone, launch the Settings app and tap ‘Safari.’
Under the ‘Privacy & Security’ section, you’ll find the ‘Block All Cookies’ option. Toggle it off to clear Safari history.
Before you block cookies, if you desire to save certain websites, you have to bookmark those individual websites by tapping on the bookmarks icon on your browser. When you’re done, confirm your action by tapping ‘Block All.’
Block Cookies on iOS 10
In case you’re on iOS 10, first, go to your settings app and select ‘Safari.’ Turn on the ‘Do Not Track’ option. Tap on ‘Block Cookies’ and checkmark the ‘Always Block’ option.
Method Four – Restart or Reset Your Device
If none of the mentioned methods worked for your device, try restarting your device first. In case this doesn’t work, you have to reset your phone settings.
Before you do this, backup your mobile data and save Wi fi networks and other passwords. If you’re using a new iPhone, you can skip this. After completing each process, check if the delete history option is still grayed out. And then proceed to the next process.
Restart Your Device
For devices with Face ID, press and hold any of the volume buttons and the Side button.
If you haven’t set any Face ID for your device, you can press and hold the Top button or the Side button.
Now, slide to turn off your device and wait for 30 seconds before you turn it on. Then try to clear history and website data. If you’re still unable to delete them, proceed to the next steps.
Reset Your Network Settings
On your iPhone home screen, tap Settings. Then go to ‘General’ and select ‘Reset.’
From the given options, select ‘Reset Network Settings. If prompted, type your passcode.
Now, you might be asked to confirm your action. Give your confirmation and try to clear history and website data.
Remember that this process will completely delete your Wifi network IDs and passwords. If Safari’s clear history option is still grayed out, try the next process.
Reset All Settings
Open your iPhone Settings app and go to ‘General.’ Then select ‘Reset.’
Tap on the ‘Reset All Settings’ option. If required, enter your mobile passcode.
Confirm your action. When you reset the settings, you don’t lose any applications or other content. But, your mobile settings return to default.
So, why can’t I clear my history? Now you know the answer. We hope our tips and tricks have helped you delete all your website history, search history, and other unnecessary data on iPhone 6.
If you’re still having trouble, you might have to take your device to the nearest Apple store or contact Apple Support.