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Your iPhone keeps track of pretty much everything you do, and most of the time this is useful. It’s handy to be able to return a missed call from your call log, revisit the website you were reading this morning, and have a record of the questionable messages you sent at 2am in the morning.

But sometimes you may want to clear our this data. Whether you want to selectively delete a few records or indiscriminately nuke the whole lot, here’s how. We won’t even ask you to tell us why.

Delete Browser History

Most iPhone users stick with the default browser Mac & iOS Users: Why Aren't You Using Safari Yet? Mac & iOS Users: Why Aren't You Using Safari Yet? Apple's browser is now a polished first-party product that's exclusive to Mac and iOS devices. So why aren't you using it? Read More , which is Safari. To delete individual entries within Safari, open it, tap on the bookmarks option at the bottom of the page (it looks like a book), tap the book icon, followed by History. You can now swipe left and tap Delete to remove individual pages.

You can also delete your whole Safari history by heading to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. If you have multiple iOS devices, and you use Safari on your Mac too, this will delete you entire history across all devices.

delete-safari

Some of you will be using another browser Which Is The Best iOS Browser For You? Here Are 8 Options Which Is The Best iOS Browser For You? Here Are 8 Options The future is mobile. Therefore, to ensure a smooth mobile experience, it is necessary to have a mobile browser that you are comfortable with. Read More , like Chrome for iOS or Opera. Keep in mind that you’ll need to delete web history within the browser app if you use a third party app. Deleting the app itself will delete all local data, but if you’re syncing your activity between different devices (as per Google Chrome) then you’ll still need to purge this from your account.

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Remove Call History

You can delete individual call logs by opening the Phone app and swiping left to reveal the Delete option. To remove the whole lot, tap Edit in the top-right corner followed by Clear. This will remove both regular phone calls and FaceTime calls.

delete-calls

If you just want to delete FaceTime calls, launch the FaceTime app, and either swipe left on each entry or use Edit then Clear to get rid of the lot.

Clean Out Your Messages

Deleting messages is pretty simple too. Launch the Messages app and swipe left on a conversation and use Delete to clear all messages. If you want to remove just one single message within a conversation, tap on the contact or group message, tap and hold on the message, tap More and choose as many messages as you’d like to delete.

delete-messages

You can now delete en-masse using the trash can icon on the bottom right. To delete attachments and images by tapping on the “info” button in the top-right corner of a conversation, scroll down, tap and hold on an attachment, tap More, then choose the attachments you’d like to delete and hit the trash can icon to delete them.

If you use WhatsApp, things work very similarly. Swipe left on a conversation, hit More, then Delete Chat to delete it; or you can tap and hold on individual messages within a chat to bring up the Delete option. Facebook Messenger works in the same way.

Clean Up AutoCorrect & Saved Words

Saved some dodgy words to your iOS dictionary and want to start over? Head to Settings > General > Reset and use Reset Keyboard Dictionary to get rid of the whole lot. You can find any text replacements you’ve added under Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement (handy if you’re sick of your iPhone miscorrecting your swear words Fix Bad Autocorrect Entries & Train Your iPhone to Spell Properly Fix Bad Autocorrect Entries & Train Your iPhone to Spell Properly Is your AutoCorrect a piece of ducking shiv? That's probably because your iPhone dictionary is full of misspelled corrections and words that make no sense. Read More ).

reset-keyboard

If you use a third party keyboard 9 Alternative iOS Keyboards To Make Your Typing Easier Or More Fun 9 Alternative iOS Keyboards To Make Your Typing Easier Or More Fun When Apple finally stopped acting like an overprotective parent and introduced third-party keyboards, everyone went keyboard-crazy. Read More with a custom dictionary, you’ll need to clean up your dictionary by launching the respective app. To use SwiftKey as an example, open the SwiftKey app, tap the menu button, and hit Clear typing data to reset it to an as-new state.

Nuke Your Notifications

If you’re handing your phone to a friend and rather they didn’t know what your last few notifications were, simply swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal Notification Center and hit the X to clear the list. If you have a few days worth of notifications, you’ll need to do this for each day.

You can also remove individual notifications by swiping left and tapping Clear.

Hide or Delete Photos

Photos are technically your camera history, right? Either way, you might want to get rid of some photos before you hand your phone to a friend. Instead of deleting images, iOS now allows you to hide them instead. This will remove the photo from your Photos and Memories tabs, while still allowing it to be accessible via Albums (e.g. Camera Roll).

hide-photo

To hide an image select it, tap the Share button (it looks like an arrow pointing upwards) and hit Hide. You can also select multiple images via the Share button to hide a whole batch. If you’d rather the images were gone for good, head to Moments or Albums, tap Select then choose as many photos as you’d like to delete and use the trash can icon in the bottom-right to get rid of them.

Purge Facebook & Twitter

Facebook keeps a list of your recently searched for people, places, groups and other things. It then places these things in a small box beneath the input bar, which appears whenever use the search feature. While these are only visible to you, you may still want to delete individual items.

facebook-searches

Simply hit the Edit button then use the next to each entry to remove each one. You can also use the Clear Searches option to blitz your entire search history. This will affect the entire Facebook platform, on all mobile apps and the web.

Twitter also likes to save your searches in a similar manner. Hit the magnifying glass search icon, tap the search box and hit the next to Recent Searches followed by Clear to remove the lot. You can also swipe left and delete individual entries.

Delete Apple Music History

It’s not possible to delete albums from the Recently Played section of the For You tab, but you can delete your search history from the Search tab. Just hit the Clear button next to Recent to get rid of everything.

dislike-album

You can also clean up your suggestions on the For You tab by tapping and holding on an album or playlist and hitting Dislike. This will teach Apple Music to avoid similar suggestions in future, which is handy if someone else has been using your account and your recommendations are now irrelevant.

Turn Off App History

Siri now suggests which apps you might want to use iOS 10 Is Here! Why You Should Upgrade Right Now iOS 10 Is Here! Why You Should Upgrade Right Now Apple's tenth revision of its mobile operating system is here. This is how to upgrade right now for free. Read More  using a feature called Siri Suggestions. It uses the time of day and your location to decide on a list of apps, but there’s no way to exclude apps from the list or reset your usage history without disabling the feature entirely.

App suggestions show up on the Today screen iOS 10 Widgets Are Great: Here's How to Put Them to Good Use iOS 10 Widgets Are Great: Here's How to Put Them to Good Use Apple's new widgets in iOS 10 might not seem like a big deal, but developers have already made great use of this new function. Here's how to use them. Read More , swipe right on your home or lock screen (you can turn it off by heading to the bottom of the page and tapping Edit). They also appear beneath Spotlight search, accessed by swiping down on your homescreen (you can’t turn this off).

You can disable the feature by heading to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and disabling Siri Suggestions.

Delete Everything

If you decide you need to completely delete everything, you have a few options. Head to Settings > General > Reset to reveal them all. You can choose from:

  • Reset All Settings — return your device to an “as new” factory state without deleting any of your data or applications.
  • Erase All Content and Settings — a full factory reset, which will remove all apps and data, and require you to set up your iPhone as new or restore from a backup (ideal if you’re selling your iPhone How to Sell Your Old iPhone for the Best Price How to Sell Your Old iPhone for the Best Price Don't fancy an expensive contract to get your hands on a new iPhone? Then why not sell your old model to sweeten the deal? Read More ).
  • Reset Network Settings — deletes all saved Wi-Fi networks, custom cellular settings, APN and VPN settings (useful if you’re having trouble connecting to cellular networks).
  • Reset Home Screen Layout — restores Apple’s default home screen layout to your iPhone.
  • Reset Location & Privacy — restores all of your Location and Privacy settings to factory defaults. Apps will need to ask for permission to access your location, and features like the camera and contacts.

That’s pretty much all there is to ridding your iPhone of saved history, whatever you reason for doing so.

Did we miss anything? Let us know what else you want to rid your iPhone of in the comments below!

Original article by Joshua Lockhart.

  1. tom
    December 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    How to delete the app usage time. Battery --> last 24h / last 7 days?

    • Tim Brookes
      December 2, 2016 at 2:34 am

      Very good question. I can't see an option to do so, maybe it's just a case of waiting. You could also maybe "Reset Settings" from the General > Reset menu? Not guarantees though.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 2, 2016 at 2:34 am

      Actually, would deleting an app remove it from the list?

  2. LoucyCusin
    July 11, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Just what i have experienced, in fact, for me, i just want to delete safari history, message conversion and call history. Finally i found this article. But delete them one by one in Setting or in the apps seems to be so boring, and reset iPhone may lost some important infos. After all, i choose the iMyfone Uamte pro to do it, this iPhone Data eraser can do all this in several clicks. and What's more, they are erased permanently and the erased data can not be recovered by any restore tools.

  3. Cutx Prinxe
    September 15, 2015 at 4:14 am

    my old message which i delete them but they are show how can i remove

    • andyadams
      December 1, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Simple deletion is not far enough. If you want to permanently clear old message and other data on iPhone, you have to use third party erasing tools. Fortunately, there are some good ones on the market already, like Giveumore iPhone Cleaner. You could have a try.

  4. Helpful
    March 21, 2015 at 11:09 am

    To anymous you could reset your phone if it's that important

  5. Anonymous
    February 28, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    What if you can't clear history because it's restricted

  6. Anonymous
    February 28, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    What if you can't clear history because it's restricted

  7. Ttyt try
    October 5, 2013 at 3:28 am

    How do u clear ur search history on the AppStore everytime I search somthing it brings up the old things I typed?

  8. Anonymous
    September 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you!!!

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