iPhone and iPad

How to Delete Any & All History on Your iPhone

Tim Brookes 24-11-2016

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, 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.


Some of you will be using another browser What's the Best Browser for iPhone? 7 Apps Compared Safari is a fine browser for iPhones, but it's not the only option. Check out the best iOS browsers for something better. 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.


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.


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.



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 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 ).



If you use a third party keyboard 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).


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.


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.


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 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 The 10 Best iPhone Widgets (And How to Put Them to Good Use) iPhone widgets let you access app information at a glance and can be extremely useful. Here are some of the best iPhone widgets. 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).

How to Delete Any & All History on Your iPhone app suggestions

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:

That’s pretty much all there is to ridding your iPhone of saved history, whatever you reason for doing so. For a similar guide, check out how to clear all cache on your iPhone How to Clear Cache on Your iPhone or iPad Wondering how to clear the cache on your iPhone or iPad? We show you how to clear Safari cache, app cache, and more. Read More .

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.

Related topics: Autocorrect, Browsing History, iPad, iPhone, Smartphone Security.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Al B
    May 12, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    How can I bulk delete what shows up when I double tap on the home button? It seems to take a lot of space.

  2. ted
    October 1, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    My wife knows who I sms how does she know this I delete history and cookies

  3. Kara
    September 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

    If I clear my search history from the safari app, does it close all of my open tabs? I have tabs I'd like to keep open as I'm still using them but I want to delete the rest of my search history.

  4. Hilda Porteous
    May 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Cannot delete history of leisure centre classes

  5. N/A
    May 12, 2017 at 1:04 am

    I have gone through Safari & the settings menu but certain items won't delete. The web addresses say they have 0 bytes of info but the name won't erase. Do you know how to fix that?

    • Tim Brookes
      May 12, 2017 at 3:49 am

      Are you referring to Safari bookmarks maybe?

      Where are you seeing these links? Are you definitely using Safari, not Chrome or Opera or another browser?

      • N/A
        May 19, 2017 at 3:41 am

        It is definitely not a bookmark. I go: Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data & there are 5 websites I have visited listed with 0 bytes that I cannot remove. It just started a couple months ago & it's not every website. I'm very confused & slightly frustrated.

        • Tim Brookes
          May 19, 2017 at 7:46 am

          What happens if you hit "Remove All Website Data"? Can you tap the Edit button then delete them individually?

          This is really peculiar. You didn't save the website as a home screen app or anything?

          Have you tried visiting the websites again, then trying to delete the "new" website data? That's worth a go.

        • David
          May 23, 2017 at 3:11 pm

          this is a known issues and the ios update today will clear all of them...only to have new ones take the place. By the way these ranged from classmates.com, weather.com, jet.com, and many more.

          the odd part is many users never visited the sites.

          apple tech will have you back up, then reset your phone to factory settings and then back up from icloud.

          this is still not fixing the issue.

  6. sebastian chirayil
    April 26, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Just how to delete telephone history permanently

    • Tim Brookes
      May 5, 2017 at 4:30 am

      Re-read the "Remove Call History" section, it explains this.

  7. Jim
    March 14, 2017 at 1:43 am

    I need to delete search history for Messenger videos to send in lieu of txt

  8. Jim
    March 14, 2017 at 1:42 am

    In txt messenger there are videos we can send and a search slot. History shows past searches. How do you delete past searches for iphone messenger videos?

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2017 at 2:28 am

      Are you referring to Apple's "Messages" app, or Facebook Messenger or what? I can't seem to work out what you mean if you're talking about the stock apps.

      • Jim
        March 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        Thanks for the reply but the history seems limited to a few searches and simply adding to new searches pushes off older searches so I'm good.
        I was speaking of search for icons in Txt msg.

  9. Gwendolyn
    December 20, 2016 at 9:34 am

    How do you delete the your search via swiping down on the main screen?

    • Tim Brookes
      January 5, 2017 at 3:33 am

      Do you mean the Siri app suggestions? Otherwise you can just hit the "X" in the box and it will disappear. Those searches aren't saved, as far as I'm aware. There's no list of them kept on your device.

      • JaMichael
        January 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

        No. In that search bar, whatever you type and search for shows up in a list under the Siri suggestions.how do you clear that?

        • Tim Brookes
          January 17, 2017 at 2:51 am

          I just tried that and it didn't clear anything? The same suggestions were there when I turned the feature back on again.

    • JaMichael
      January 13, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Turn Siri suggestions off, then turn it back on. Search will be cleared. I just did it, it worked. I actually turned it off, checked to make sure it was off, then turned it back on and checked and it was cleared.

  10. Eric
    December 18, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    My iPad General search keeps showing event which are no longer in my agenda.
    So you find that event but if you select it the item is not known in the agenda.
    I'm looking for a way to fix that.
    Kind regards

    • Tim Brookes
      December 19, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Is the event set for a date in the future? Was it added perhaps by Facebook or something? I'd say the easiest way to deal with this would be to find the event in your Calendar, then manually delete it. If you can't find the event, perhaps disable the Calendar it's associated with under Settings > Calendar > Accounts, then re-enable it.

      Let us know how it goes!


  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. Anonymous
    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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  17. 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?

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

    Thank you!!!