Clearing Safari on iPhone

Safari on the iPhone is pretty straightforward.  Open it, and you can search Google.  You can open a new page while keeping your current page, or clear out the url and open another page right in the one you are viewing.  Sometimes, though, that nagging buddy or family member wants to jump on your iPhone because they are stuck with a dumbphone, or worse–they are on Verizon.

You want to show off your technology, so of course you oblige.  However, reliquishing your phone will let them see your browsing history and the last page you had open.  Maybe the last page you had open was the site you ordered their holiday gifts from.  Maybe it was worse, perhaps the site you thought about ordering them something from but then didn’t–you stingy son of a…

Well, fear not, clearing the history is simple enough.  Click the little book icon on the lower toolbar, and it brings up the Bookmarks page.  There you’ll see a link for your History.  Click on that, and your History page opens.  On the lower toolbar, on the left, is the Clear button.  Click that, click confirm, and done.  Simple enough.

If you don’t want them to see the last page you opened, that’s easy enough as well.  Just open Safari, click the new page icon on the lower right, but don’t type in an address or a search.  Click the new page button again, and close the page you don’t want them to see.  This way, when they open Safari, it simply opens a blank page.  This should be done regardless if you expect someone to use your phone or not.  When I am finished browsing the web on my iPhone, I make it a habit to clear my recent pages.  If they would only add this as an option to open blank windows by default, I’d be much happier.

You can also do the following from the Settings application on your home screen:

  • Purge Cookies
  • Choose How to Handle Cookies (Always accept, Accept from Visited, or Never Accept)
  • Turn JavaScript on/off
  • Enable/Disable Pop Up Blocking
  • Clear Your Cache
  • Clear Your History
  • Turn on Autofill

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to clear single items from your history like you can do in big boy Safari.  Hopefully that feature is coming down the line!  The cache is something you may want to clear out once in a while, although there is no definitive way to find out its size on a stock iPhone.  Or, at least they don’t make it obvious.