How to clear your iPad cache, cookies and history

UPDATED for iOS 5: How to clear your iPad cache, cookies and history

Our April 2010 How-To on clearing the cache, cookies and history off your iPad  proven to be one of our most popular blog posts, netting approximately 1 skillion views in its lifetime.  But with iOS 5 came some updates which mean we need to update our How-To.  Some things have changed, but it’s still pretty straightforward.  Follow our easy to use guide here.  And if you’re interested in learning more, Read “The Deep Knowledge” section that begins below our illustrated Guide.

Note that you need to clear both options (History AND Cookies and Data) in order to clean all traces of your browsing from your iPad or other device.

Have fun and Happy Cleaning.

1) Select ‘Safari’ in the Settings App


2) Decide whether you want to clear your Browsing History or your Cookies and Data (which includes webpages contained in the Cache folders).


3) If you chose “Clear History,” Click ‘Clear’ …


4) …and your browser history is erased.


5) If you chose to clear your Cookies and Data, click ‘Clear’…


6) … and now your Cookies and Data are erased.


Deep Knowledge:  More In-Depth Info If You’re Interested

Some definitions might be helpful.

Cookies:  The little data hunks websites leave behind (usually with your permission) that allow the site’s provider to know which pages you’ve visited on its site and other information.  Cookies are also where a site will store any log-in information you’ve elected to save when you click “Remember Me on This Computer.”
Cache: More properly referred to as the webcache, Cache is all the webpages you visit and most of the assets needed to build those webpages.  As a rule, video and audio are not caches.  Caches help pages that you’ve visited before load more quickly.
Browsing History:  The links to the pages you’ve visited.  Clicking on a link in your history loads a page from your webcache initially.

Ideally, all three of these datawads work together to speed up your browsing experience.  But occasionally, it’s useful to clean them out.

  1. When you don’t care to have others see where you’ve been online
  2. When you want to make sure that others can’t pose as you in order to buy stuff or cause mischeif online
  3. When you just feel like cleaning stuff up.

Safari in iOS 5 handles these Cache, Cookies and Browsing History  differently than its forebears.  The biggest difference is that Cache and Cookies have been combined under the heading Cookies and Data.  Selecting this option will clear out cached webpages AND any log-in info that you had allowed sites to save.  So plan on re-entering usernames and passwords when your surfing resumes.

If cleaning only your cache is important, give the Chrome browser app a look.  Its Settings menu shows options to clear Cookies, Cache and Browsing History separately.


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