Whether you are an iPhone user or a macOS, Safari is the default web browser for both devices. It stores your browsing history, or the list of websites you visited. This, with cache, helps it provide a better experience when users revisit these sites. However, there are times when you may accidentally delete your browser history. In that case, you may be wondering how to recover Safari history. This guide details straightforward steps for the data recovery process on iPhones, iPad, and Mac.
1. Recover Safari History on iPhone and iPad through Settings
Go to your iPhone or iPad’s settings. Now:
- On the list, tap Safari.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the safari home page and select “Advanced Options.”
- On that screen, you will be taken to the next page, where you will find website information. On that page, tap on the provided link, and you’ll see your browser history there.
You can see detailed Safari browsing history. If you have iTunes on your iPhone or iPad and backed it up frequently, you can restore the backup to retrieve comprehensive Safari browsing history. Here’s how:
- Select the iPhone icon on iTunes and then choose Restore Backup.
- Now, pick the Safari history backup file that you wish to restore. Then, click on the Restore button.
You must ensure you’re performing these steps for a good reason. Because the data from the backup will permanently replace the device’s previously existing data, restoring a backup might result in data loss. If you haven’t backed up anything, your data will undoubtedly be overwritten.
2. Use iCloud to Recover Safari History
If you’ve synced your iPhone data with iCloud, it will have preserved all the app information, including that from Safari. Consequently, you may quickly retrieve erased Safari data from the cloud without worrying about losing any information. Follow these steps:
- Sign in to the iCloud website with your Apple ID.
- Head to the “Advanced” tab.
- Select the “Restore Bookmarks” tab.
- Proceed to the “bookmarks to recover”, and press the Restore button.
- Select Restore when the dialog box appears.
The bookmarks are saved in your Safari browser for at least 30 days. Only if we remove your bookmarks within the previous 30 days may you retrieve them. Anything beyond that time is deleted.
3. Restore Safari History via Disk Drill for Mac
To clarify, we have no affiliation with the software, only using it for demonstration. First, download Disk Drill for Mac and install it.
- Launch the application and select “Search for lost data.”
- Manually type “history.db” into the search box available in the top-right corner and press Return.
- Select the “history.db” file that was previously deleted and press the Recover button.
- Select a safe recovery location and then hit OK.
Deleted Safari history may be viewed in your preferred text editor or database browser. To see it in Safari, simply copy the recovered “history.db” file to ~/Library/Safari and replace the current one.
4. Get History from Safari Back using Time Machine
It’s also possible to restore Safari history via Time Machine. While you may opt for this option and restore your entire Mac to a previous state via Recovery, recovering the History.db file only, saved in the ~/Library/Safari directory, is much easier. To use Time Machine to retrieve erased history in Safari, follow these steps:
- Close the Safari browser on your computer.
- Open Finder and select Go → Go to Folder.
- Type ~/Library/Safari and press the Go button.
- Select the History.db file from the list.
- In the Menu bar, select the Time Machine icon and choose Enter Time Machine.
- Go back in time until you spot a History.db file that includes your lost Safari history.
- Select Restore to retrieve the selected file.
Your browsing history should be restored the next time you open Safari. It’s that simple to get your history of Safari browsing back using Time Machine. The only catch is that this technique will only work if the feature was enabled before the data loss incident. If it was not, there’s no backup of the History.db file to use to retrieve it.