Manage History and Other Personal Data in Safari for OS X

This article is intended for Mac users running OS 10.10.x or higher.

Towards the end of 2014, OS X 10.10 (also known as OS X Yosemite) showed a fairly significant redemption of the traditional OS X look and feel. Designed step by step with iOS when using native applications of the operating system , this new coat is immediately obvious – probably no more than its Safari browser.

An area affected by the rearranged UI can manage personal information such as your browsing history and cache, as well as how to activate Safari’s personal browsing mode. Details of our tutorial to let you know about this potentially sensitive data, including how to remove it on your hard drive. We’ll also walk you through Safari’s personal browsing mode, which allows you to surf the web freely without having to back up the rest of your sessions.

First, open your Safari browser.

Personal browsing mode

Safari for OS X provides the ability to open a private session at any time. When browsing the web, the application stores multiple data elements on your hard drive for later use. This includes, but is not limited to site-specific user with the details of visited sites that is a record . This information is used for a number of purposes, such as automatically customizing the page the next time you visit.

There are ways to limit the type of data that Safari saves on your Mac as you browse, which we will explain later in this tutorial. However, there may be times when you want to start a browsing session where no personal data material is stored – a catch-all view size. In these programs, the personal browsing mode is exactly what you need.

To enable private browsing mode, first, click File in the Safari menu at the top of your screen . When the drop down menu appears, select New Personal Window .

Please note that you can use the following keyboard shortcuts instead of this menu item: SHIFT + COMMAND + N

Personal browsing mode is now enabled. As browsing history , cache, cookies, as well as autofill information are not stored on your hard drive at the end of your browsing session, they will remain otherwise.

Warning: It should be noted that only private browsing is enabled in this private window and any other Safari windows are opened with detailed instructions in the previous step of this tutorial. If a window is not designated as private, any browsing data stored in it will be stored on your hard drive . This is an important difference, as enabling private browsing mode in earlier versions of Safari will enable all open windows / tabs to determine if a particular window is actually private, show nothing more than the address bar if there is a black background with white text Personal browsing mode is enabled in that window. This cannot be enabled if there is a white background with bold text.

History and other browsing data

As we have already discussed above, Safari saves your browsing history and allows websites to store various data elements on your hard drive. These items, some of which are detailed below, are used to improve your future browsing experience by speeding up page load times, reducing the amount of typing you need, and much more.

A number of these items in the website data heading a number of safari groups . Its content is as follows:

  • Browsing History: Every time you visit a website, Safari saves a record of the name and URL of each page .
  • Cache: Used to increase page load on the next visit, cache consists of image files and other web page elements.
  • Cookies: Messages sent to Safari from a web server are stored on your hard drive in the form of small text files – used in future visits to customize your identification and your browsing experience. Login credentials and other personal data are sometimes stored in cookies.
  • Download History: Each time a file is downloaded through the browser, Safari saves the record containing the file name, size and date / time of download.
  • Local storage: Web applications allow coding sites with HTML5 to store data locally without using cookies, increasing performance in some respects.

To see which websites have data stored on your hard drive, take the following steps: First , click Safari at the top of your screen in the main browser menu . When the drop down menu appears, select Preferences …. You can use the following keyboard shortcut instead of the previous two steps: COMMAND + COMMA (,)

Safari’s Preferences interface is now displayed. Click on the privacy icon. Safari’s privacy preferences are now visible. In this step, we are going to focus on the section of cookies or other data labeled stored on x web sites , which is accompanied by a button marked with a button  Save data on each hardware Save data with each site, Details … Button Click.

A list of each site that stores data on your hard drive will be displayed. Below is a summary of the data type that is stored directly below the name of each site.

This screen not only lets you scroll across the list or search for it using keywords, but also deletes data stored on a site-by-site basis. To delete a specific site’s data from your Mac’s hard drive, first select it from the list. Next, click the Move button label

Manually delete history and personal data

Now that we’ve shown you how to delete data stored on an individual site basis, it’s time to discuss it all cleanly from your hard drive. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, and they are as follows.

  • Remove browsing history and website data by duration: You may only want to remove data that has been saved in the past hour or days. Safari lets you choose from four different periods before clearing this information from your hard drive. This method is clicked on Safari in the main menu of the browser at the top of your screen . When the drop-down menu appears, select the option to clone history and website data . A dialog window should now be visible, providing the following options: last hour , today , today and tomorrow , and all history. To delete history and website data from one of these periods, first select the desired option and then click the Clear History button.
  • Remove all browsing history and website data: If you want to delete all history and website data, without saving it, this is the way to go. In addition to selecting all the history options, there are several ways to achieve this. The first, through the website’s detailed dialog, is discussed above. Instead of selecting the Remove button, click Remove All . The second method is available on the Privacy Preference screen, in the form of a label to remove all buttons …. The three paths achieve essentially the same results.

Always be careful when deleting, as your future browsing experience can be directly affected in many cases. It is important to fully understand what you are removing before taking this step.

Warning: Please note that saving history and website data does not include usernames, passwords and other autocomplete related information. A separate tutorial on managing those data elements is covered.

Automatically delete history and other personal data

In terms of your browsing and download history, a unique feature found in Safari for your browsing and download history is the ability to direct your browser to delete user-specific browsing and / or download history after a certain period of time. This can prove to be quite useful, as Safari can perform housework on a regular basis without any interference on your part.

To configure this setting, take the following steps: First , click Safari at the top of your screen in the browser’s main menu . When the drop down menu appears, select Preferences …. You can use the following keyboard shortcut instead of the previous two steps: COMMAND + COMMA (,)

Safari’s Preferences interface is now displayed. Click on the General icon if it is not already selected. For the purpose of this functionality, we are interested in the following options, each with a drop down menu.

  • Remove History Items: The default option, after one year , ensures that Safari automatically deletes browsing history records that are one year old. If the other available options are selected one day later, one week later, two weeks later, one month later and manually , the next option disables the automatic deletion of browsing history completely.
  • Remove download list items: the default option, a day later , after days of downloading a file to download it deletes records. The second available option, when Safari is free , deletes each download history when you close the app. Third, after a successful download , the download deletes any record of the instant download file. The fourth and final option, manually , disables the automatic removal of your file download history.

Warning: Please note that this special feature only deletes browsing and download history. Cache, cookies and other website data are not affected / removed.

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