Learn How To Clear Spotlight Search On iPhone

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Did you know that you can clear Spotlight search history on your iPhone? While it’s not a common practice or common knowledge, it is possible to clear Spotlight search history, and it’s a fairly simple method too. 

I’ve put together a handy little guide to help you delete Spotlight search history. This way you’ll have more privacy and security with your data. Read on to learn how to do it. 

Deleting Spotlight Search History On Your iPhone

Spotlight search history on iPhone device

Spotlight Search is a staple on iOS devices. It allows you to search through everything on your device using the search bar on the Spotlight search screen. It brings everything to the forefront, making it easy for you to access exactly what you need. 

While Spotlight search is great, sometimes you may want to clear Spotlight search history to wipe the search data accumulated since you’ve been using your iPhone. While there is no clear way to do so by Apple, there are other methods that you can use to delete Spotlight search history.

Delete Spotlight Search History Via Settings

One of the ways you can clear Spotlight search history is by using Settings on your iPhone. The Settings app is where you go to manage your apps and the data they have access to. While there is no dedicated Spotlight Search app, the feature is still accessible via your Settings

While this method won’t completely wipe your Spotlight search history in the traditional sense, it’ll remove it from the Spotlight search screen. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1.  Open the Settings app on your iPhone then tap Siri & Search.
Siri & search option inside Settings app in iPhone
  1. On the following screen, scroll until you see Show in Spotlight and toggle off the switch next to it. Doing so will disable the suggestions on your Spotlight search screen and your Spotlight search history will be deleted. 
Siri & search show in spotlight toggle button
  1. After you’ve cleared your Spotlight search history, toggle on Siri Suggestions to display your new searches in the Spotlight search. 
Toggle button in Siri Suggestions to show in spotlight

This method dealt showed how to use Siri suggestions to your advantage. If you want to learn more about Siri, learn about 10 interesting facts about it here.

For a video demonstration, here’s one showing you how to delete Spotlight search history:

YouTube player

Clear Your Safari Browser History

Safari is iOS’ native browser and is available on every iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer. When you visit different pages on Safari, those same searches can show up in your Spotlight search history on iPhone. 

Therefore, one of the ways to clear your Spotlight search or at least clear your Safari browsing data from it is to clear Safari visit history. You can clear search history on Safari via the Settings app but you can also do it in the browser, as well. 

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the Safari app and tap the book icon
Book icon in Safari app in iPhone
  1. Here you’ll be able to access your bookmarks, reading list, and history. Tap the clock icon to view your browsing history if it’s not automatically displayed. Afterward, tap Clear to delete your Safari browsing history. 
Tapping the clock icon to view your browsing history

For a video demonstration, here’s one showing you how to delete your Safari search history:

YouTube player

Delete Google’s Chrome Search History 

Even though Safari is iOS’ default browser, many people opt for Google Chrome. It allows them to sync their search history and bookmarks across devices, even if they’re on different platforms. 

Similar to your Safari search history, your Chrome search history can show up in your Spotlight Search as well. As such, you need to clear Chrome history to delete it from Spotlight search history.  

You can opt to delete only the browsing history and keep other data but in the interest of increased privacy, I recommend deleting everything. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Google Chrome app and tap the three horizontal dots at the bottom right of the screen. 
Tap the three horizontal dots inside Google chrome app in iphone
  1. From the popup menu tap History
Tapping History option after clicking the three horizontal dots in Google Chrome app in iPhone
  1. At the bottom of the search history page, hit Clear Browsing Data
Hit Clear Browsing Data at the bottom of the search history page
  1. On the next page, you’ll see the data that can be deleted. As mentioned before, I recommend deleting all the data but you can opt to save some such as saved passwords. 

You also get to choose the time range of the history to delete, I chose all time to completely wipe the data. Once your settings are selected, tap Delete Browsing Data. 

Choose the time range of the history to delete inside Clear Browsing Data option
  1. You’ll see a popup asking you to confirm that you want to delete all the search history, tap Clear Browsing Data again. 
Tapping Clear Browsing Data to delete all the search history
  1.  There you have it, you’ve successfully cleared your Chrome browsing data
Cleared search history after tapping clear browsing data

Here’s a video showing you how to clear Chrome history on your iPhone:

YouTube player

Reset Your iPhone To Clear All Settings

Another way to not only clear your Spotlight search history on iPhone but your iPhone itself is to reset it. Doing this will completely wipe your iPhone of all its data including apps, media, and settings. It’ll be like a completely brand-new phone. 

If you decide to do this, I recommend backing up your iPhone to iCloud first so that you don’t lose anything important. Once, you’ve done that, here’s how to reset your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
Settings app and tapping General menu
  1. On the General page, scroll to the bottom and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
Tapping Transfer or Reset iPhone on the bottom of General page
  1. Next, tap Reset to begin the process of resetting your iPhone. 
Tapping Reset to begin the process of resetting your iPhone

Here’s a video showing you how to reset your iPhone:

YouTube player


Can I Delete Apple Spotlight?

You cannot delete Apple Spotlight, however, you can stop searches from showing up on your Spotlight screen. You can also use various methods, such as the ones listed above, to delete Spotlight search history on your iPhone.

Delete Spotlight Search On Your iPhone – Wrapping Up

What’d you think of this article?

I know Spotlight search is a handy tool for finding stuff on your iPhone, but having the ability to clear Spotlight search history is there when you need it. You can turn off Siri suggestions in the Spotlight as one method. 

You can also clear your Safari and Chrome search history on iPhone to clear those delete Spotlight search history using website visits. And while it’s a last resort, you can reset your iPhone too. 

If you’re looking to delete things on your iPhone en masse without resetting it, I recommend you read how to delete all alarms on your iPhone. We also have a great guide on how to delete all emails at once.

If you’re looking for more social media-specific content then you might like how to clear Instagram search history.
Be sure to share this article with your friends, family, and followers. Leave any questions you have below in the comments.

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Hemant Mendiratta

Hemant Mendiratta is a co-founder of TechUntold and a passionate tech blogger, avid gamer, and social media guru who keenly monitors useful apps and gadgets. He is the ideator of our Instagram tool StoryHoot which allows watching Instagram stories anonymously. You can connect with him on: Facebook, Twitter.

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