Safari: How to Clear the Google Search Box History

   Posted December 17, 2012 by David Kirk in Apple Mac, Google

Clearing the Google search box (or address box) history in Safari to prevent people from seeing your prior searches. This tutorial has been updated to show how to erase your Google history in Safari versions 5 and 6. I have also clarified some other questions that people frequently ask regarding Google search histories.

Safari Version 6

When using Safari your previous searches can be saved in two potential places–within the browser’s history or within Google’s servers.

With the latest version of Safari, the search bar has been combined into the address bar. Anything you place within the address bar that does not appear to be a web address will automatically trigger a search. These searches will be saved as part of Safari’s history. Therefore, to remove the Google Search autofill results from the address/search bar, one just needs to select the Clear History command from the History menu.

select Clear History from Safari's History menu

Alternatively, if you are searching from the actual Google website instead of Safari’s address/search bar, you will need to log into your Google account and manage your history results.

Safari Version 5

Many users continue to use older versions of Safari in order to keep the address bar and search bars separate. Removing the search history in that version requires these stesp.

1. Click the magnifying glass to the left of the Google search box
2. Select Clear Recent Searches

Reset Safari

Both versions of Safari have the Reset Safari option.
This not only erases just your google data, but it also erases your cookies, autofills, cache, history list, usernames, and passwords. This is like the nuclear bomb of removing your Google information from within Safari. This, however, will not remove your search history when using the Google website while logged in.

1. Goto the Safari menu
2. Click Safari
3. Select Reset Safari


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Jacquie

    This doesn’t permanently keep new searches from being stored.
    (I find it annoying, for some reason, to be reminded of past searches.)
    If you follow these instructions under “Clearing Just Your Google History,” this gets you half way there. After that, you also have to uncheck the Autofill box.
    That’s working for me so far.

  • Sam

    At item #6 there appears nothing to remove. I’m unable to select “remove.” My problem is that Safari reset command, has been somehow disabled. It work correctly for a period of time. Now, it doesn’t work at all.

  • abby

    thanks really helpfull!

  • Alan

    Very helpful. Thanks.

  • mechu

    thank you!!!!! those damn autofill get really annoying

  • Silvia

    Thank you so much i learned some new from you my friend . again thank you so muchhhhh ! ! ! !

  • hack_4_hires

    your solution is close to perfect but when you only want google to be deleted it doesn’t permanently deletes recent searches, and for a second look it just disabled auto fill. but this tip is quite helpful tough. now its for me to find my own solution for permanent deleting program.. anyway thanks its nearly a help.

  • fiasco frenzy ferocious

    Thank you so much for this! I really needed this in case my parents ever wanted to Google search something on my laptop. Thanks!

  • frazzle

    yes you’re heaven sent! i barely have enough time to clean up my act before anyone starts sharing with me my laptop. it is inevitable because we type patient records and all that. thanks so much!!!

  • clueless mac user

    i’ve been wondering how to do this for a while
    thank you :]

  • jasmine miller


  • naweed

    were is the safri menu on google

  • Jean Loew

    getting rid of in Auto Fill does not work in Safari 4.03….now what?

    • Anonymous

      Just click the down arrow next to the magnifying glass in safari’s search box to the right of the address bar. Make sure nothing is typed in the box. You will then see a list of recent searches, with a “Clear Recent Search History” option at the bottom. Just click that and you’re done.

  • Hank

    To delete search items you need to edit the preference file for Safari ~/Library/Preferences/ Look for the RecentSearchStrings tag in the xml and you can delete any/all items.

    • Anonymous

      Hank, there IS no Safari.plist.

      I go from …
      … to …

      Even if Safari.plist WAS there, no amateur [like me] would DARE fiddle with it.

      I am new to Apple, and am very disappointed at the lack of a delete facility in the search box. Very short sighted.

  • Dave

    I unselected the other forms option but it still keeps autofill and if I follow those steps listed there is nothing in the other forms

  • Anonymous

    Clearing just your google search history in the autofill menu does not work. I deleted everything in the “other forms” menu as I could not locate there. The past history is still there, although the clear recent searches did clear those that I did today. I have Snow Leopard as my operating system with Safari 4.0.4.

  • Name

    The second method does not work

  • Jaime Ball

    Four years later there’s an even easier way: Click on the magnifying glass to the left of the word Google and select “Clear Recent Searches”

    • Sttapley

      hilarious. thank you for the laugh and duh!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Jaime! I’ve updated the original post. AlexTheBeast hasn’t been around much lately and let his article get out of date. It’s greatly appreciated.

  • Tyler

    didn’t work

  • Cjfogo

    OMG i looked on so many websites and they all said go to system preferences! THEY WHERE SO WRONG!!!!! Thanks

  • Kk Rox


  • Dvsccoach

    None of these “tips” work!!!  I still see EVERYTHING I have ever searched for try to autocomplete as soon as I start typing in the Google search box

  • 99

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ All porn addicts ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  • yourmother

    if you change the little drop down menu in the search bar to bing, then back to google, it should delete your search history

  • ezza

    Gracias,,,,, it works ,,,, 😀

  • Poster

    In Safari 5.1.5 there is no such link …

    • David Kirk


      The “Clear Recent Searches” link is there on 5.1.5. I just tested it.

  • Kerry

    Ive tried all of these options as well as others nothing I mean nothing works

  • Jenna

    There’s no “clear recent searches”! It’s the newest software and there isnt any!

    • David Kirk

      See the latest update.

  • sandbar

    Hi, I use Safari as my e-mail application through a weblogin address. I’ve typed a friend’s e-mail address incorrectly in the “To” line, and I’d like to remove it. I’m using Safari 6.0…It should be simple, right? To just delete one entry…

    Any help is greatly appreciated,