I'm using an iPad 6th gen running iPadOS 16.X.

I want to delete my Recently Closed Tabs "history", but I still want to keep my Safari history. To open my recently closed tabs, I have to press and hold the "+" key.

Screenshot showing Recently Closed Tabs

This answer explains how to delete Recently Closed Tabs, but it requires me to delete my history. Online results are showing similar solutions, so not working for me.

My question is therefore : Is it possible to delete recently closed tabs in Safari and still keeping my history, and if so, how?

  • 2
    Not sure what you want to do here? What is the benefit of removing something from your recently closed tabs, but not from history?
    – nohillside
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 15:59
  • @nohillside There are less recently closed tabs items that there are in history. I often use the pin option in Safari and therefore close tabs quite rarely. But since I noticed that the recently closed tabs are showing very old websites that I've visited months and months ago, I want to delete them to be able to really be careful at what I delete. Also, since I'm pinning tabs and staying on them, all the pages I go to on those tabs get saved in my history when nothing really useful is saved in recently closed tabs. :)
    – Thinkr
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 16:09
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? On iOS, clear Safari history without discarding open tabs?
    – Allan
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 16:16
  • @Allan No, this is not what I'm looking for, the question is about deleting Safari history. And if you read the title of my question, you should understand that I want to delete recently closed tabs WITHOUT deleting Safari history.
    – Thinkr
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 16:23
  • The answer is still exactly the same: there is an issue with closing tabs and its relation to history entries.
    – Allan
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Not possible.

You cannot suppress Recently Closed Tabs without deleting Safari history.

Recently Closed Tabs are intricately linked with Safari history, and clearing Safari history entries deletes: (1) the tabs, and (2), the Recently Closed Tabs «history».

Furthermore, there is no other option than deleting Safari history to delete recently closed tabs in Safari or in Settings.

This is one of the rare issues with Safari and I hope there will soon be an option to make users able to clear that recently closed tabs «history».


I just found a way to delete the most recent closed tabs. This only works in custom Tab Groups.

You need to create a Tab Group (or open one if you already have some).

Screenshot when creating a custom Tab Group

Then, it should open the Tab Group on Start Page (Safari's home page). Click on Edit and make sure Recently Closed Tabs is enabled. Now, click on the "X" at the top left of the "Customize Start Page" dialog window to close it.

Screenshot of the Customize Start Page window in Safari

When you will close a tab, it will show up in the Recently Closed Tabs section in your Start Page as well as in the Recently Closed Tabs (when you long-press on the + button next to the address bar).

Before clicking on "Clear All" :

Screenshot or Recently Closed tabs before clicking 'Clear All'

Then, click on "Clear All", this should make the "Recently Closed Tabs" section in your Start Page disappear. But, it will also make the elements in that section also disappear in Recently closed tabs (when you long-press on the "+" button)!

Screenshot of the 'Clear All' button in Start Page

After clicking on "Clear All" :

Screenshot of Recently Closed Tabs after clicking 'Clear All'

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .