How to Recover Deleted Safari Browsing History on Mac?

By Anna | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, on December 1st, 2021 |

Summary: This post mainly talks about how to recover deleted Safari history on Mac in 3 simple ways, including using the iBoysoft data recovery app, TimeMachine, and iCloud. Besides, it covers how to find and open Safari History.db files on MacBook.

how to recover deleted safari history on Mac

Sometimes, to keep your Safari browsing history clean and to prevent others from examining your online activity, you may choose to delete Safari browser history. That’s all fine until you need the address of a website you’ve visited before and can’t remember it.

If you’re looking for ways to recover the deleted Safari history on Mac, then this post will help you because it addresses the top 3 methods to retrieve deleted Safari history on Mac. In addition, it briefly explains what Safari browser history is and where you can find it.

Quick Navigation:

What is Safari history?

Safari history is a database file that contains your previously visited websites. Just like most other web browsers, Safari keeps the history file automatically. So it is easier for users to revisit familiar websites without having to enter their addresses over and over again.

How to find and open Safari history on Mac?

Normally, there are two ways to view Safari history on Mac or MacBook. One is to check it in Safari. Another is to find the Safari History.db file in Finder.

Find history in Safari:

  • Open Safari on your Mac.
  • On the menu bar, select the History option.
  • Click Show All History.
find Safari history on Mac

Then, you’ll see a table with two columns and multiple rows. The first column from the left shows the names of the websites you previously visited and these sites are sorted by date, while the second column shows their full addresses.

View the History.db file in Finder:

All the information that you can see when you click the Show All History button in Safari is stored on the Macintosh hard drive, which is named History.db. To find and open it, do the following:

  • Open Finder.
  • Choose the Go option, click Go to Folder.
  • Type in ~/Library/Safari/ and click Go.
find Safari history.db file on Mac

Locate the History.db file, then you will find you can’t open it with any built-in macOS app. It’s a database file, you need to use a database browser like DB Browser for SQLite to open it.

Here’s how to open Safari History.db file:

After installing DB Browser for SQLite for free, launch the app. Then click Open Database and select the History.db file. Finally, switch to the Browse Data tab, select the history_items. You can see all the previously visited websites.

open Safari history.db file on Mac

With these two options, you can easily find your Safari history on MacBook. But what if you lost all the Safari history due to accidental deletion or intentional deletion to protect your privacy, is it possible to find them back?

How to recover deleted Safari history on Mac?

Fortunately, there are three main ways to recover deleted Safari history on Mac:

Method 1: Recover deleted Safari history with data recovery software

Using a data recovery tool is the simplest and quickest way to recover deleted files on Mac, including the deleted Safari history. iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is a top-ranking, professional, and safe data recovery tool.

It helps recover deleted documents, emails, photos, videos, and other types of files from your Mac hard drive. Besides, it also allows recovering files from external hard drives on Mac. Thus, iBoysoft data recovery for Mac is perfect for recovering the History.db file that has been accidentally or intentionally deleted.

Just follow the steps below to recover deleted Safari history on Mac:

  • Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac or MacBook.
  • Launch this app, select the macOS volume or the Macintosh HD volume, and click Scan.
  • scan macOS volume
  • From the scanning results, find the deleted History.db file by typing “History.db” into the search field in the top-right corner and then hit the Return key.
  • Select the deleted History.db file and click Recover to save it to another destination.

You can then view deleted Safari history in DB Browser for SQLite. To view it in Safari, you need to copy the recovered History.db file to ~/Library/Safari folder and overwrite the file that’s currently in the location.

Method 2: Recover deleted history on Mac Safari with TimeMachine backup

Time Machine is a built-in feature in macOS that enables you to back up important files on your Mac. If you have backed up your Mac before deleting the Safari history, you can use the Time Machine backups to retrieve the deleted Safari browsing data. Here’s how to do:

  • Open Finder and select Go > Go to Folder.
  • Enter "~/Library/Safari" and click the Go button.
  • Scroll down until you find the History.db database file and select it.
  • Click on the Time Machine from the menu bar, and select Enter Time Machine.
  • According to the date, find your wanted version of the History.db file that contains your deleted Safari browsing history.
  • Click the Restore button to get the selected History.db file back.
restore Safari history.db file with TimeMachine

Once the Time Machine restoring process is done, you will get back all your browser data. The next time you open Safari, you will see the browsing history.

However, if you haven’t created a Time Machine backup beforehand, this approach to recover the deleted Safari history on Mac might prove to be useless. Then try the last resort - using iCloud to retrieve the Safari history.

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Method 3: Recover MacBook deleted Safari history with iCloud

If you’re using iCloud to synchronize your Safari history across your Mac and iPhone. Then you may have another option to restore the Safari browsing data from your iPhone to your Mac.

Here are the steps to recover the Safari history by using iCloud Sync:

  • Launch the iPhone Settings menu on your iPhone.
  • Tap on your name to open Apple Profile.
  • Select on iCloud and scroll to the Safari app.
  • Enable the toggle button for Safari iCloud data sync.
  • Select the Keep on My iPhone option.
  • Tap on the Merge command.
merge Safari history with iCloud

Now all your Safari history present on the iPhone will be overwritten on the iCloud, replacing the one from Mac. Open the Safari browser on Mac, the merged Safari history will be synchronized automatically.

Hope one of the methods mentioned above is helpful to recover the deleted Safari history. If you’re not so lucky to have a TimeMachine backup or iCloud Sync beforehand, then using a Mac data software to retrieve Safari deleted history is your best choice.

FAQs about recovering deleted Safari history

1. Can I recover the Safari Private Browsing history?

Safari Private Browsing allows you to open a Private Window that prevents your browsing history from being recorded. Thus, it is impossible to recover your Private Browsing history.

2. How to recover deleted history on MacBook without TimeMachine?

Without TimeMachine, you can use a Mac data recovery tool to find your Safari deleted history and get it back. iBoysoft Mac data recovery app is a good choice.

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