A hand burning a piece of paper with a lighter, the paper has a router icon and History written on it.

Your Wi-Fi router keeps records of your browsing history. To be more precise, it keeps the records of the browsing histories of any devices connected to it. And whoever controls the router controls the Spi- er, the browsing logs. You may consider this to be a bad thing, so we’re dedicating this article to telling you how to clear your Wi-Fi router history.

Table of contents

    Why do you need to clear Wi-Fi router history?

    Your router is the repository of all your home’s browsing logs. It knows what websites you visited, when, and from which device. Anyone with access to the router can see what you do on the internet

    Incognito won’t help you

    Notably — and I have to address this point because everyone else does — Incognito/Private mode is powerless against it. They only allow you to hide your internet activity from others using your device. Deleting your browser history can’t affect it either. Neither of those methods affects data kept outside of your device. And your router is the first place where such data is collected. 

    The router owner has access to your history

    When you connect to a public Wi-Fi spot, the router may log your browsing history. Whether the router history logs are accessed and what is done with it depends on who runs the Wi-Fi spot. It can be a cafe, a library, your workplace, or an intercity bus. You can’t do anything to delete that history — you don’t have a way to do it (but we have a solution later). 

    Routers are hackable

    Back home, there are two factions with likely router access: you and your ISP (internet service provider). However, a router is a fairly sophisticated machine and, as such, hackable. So it can be compromised. 

    Your browsing history in the hands of people you live with

    Moreover, any of the people living with you can access the router the same way you can. At the very least, the people in your own home can learn what websites you visit and when; on the extreme end, that data may fall into the wrong hands and be sold to advertisers – or worse (yes, there are worse people than advertisers). 

    What is a router log, and what does it do?

    Router logs store data of the traffic that passes through the router. As an example, here’s what data may be stored:

    • IP addresses of the devices used; 
    • IP addresses of websites accessed;
    • Session time/length.

    While the website’s IP address may not outright tell an observer what you were doing there, it’s not that hard to turn it into a regular internet address. So, if you’re trying to hide your predilection for adult entertainment websites or your embarrassing 9gag addiction, router logs may blow your secrets wide open. 

    How to delete Wi-Fi router history

    To delete your router history, you need to access the router running your Wi-Fi network, find the system logs, and delete them. Now, there’s a limit to how detailed such a guide may be. Based on my data (which I made up), there are more router brands and models than stars in the sky, so trying to cover each one of them would make this article impractical. Here are some general guidelines:

    1. Find your router’s IP address (a router’s default IP address is often something like or
    2. Enter it into the browser.
    3. Log in to the router (the username and password may be on the back or underside of the router). 
    4. Find the section called Session Logs or something similar. 
    5. Click Clear Logs or the closest possible alternative. 
    6. Et voila! 

    We also have a time-honored tradition of including the nuclear option. In the case of deleting router history, that would be resetting the router. This would refresh it to factory settings, including wiping the logs. Here’s how the process generally works:

    1. Find yourself a needle, paper clip, or a matchstick. 
    2. Find the reset button on your router: it should be in a narrow hole your finger wouldn’t fit in. 
    3. Use the paper clip, etc., to press the button. 
    4. Hold for 10-20 seconds. 
    5. Records wiped!

    You may need to notify your ISP about your router reset to restore internet connectivity! 

    Can a VPN hide your web activity from a router?

    A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is your best tool to effortlessly hide your web activity on a device connected to a Wi-Fi network, yours or someone else’s. And there’s a straightforward reason for that: a VPN encrypts your data before it goes out and sends it to the VPN server to be decrypted and forwarded.

    This means that the router only sees encrypted data going to and from the VPN server. No matter what websites — or how many — you visit, all that will be recorded on the router is the communication between you and the server. This is how you surf privately, no matter who controls the router!

    And server IPs aren’t exactly common knowledge, so googling them wouldn’t do any would-be sleuths much good. And even if they managed to dig up that it’s a VPN server, so what? What are they going to do with that information? Come to you to complain that they can’t access your browsing history?

    In conclusion: don’t have router history worth deleting

    Accessing a router to delete the logs isn’t that hard, but it’s still a chore. And what about routers that are out of your control? Since you can’t delete history on those, you should take care not to leave important data. The best way to do this is by using a VPN. Even if the router were to be compromised, any data on it would be useless — just like any browsing logs!

    Leave no trace on the router with a VPN
    No router history, no problem


    How do I stop Wi-Fi owners from seeing my history?

    You need to use a VPN to stop router owners and admins from seeing your browsing history. As a VPN app connects to a VPN server before the actual website, the router can only see the connection to the server. 

    Does my Wi-Fi router record history?

    Your router may be recording history. This depends on the model: the older or cheaper models may not have the space and sophistication to keep logs outside of immediate operational needs. But the modern routers are more sophisticated, have more storage space, and may keep history. 

    How do I delete Wi-Fi history on my phone?

    Wi-Fi history is not stored on your phone. However, you can access your router via your phone:

    1. Find your router IP. 
    2. Enter it in your browser. 
    3. Log into the router.
    4. Find the logs. 
    5. Delete them.

    How long does Wi-Fi history last?

    Your Wi-Fi history depends on your router settings and capacity. A modern router may keep logs as long as storage lasts and then start deleting older entries to make new ones. 

    What shows up on Wi-Fi history?

    Your Wi-Fi history may record the IP of the device you’re using, the IP of the website you’re visiting, as well as a timestamp.