How to clear recent calls in FaceTime for Mac

By , Mar 30, 2016

OS X Yosemite FaceTime icon full size

I use FaceTime on a regular basis to place cellular iPhone phone calls through my Mac and engage in immersive video calls with friends and family.

Each and every missed, placed, received and declined audio and video FaceTime call is captured on the recent calls list so that you can click an entry to quickly dial that person.

For privacy reasons, you might want to remove some of the items from your recent calls. In this tutorial, we’re going to lay out two ways of removing traces of any particular FaceTime call while telling you about a cool trick toclear your recent calls list completely.

Your recent calls appear in the following places:

  • Within the FaceTime app
  • Inside the OS X Notification Center (only missed and declined calls)
  • In the pop-up menu revealed when you Control-click the FaceTime icon in the Dock (missed, received, placed and declined calls)
  • In the Reminders app (if you have requested a reminder for the incoming call)

FaceTime’s recent calls menu in the Dock is shown below.

OS X El Capitan FaceTime delete recents Mac screenshot 004

As you can see for yourself, the Dock menu lets you click a call to open FaceTime in order to call that person back. The latest calls are listed below recent calls in the menu.

Here’s how you can clear the recent calls list in FaceTime.

How to clear the recent calls list in FaceTime for Mac

You can clear the lists of FaceTime video and audio calls you made, received, missed or declined.

Entries on the list can be cleared one by one, or you can remove them all at once. Clearing an item removes it from the recent calls list on that device only.

For instance, deleting a missed call in FaceTime for Mac will not remove the entry from FaceTime’s recent calls list on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

One by one

1) Launch the FaceTime app on your Mac.

2) Click the Video or Audio tab.

3) Right-click or Control-click an entry on the list and select the Remove from Recents option in the pop-up menu.

OS X El Capitan FaceTime delete recents Mac screenshot 001

Tip: If you own a Mac notebook or a desktop Mac with Apple’s Magic Trackpad accessory, just swipe any entry on the list to reveal a hidden Delete button.

OS X El Capitan FaceTime delete recents Mac screenshot 003

This removes that particular entry only from the Audio/Video list you’re currently viewing.

Clear any item on the recent calls list also removes it from the Notification Center, Reminders and FaceTime’s pop-up menu in the Dock.

All at once

1) Launch the FaceTime app on your Mac.

2) Click the Video or Audio tab.

OS X El Capitan FaceTime delete recents Mac screenshot 001

3) Right-click (or Control-click) the blank portion of the call list—a small space between the search box and the horizontal line that starts the list— and select Remove all Recents in the pop-up menu.

This shall clear everything on the recent calls list that you’re currently viewing. Don’t forget to switch to the other tab (Audio or Video) and clear its own recent calls list.

For example, clearing the list of recent FaceTime Video calls won’t affect your recents on the Audio tab.

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  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    it would be nice if Apple just a clear all button

    • Clayton Curtis

      You have MY vote!! 🙂

  • Abhijeet Gupta

    Another useless article

  • n0ahcruz3

    Thank goodness i dont wanna leave any trace for my gf to see

  • wakingfromsleep

    The below is helpful if you were like me and had months of recent calls saved.

    Close FaceTime Application
    Open Finder > Go > Go to folder :
    ~/Library/Application Support/CallHistoryDB

    remove all content using text edit from following files:

    Open FaceTime

    • Jan

      couldn’t find a current library in Sierra. Any other suggestions?

  • Clayton Curtis

    I’m now on Sierra, so I don’t have a way to confirm that the (incredibly useful!) tips here would have worked for me under El Capitan. But does anyone know if the technique described by the OP still works? I can’t for the life of me get a left-click to work ANYWHERE in the FaceTime audio or video tabs other than on single “recent” entries. I also note that there doesn’t seem to be a way to select multiple entries via ctl-click or shift-click. (Apologies in advance if that’s just my ignorance, in which case please educate me.) Thanks!!

    • pveaglesfan

      I am using Sierra and have the same issue. Clear All button would be nice.

  • Jan

    This doesn’t work on my iMac running Sierra. Is this a bug in the new OS?