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 macOS 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)

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 on an entry on the list and select the Remove from Recents option in the pop-up menu.

If you haven’t set up your mouse to have a right click, go to System Preferences > Mouse > Point & Click tab, and select Secondary Click. This will allow you to do a right click using your mouse.

Tip: If you own a Mac notebook or a desktop Mac with Apple’s Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse, 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.

3) Right-click on any name in the call list, and select Remove all Recents in the pop-up menu.

Note that clearing the call list in one tab will also clear the call list in the other one, so proceed with caution.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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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?

    • Karen Bevan

      Finally I was able to clear the history as nothing else worked on my Mac. Thanks for the information!

  • 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.

    • GrumpyCat

      Left-click control-click doesn’t work if you have the new “smarter” trackpad which requires a two-finger left swipe to bring up the delete option. I haven’t yet figured out how to get a all-delete because I have not “blank space”.

      • Julie Victoria

        point to a name on FaceTime and do the 2 finger finger click (apply 2 fingers on the trackpad), the box should appear

  • Jan

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

  • jim cooper

    For those struggling with this issue on iMac – go to settings>>mouse and select “secondary click (on right side)”
    Open FaceTime – right click alone – do not press control – and the popup menu will appear allowing you to delete call list.

  • Vivian Ruble

    Doesn’t work for me. 🙁 Nothing pops up…

    • Hello. I updated the post with instructions on how to get the right click option on your mouse. This should help.