How to Browse Privately in Safari on iPhone

Tip of the Day: How to Browse the Web Privately

If you’re planning to do some Internet scouring but want to keep your history private, there’s an easy way to do that in Safari. Gone are the days of needing a separate browsing app for privacy. Since the introduction of iOS 8, Private browsing on iPhone or iPad has become easily accessible in Safari. Just be sure to turn Private browsing off if you want to leverage stored passwords or History. Private browsing on iPhone or iPad is turned off and on in the same place. If you leave Private browsing on, you'll need to remember to turn it off next time you open Safari. Here's how to browse privately in Safari on iPhone. 

Related: How to Selectively Clear Your Browsing History in Safari

How to Privately Browse in Safari on iPhone

To start Private browsing:

  • Open Safari.
  • Tap the tabbed browsing icon (two overlapping rectangles) in the lower right corner on an iPhone or the top right on the iPad.

Tip of the Day: How to Browse the Web Privately   Tip of the Day: How to Browse the Web Privately

  • Select Private.
  • Press the plus sign to open a new tab and browse privately. The interface changes to a black border instead of white.
  • Turn Private browsing off in the same way: just open tabs and deselect Private.

Tip of the Day: How to Browse the Web Privately   Tip of the Day: How to Browse the Web Privately

This tip works with iOS 8 or later. Previous iOS versions included Private browsing at the bottom of Safari’s index of favorites.


Top Image Credit: GaudiLab /
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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP,,, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.