Safari is the default browser used on the Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems. We have explained lot of Safari tips for macOS in our earlier article along with special tips for developers. In this article let us explain Safari tips for iOS that is useful on your iPhone and iPad.
16 Safari Tips for iPhone
- Disable Safari on iPhone
- Open incognito window
- Close all open browser tabs
- Reopen recently closed tabs
- View browser tabs from other Apple devices
- Disable Advertisements
- Quickly go back or forward in history
- View desktop site
- Back to top
- Search within a webpage
- Clear browsing history
- Test experimental features
- Quick address typing
- Inspect elements using Web Inspector
- Change search engine
- Show icons in tabs
Before the tips, you should understand the Safari screen and the name of icons on it. Below picture shows all the items on Safari screen on your iPhone.
1. Disable Safari on iPhone
Apple offers default apps on your iPhone like Safari, Home, Calculator, App Store, etc. You can’t delete or disable these default apps from your iPhone. Fortunately, there is a way to disable Safari on your iPhone completely.
- Tap on ‘Settings’ app.
- Go to ‘Screen Time’ options, which is newly, introduced iOS 12.
- Tap ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’ and enable this option in next screen.
- Go to ‘Allowed Apps’ section.
- Turn off Safari app.
- This will remove the Safari app from your iPhone and disable complete browsing unless you have other browser apps installed on the phone.
2. Open Incognito Mode
Incognito or in-private mode allows you to browse without any tracking.
- Open Safari app and tap on the open new tab button at lower right corner.
- Tap on ‘Private’ to enable private browsing mode.
- Touch + icon to open a window in incognito mode.
- The browser will look like dark on the top and bottom during private mode.
- Again tap on the open new tab button and touch private button to disable private mode.
- Now Safari will go back to regular browsing window.
Note, incognito mode will work only if you don’t have ‘Content Restrictions’ under ‘Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Web Content’. Otherwise, you will not see the ‘Private’ button when you tap the open new tab button.
Other way to open private mode is to tap and hold the open new tab button and choose ‘New Private Tab’ from the options.
3. Quickly Close All Open Tabs
Whenever you open Safari, you can notice that all the open tabs will start loading again. Here are few ways to close tabs before closing Safari.
- Press open new tab button and close tabs one by one by touching the X icon. You can also simply swipe the tab left to close it.
- Press and hold the open new tab button and select ‘Close All x tabs’ button.
4. Reopen Recently Closed Tabs
Wrongly closed a tab and wanted to reopen the tab again?
- Press the open new tab button.
- Tap on the + icon and hold for some time.
- You will a window slides up and show all recently closed tabs from the history.
- Tap on the page you want to open. Or tap ‘Done’ to return the current page.
5. Open Tabs from Other Devices
One of the advantages of Apple devices is the continuity while using. You can easily access the Safari browser windows opened on your Mac or iPad from iPhone. Let’s see how to view the open browser window on your MacBook Pro from your iPhone.
- First ensure that you use same Apple ID and logged into your iCloud account on both devices.
- Tap on ‘Settings’ app on your iPhone and touch your name to go to Apple ID settings.
- Touch ‘iCloud’ and then turn on Safari under ‘Apps using iCloud’ section.
- Now open Safari on your MacBook Pro and view some webpages.
- Go to your iPhone and open Safari.
- Tap on the open new tab button and swipe the window up.
- You will see all browsing windows opened on your MacBook Pro.
- Touch any of the title to open the same webpage on your iPhone from the opened windows on your MacBook Pro.
6. Disable Advertisements
Nowadays mobile marketing is a big business and almost all websites on the web offers advertisements. Sometimes these advertisements will distract the reading. Don’t worry, just tap on the three lines on the address bar to enable reader view in Safari. This will remove all unnecessary content from the page and show it in a plain text with images.
You can also press and long hold the reader view button to enable automatic reader view on the current or all websites.
7. Quickly Go Back or Forward in History
When you browse many webpages, you can easily go to the back or forward in the history. On desktop Safari browser, you can do this by clicking and holding the back or forward arrow button. Similarly, on iOS also just tap and hold the back or forward arrow buttons in Safari. This will reveal all the list of browsing history backward or forward to the current page on a new window. You can select the page from the list or tap on ‘Done’ to go back to the current webpage.
8. View Desktop Site
Well, this is world of mobile and almost all the websites on the Internet are mobile responsive by default. However, you can easily view the desktop version of a site on your iPhone. When you have the webpage opened, tap and hold on the refresh icon on the address bar. Tap on the ‘Request Desktop site’ option that will slide out from bottom. Or tap ‘Cancel’ to return to the current mobile page. You can refresh the page or tap back button to view the mobile version again.
Other way to view desktop site is to tap on the ‘Share’ button and choose ‘Request Desktop Site’ option.
9. Back to Top
Most of the sites offer a back to top link so that users can easily reach out to top of the webpage after scrolling down. This is not necessary with the iPhone. When you have scrolled down, first tap on the top center of the display. This will reveal the address bar and again tap on the top center just above the address bar. Now the display will move to the top the page similar to back to top link.
10. Search within Page
Do you want to search some text on the page your viewing in Safari? Tap on the address bar and start entering the keyword for searching. Safari will offer lot of options; choose the last one showing ‘On This Page’.
On next screen, you will see a top and bottom arrows with the keyword on the bottom. Use the arrows to highlight and find the word on the page.
Alternatively, you can also tap on ‘Share’ button and then choose ‘Find on Page’ to search within a webpage.
11. Clear Browsing History
Over the period of the time, Safari may accumulate lot of browsing data and start loading webpages very slow. You can go to ‘Settings > Safari’ and tap on ‘Clear History and Website Data’ button to delete all stored history. If you see this option is greyed out then disable content restriction to enable this button.
You can also go to ‘Advanced > Website Data’ section and delete history of a specific website. Swipe the site to left and tap on the delete button to remove the site from history.
12. Test Experimental Features
Safari on iPhone does not support some of the features like CSS web animations. But Apple offers experimental features section for developers to test these features. Go to ‘Settings > Safari > Advanced > Experimental Features’ section. Enable the feature you like to check from the list.
13. Quickly Address Typing
When typing website address, tap and hold the dot key button. This will reveal the popular top-level domain extensions like .com, .net and .org depending on your location. Learn all iOS keyboard shortcuts.
14. Inspecting Elements on Safari Webpages from Mac.
Developer console helps to analyze the source code of elements on a webpage. On your Mac, you can right click and choose ‘Inspect Element’ option. Otherwise you can enable ‘Develop’ menu to analyze a webpage. Follow the below instructions to inspect elements of a webpage on your iPhone.
- Go to ‘Settings > Safari > Advanced’ and enable ‘Web Inspector’ option.
- Connect your iPhone to Mac using a cable.
- Open a webpage in iPhone Safari.
- Open Safari on your Mac and enable Develop menu.
- Go to ‘Develop > iPhone’ and choose the webpage opened on your phone.
- This will open the developer console in Mac for the webpage opened in iPhone.
- Check the source code and the corresponding element will get highlighted on your phone.
15. Change Search Engine in Safari iOS
Apple allows searching directly from the Safari address bar on your iPhone. For this address bar search, Safari needs to use a search engine, which will vary depending on your country. Go to ‘Settings > Safari’ and then tap on ‘Search Engine’. Select your favorite search engine from the list.
16. Show Icons in Tabs
On macOS Mojave, you have a new feature to show favicon on Safari tab on your Mac. However, these site icons will not make much sense on a small iPhone screen. Yet, you can show the favicon on the tabs when you tap on the open new tab button. For this just go to ‘Settings > Safari’ and enable ‘Show Icons in Tabs’ option.