How To's

How to Use Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone ( 2023)

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Private browsing is a feature offered by most modern web browsers, including Safari on iPhone, that allows users to browse the internet without leaving traces of their activity on the device.

Whether you’re concerned about your online privacy or simply want to keep your browsing history private, using private browsing mode can be a useful tool. In this article, we will explore how to use private browsing in Safari on your iPhone, step by step.

Enabling Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone

Before we delve into using private browsing mode, it’s important to know how to enable it on your iPhone. Here’s a simple guide to help you get started:

  1. Accessing Safari Settings: Start by opening the Settings app on your iPhone and scrolling down until you find the “Safari” option. Tap on it to open the Safari settings.
  2. Enabling Private Browsing Mode: In the Safari settings, you will find various options to customize your browsing experience. Look for the “Private Browsing” toggle switch and make sure it is turned on. Once enabled, Safari will open all future browsing windows in private mode.

With private browsing mode enabled, let’s explore how to browse the internet privately in Safari on your iPhone.

Browsing Privately in Safari on iPhone

Safari provides a user-friendly interface for browsing the web privately on your iPhone. Here’s how you can make the most of it:

  1. Navigating the Safari Browser Interface: Launch the Safari app on your iPhone, and you will see the familiar browser interface. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find several buttons, including the address bar, bookmark icon, and tab switcher. These tools will help you navigate the web securely.
  2. Opening a New Private Browsing Window: To start a private browsing session, tap on the tab switcher button at the bottom right corner of the Safari interface. In the tab switcher view, you will notice a “+ Private” button at the bottom left corner. Tap on it, and Safari will open a new private browsing window.
  3. Browsing Websites Privately: In the private browsing window, you can now visit websites without leaving any traces on your device. Safari will not save your browsing history, cookies, or other site data during this session. You can enter URLs directly into the address bar or use search engines to find the websites you want to visit.
  4. Managing and Closing Private Browsing Windows: If you want to manage or close private browsing windows, tap on the tab switcher button again. You will see all your open tabs, including both regular and private tabs. To close a private browsing window, swipe it to the left or tap the “x” button.

By following these steps, you can easily browse the internet privately in Safari on your iPhone. But what are the benefits of using private browsing mode? Let’s find out.

Benefits of Using Private Browsing on iPhone

Using private browsing mode in Safari offers several advantages when it comes to protecting your privacy and maintaining a secure browsing experience. Here are some key benefits to consider:

  1. Protecting Your Privacy and Personal Information: Private browsing prevents Safari from storing your browsing history, cookies, and other website data. This can help safeguard your personal information from being accessed by others who may have physical access to your device.
  2. Preventing Websites from Tracking Your Browsing Activity: Many websites use tracking technologies to monitor users’ online behavior. When you browse privately, Safari restricts these tracking mechanisms, making it more challenging for websites to track your activities and build a comprehensive profile of your browsing habits.
  3. Avoiding Personalized Ads and Recommendations: Private browsing can reduce the number of personalized ads and recommendations you encounter while browsing the web. Since Safari doesn’t retain your browsing history, websites have limited access to your preferences and interests, resulting in a more generic browsing experience.
  4. Keeping Sensitive Information Secure: Private browsing mode can be particularly useful when accessing websites that require you to enter sensitive information, such as online banking or shopping sites. Without saving your browsing data, Safari helps minimize the risk of your personal data falling into the wrong hands.

By leveraging private browsing mode in Safari, you can enjoy these benefits and maintain a higher level of privacy and security while using your iPhone. However, it’s essential to understand the limitations of private browsing as well.

Limitations of Private Browsing on iPhone

While private browsing mode provides an additional layer of privacy, it’s crucial to recognize its limitations. Here are a few aspects that private browsing does not protect against:

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1. Monitoring by Your Internet Service Provider

(ISP)Private browsing only hides your online activities from local storage on your device. Your ISP can still monitor your internet traffic, including the websites you visit and the data you transmit.

2. Tracking by Websites and Third-Party Services

Private browsing mode prevents websites from storing data locally on your device, but it does not stop them from tracking your IP address or using other methods to monitor your online behavior.

3. Malware and Phishing Attacks

Private browsing mode does not provide protection against malware or phishing attacks. It’s essential to have a reliable antivirus solution installed on your device and remain vigilant while browsing the web.

4. Screen Capture and Other External Monitoring

Private browsing mode cannot prevent someone from taking screenshots or using external devices to monitor your browsing activities.

Understanding these limitations can help you make informed decisions about when and where to use private browsing mode on your iPhone. It’s also worth exploring additional privacy measures to enhance your online security.

Additional Privacy Measures on iPhone

In addition to using private browsing mode, you can take advantage of other privacy features available on your iPhone. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Clearing Browsing History and Data: Safari allows you to clear your browsing history, cookies, and website data manually. By regularly clearing this information, you can further minimize your digital footprint and maintain better control over your privacy.
  2. Blocking Cookies and Website Data: Safari gives you the ability to block cookies and website data entirely or only allow them from the websites you visit. Adjusting these settings can offer a more tailored balance between privacy and convenience.
  3. Using a VPN for Enhanced Privacy: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection and routes your traffic through secure servers, providing an additional layer of privacy. You can explore reputable VPN services

to find one that suits your needs and helps protect your online activities.

By implementing these additional privacy measures, you can enhance your overall online privacy and security on your iPhone.

Troubleshooting Private Browsing Issues on iPhone

While private browsing in Safari is generally straightforward, you may encounter some issues or have questions along the way. Here are a few common problems and their solutions:

1. Private Browsing Mode Greyed Out

If you find that the option to enable private browsing mode is greyed out in Safari settings, make sure you have disabled any restrictions on your iPhone. Go to “Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions” and ensure that private browsing is allowed.

2. Websites Still Remember You

While private browsing mode prevents Safari from storing your browsing history and cookies, some websites may still recognize you based on other factors such as IP address. If you want to browse completely anonymously, consider using a VPN or other anonymizing tools.

3. Private Browsing Window Closed Accidentally

If you accidentally close a private browsing window and want to restore it, tap and hold the “+” button in the tab switcher view. This action will display a list of recently closed tabs, including private browsing windows.

If you encounter any other issues or have specific questions about private browsing in Safari on your iPhone, refer to Apple’s official support documentation or reach out to their customer support for further assistance.


Using private browsing in Safari on your iPhone is a convenient way to browse the web without leaving traces of your activity. It helps protect your privacy, prevents websites from tracking you, and keeps sensitive information secure. By enabling private browsing mode, you can enjoy a more private and secure browsing experience.

Remember that while private browsing has its benefits, it has certain limitations. It’s important to be aware of these limitations and explore additional privacy measures, such as clearing browsing history and data, blocking cookies, and using a VPN.

By taking proactive steps to protect your online privacy, you can navigate the digital landscape with confidence and peace of mind.


1. Can I use private browsing on other browsers besides Safari on my iPhone?

Yes, most modern web browsers offer a private browsing mode, including popular options like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

2. Does private browsing mode hide my internet activity from my internet service provider (ISP)?

No, private browsing only prevents your activity from being stored locally on your device. Your ISP can still monitor your internet traffic.

3. Can I save bookmarks or add favorites in private browsing mode?

Yes, you can still save bookmarks or add favorites while in private browsing mode. However, these will not be saved once you exit the private browsing session.

4. Can I use private browsing mode for online banking and shopping?

Private browsing mode can provide an extra layer of security when accessing websites that require you to enter sensitive information. However, it’s essential to ensure the website you’re using employs secure encryption protocols (look for “https” in the URL) and take additional precautions, such as using a trusted network and keeping your device secure.

5. Can I use private browsing mode to bypass paywalls on news websites?

Private browsing mode may help bypass certain paywalls that rely on cookies or browsing history. However, some websites have alternative methods to track your activity and enforce their paywalls.

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