How to private browse on iPhone

If you want to browse privately on an iPhone, this is actually fairly straightforward to do.

Using the private browsing feature can give you a little more security and make sure your browsing history doesn’t get saved, as when you use a private browsing tab, you won’t have a search history.

However, it’s not always apparently clear exactly how you can use the private browsing option on an iOS device. So, this is how to browse the web privately on iPhone.

Browse in private on iPhone & iPad

You can use privacy mode, or Incognito mode, when browsing websites in Safari very easily.

All you need to do is press the new private tab option, but hold the button down for two seconds. You should be met with a drop down list that has “private” listed – this is how you open private tabs in Safari.

If you can’t see a private browsing option on your iPhone, it’s likely that you’ve been blocked from using the private browser. To resolve this you can;

  1. Click into Settings.
  2. Go to Screen Time.
  3. Scroll down to Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Click Content Restrictions and remove them.

This will enable private browsing mode on Safari and allow you to start a private browsing session when you open Safari.

What is Safari Private Browsing?

Private mode is called Private Search, also referred to as Incognito mode. And Incognito is a good way to describe it – If you open a private window on your browser, the browser won’t log your activities in your search history.

Safari will not remember your history when your private browsing is enabled, so many users decide to use private browsing when they don’t want their browsing activity to be stored on their device.

Private browsing vs Safari Private browsing mode

Generally there is no difference between Safari private browsing and private browsing in another browser like Google Chrome.

However, the truth is that private browsing may not give you as much security protection as you expect. The Safari Privacy browser has some advantages, but it doesn’t make your visits anonymous.

Private browsing can still be dangerous for anyone who is connected to the Internet when you are entering passwords. For true anonymity, you can look at using a VPN server instead.

How can I set Safari Private Browsing as default?

You can also use Safari Private Searching as your default setting by adjusting your settings in Safari itself – Safari private browsing is not enabled in mobile phones by default, so you need to do this manually.

You can do this by;

  1. First, open up Safari.
  2. Then, click into your Preferences tab.
  3. Click onto the General tab.
  4. You’ll then be able to select Safari opens “A new private window”.

This is worth doing if you are going to use private mode a lot, as it stops you from having separate tab groups.

Though, bear in mind that this can get frustrating if you do look at your browsing history later and you can’t find anything.

Is Safari private browsing safe?

How secure are private searches options? Safari Private browsing gives you more privacy than a standard search.

However, it will not prevent you from other internet threats like hackers and iPhone data leaks.

If you use Safari Private browsing or some another browser private search, you won’t be logged into your account either.

This means that none of your search history will be tracked.


Apple has taken personal data very seriously and is continuously enhancing iOS security every year.

The Safari native browser on the iPhone has undergone extensive redesigns, and one of the best additions has been the ability to use a private tab to avoid having a browsing history.

iPhone users’ privacy has slightly changed, and private browsing on iPhones is pretty much the same as incognito mode of an Android device.

Though it’s not the same as browsing completely privately, it’s often a better choice than opening a normal new tab. So, remember to long press if you want the new private tab option.

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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