How to Use Private Browsing in Safari

Private browsing, also known as incognito mode, lets you surf the web without storing your browsing or search history. Here's how to quickly turn private browsing on or off in Safari.

It's worth noting that private browsing won't disguise you from the sites you visit. They could still record your IP address and any information you enter into their sites, such as search terms. Additionally, private browsing won't protect you from web-based malware attacks, so you'll still need to be careful about what you click on whether you're in private or normal browsing mode.

Private browsing mode is helpful when you don't want other users to discover (accidentally or not) the sites you've been looking at. Apple iCloud syncs your browsing history between the Mac and the iPad and iPhone , so if you share devices, you can protect your privacy with private browsing mode. This also comes in handy if you're using a public computer and don't want to leave any AutoFill information behind.

Turn on Private Browsing on the Mac

In OS X, the quickest way to open a new private browsing window is with the keyboard shortcut.

1. Hold down Command+Shift+N. This will open a new window with private browsing enabled. Alternatively, go to File > New Private Window.

2. Search or browse the web as you normally would. The web pages you visit, your search history, and AutoFill information while you use the private browsing window won't be recorded.

3. Close the window when you're done with private browsing.

Note that private browsing is OS X applies only to the private browsing window you have opened. If you open a new window with Command+N or File > New Window, that window will save your search history and other private browsing information.

Turn on Private Browsing in iOS

Safari on the iPad has a private browsing mode as well.

1. Tap the Pages button , which is shaped as two squares in Safari's menu.

2. Tap Private.

3. Tap the Search field to search for a site to visit.

4. Tap Pages then Private again to turn off private browsing mode.

  • How to Pin a Tab in Safari
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How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode

This article explains how to use Safari's Private Browsing mode, which prevents your browsing history from being logged on your Apple devices. It's a useful feature if you're buying gifts online for friends or family, for instance, and you don't want anyone with access to your devices to find out what you're up to.

safari icon blue banner

Using Safari's Private Browsing Mode

Enabling Private Browsing limits Safari in three important ways: It prevents the browser from creating a history of the pages you visit, it stops AutoFill information like website usernames and passwords from being remembered, and any tabs you open won't be stored in iCloud .

Also, for added peace of mind when you browse privately, Safari automatically prevents cross-site tracking , and requests that sites and third-party content providers don't track you as a rule. Additionally, the privacy mode stops sites from modifying any information stored on your iOS device, and deletes cookies when you close the associated tab.

To enable Private Browsing in Safari, follow these steps.

  • Open Safari on your iPhone or iPad , tap the Pages icon (consisting of two squares) to bring up the open tabs view, and then tap the profile icon, centered at the bottom of the screen.

safari

  • When you're done browsing, return to the open tabs view, individually swipe any open tabs to close them if you wish.
  • Tap the profile icon again, then choose your regular profile at the top. Your private browsing session is now cleared from memory.

Clearing Existing Browsing History

When you clear your browsing history on a device running iOS 11 or higher, the same logs are cleared on any other devices signed into your ‌iCloud‌ account. The following methods also clear all cookies and web data on the device you're currently using, although AutoFill information remains unchanged.

The first method outlined below allows you to either limit the clearing of history, cookies and website data to a specific timeframe, or to delete your existing web history altogether.

  • Open Safari and with a tab open, tap the Bookmarks icon (the open book) located at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap the tab at the top of the screen with a clock symbol, and you'll see a history of your browsing activity.
  • To remove instances of recorded visits to specific web pages, swipe leftwards across individual logs in the list and tap the red delete button that appears.
  • To delete the entire browsing history list, tap Clear .
  • Choose the timeframe to clear ( Last hour , Today , Today and yesterday , or All history ), choose the profile or select All Profiles , then tap Clear History .

safari

The second method of wiping your browsing history might be considered the 'nuke' option, since it clears all history, cookies and website data on that device, regardless of when the sites were accessed.

  • Open the Settings app and scroll down to Safari in the list.

settings

And that's it. Note that these built-in Safari features only make you safer from discovery by other people in the same household.

If your privacy concerns extend to a desire for enhanced security and anonymity online, consider subscribing to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers an iOS client or supports OpenVPN ( Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN are two popular options), and using a Tor-powered browser for iOS .

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Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar

This article explains how to use Safari's Private Browsing mode, which prevents your browsing history from being logged on your Apple devices. It's a useful feature if you're buying gifts online for friends or family, for instance, and you don't want anyone with access to your devices to find out what you're up to.

testcard Avatar

I can really use this info, because I’m always “buying gifts”. ;) :cool:

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How to Go Incognito on Mac, iPhone or iPad

Incognito mode — known as Private Browsing in Safari — lets you browse the internet without your computer storing any traces of where you’ve been. Safari won’t log your history or store any cookies from a private browsing session. Learn how to activate Private Browsing in Safari on macOS and iOS, then find out how to enjoy true online privacy with a dedicated secure browser.

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How_to_go_incognito_in_Safari-Hero

While Safari’s Private Browsing (incognito) mode won’t keep you completely anonymous — for example, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and employers can still see what you’re up to — it will keep your activity private if you share your device with other people. 

Usernames, passwords, and other data crumbs aren’t saved on your device when you browse in Private Mode. Read on to learn how to go incognito in Safari on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

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Hamburguer menu icon

How to access incognito mode in Safari on Mac

To open a private browsing window in Safari — that is, to go incognito on Mac — use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + N ( Ctrl + Shift + N on Windows). Or, open Safari, select File in the task bar, and click New Private Window . Find more detailed steps below.

How to go incognito on Mac

Here’s how to enable “incognito mode” on Safari if you’re using a Mac.

With Safari open on your Mac, select File from the top menu bar, and then choose New Private Window . You can also input the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + N .

Opening a Private Browsing window in Safari for macOS

Safari will open a new Private Browsing window. You’ll know that you’re browsing privately based on the black background and Safari's confirmation.

A Private Browsing window in Safari for macOS

Any tabs that you open within this Private Browsing window will function as individual private sessions — Safari won’t share any browsing data between private tabs.

How to always browse privately in Safari for Mac

You can also set Safari to open Private Browsing windows by default. Here’s how:

In the top menu bar, choose Safari , then select Preferences . You can also input the keyboard shortcut Command +, .

Opening the Safari preferences in Safari for macOS

In the General tab, click the Safari opens with menu and choose A new private window . This setting means that Safari will open with a Private Browsing window whenever you start Safari.

Setting Safari to open with a new private window in the Safari preferences for macOS

If you don’t see this option available, here’s what to do:

Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and open your System Preferences .

Opening the System Preferences in macOS

Click General .

Opening the General section of the System Preferences in macOS

Confirm that Close windows when quitting an app is checked.

Configuring macOS to close windows when quitting an app from the General section of the System Preferences

You should now be able to set Safari to open with a Private Browsing window as described above.

How to open a link in a private window

Sometimes you may want to open a link directly in a private window. To do so, right-click on the link and select Open Link in a New Private Window .

Opening a link in a new private window in Safari for macOS

How to turn off incognito mode on Mac

When you’re done browsing privately, simply close the window to exit Private Browsing. Click the little red circle in the top-left corner to disable Private Browsing and go back to normal browsing.

Closing a Private Browsing window in Safari for macOS

If, for whatever reason, you want to keep your Private Browsing window open but browse normally on a new tab, simply switch to a normal browsing window. If you don’t have one currently open, click File , then select New Window . You can also input the keyboard shortcut Command + N .

Opening a new browsing window in Safari for macOS

Why can't I open a private tab on Safari?

When you use private mode, Safari creates a completely new browser session with different settings that prevent any browsing data from being stored. That’s why you need to open a completely new Private Browsing window. It’s not possible to mix private and normal tabs within the same browsing window , since they operate with different settings.

But, you can always run multiple private tabs within the same private window. Simply press Command + T to open a new private tab while you’re in a private window, just like you would in normal browsing mode.

How to access incognito mode on Safari on an iPhone

Opening up Private Browsing or “incognito mode” on an iPhone is just as easy as it is on a Mac, and you’ll enjoy all the same benefits. Safari won’t store any local session data on your iPhone, nor will it sync anything from your private session to iCloud.

Here’s how to activate Safari’s Private Browsing on iPhone.

How to turn on Private Browsing on iPhone

Open Safari on your iPhone and tap the new page icon in the lower-right corner.

Opening a new page in Safari for iOS

Tap Private in the lower-left corner.

Activating Private Browsing mode in Safari for iOS

Tap the + symbol or tap Done to begin browsing in private mode.

Private Browsing Mode in Safari for iOS

You’ll know that you’re in Private Browsing mode because Safari will look darker than it usually does.

A Private Browsing page in Safari for iOS

How to remove Private Browsing on iPhone

To turn off Private Browsing, just repeat the same steps as described in the section directly above on turning on Private Browsing. Except that now, when you open a new page and tap Private , you’ll deactivate Private Browsing. Then tap Done to browse the internet normally.

How to access incognito mode on Safari on an iPad

To activate Private Browsing in Safari for iPad, follow the same steps we went through for Private Browsing on iPhone . The iPad and iPhone both use the iOS operating system, so the steps for using Private Browsing are the same on both devices.

What is Safari’s Private Browsing mode?

Safari was the first major browser to introduce a private browsing mode , adding it all the way back in 2005. Private Browsing in Safari works by creating a temporary browsing session — a session is a single use of your browser, from the time you open it to the time you shut it down.

Safari’s Private Browsing mode creates a completely new session for each private tab — or “new private window” — you open. These temporary private sessions are completely isolated from one another as well as from your primary browsing window. That means:

You won’t be signed in to any of your accounts.

Safari won’t store your browsing or Smart Search history, nor will it log the contents of any forms you’ve filled out.

Session data is wiped — and cookies are cleared — when you close your Private Browsing window.

Private browsing modes conceal your internet activity on a local device level , so there won’t be any record of what you’ve done on your computer. Anyone else using the same device won’t be able to see where you went or what you did while you were there. Safari’s “incognito” mode also means that your activity from your private browsing session won’t be logged to your iCloud account and synced to other devices you use.

For these reasons, private browsing is a convenient way to quickly log in and use a shared computer. You can also use private browsing to log in to the same website with multiple accounts at once — one account in your primary browsing window, and other accounts while browsing privately.

How private is Private Browsing on an iPhone or Mac?

While browsing privately on an iPhone or Mac, your IP address is still visible to any website or service you use, and your internet service provider can still see which websites you’re visiting. The same goes for browsing privately while at school or at work — a private browsing session will still leave your internet activity exposed to your school or employer.

While Private Browsing mode preserves your privacy on your device , it won’t conceal your behavior or protect you against identity theft , help you hide your IP address , or prevent advertisers (or other third-parties) from tracking your activity online. And, crucially, it won’t stop websites from using browser fingerprinting techniques to identify you with a remarkable degree of accuracy. For true privacy online, you’ll want to consider two other options: a secure browser and a VPN.

Secure browsers are web browsers built with specific features to protect your privacy and enhance your security online. Avast Secure Browser features a built-in password manager that lets you securely create and store unique passwords for all your accounts, while the Hack Check feature will alert you if any of your passwords have been exposed or compromised.

Plus, Avast Secure Browser protects you against web tracking by blocking ads, cookies, and other types of online trackers — and it even stymies advanced browser fingerprinting techniques.

VPNs , or virtual private networks , encrypt your internet connection and hide your IP address from websites and services you use. Since a VPN encrypts your traffic all the way from your device itself, your internet activity will remain hidden from anyone on your network as well as from your ISP. Avast Secure Browser for iOS and Android conveniently includes a free, built-in VPN.

What does Private Browsing do?

Do other browsers have an incognito mode?

Though the name might vary from browser to browser, most modern browsers permit private browsing. Like in Safari, private browsing in Firefox is simply called Private Browsing . If you want to browse privately in Google Chrome , you’ll be going Incognito , and Microsoft Edge’s private mode is known as InPrivate . With Avast Secure Browser, you’ll be using Stealth Mode to browse privately.

All of these private browsing modes function the same way: they all let you browse the internet without your browser storing any of the data (history, login credentials, cookies, and so on) from your session.

Private searching vs private browsing: is there a difference?

There’s absolutely a difference between private searching and private browsing . Private browsing affects the data your browser stores on your computer, but it doesn’t have any effect on what other websites do. A private search refers to using a search engine that doesn’t track you online or log any information about your activity.

Compare Google — which tracks your searches unless you change your Google account settings — to DuckDuckGo, a popular alternative search engine that doesn’t track your queries.

Private, secure browsing for Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Avast Secure Browser is a free web browser committed to giving you true privacy and security online. By blocking ads , tracking cookies, and browser fingerprinting, your online activity can’t be monitored and your browsing data can’t be used for targeted advertising.

Powerful anti-phishing technology protects you against malicious websites and downloads that could otherwise steal your personal information or install malware on your device. And with a built-in password manager, webcam protection, an automatically encrypted connection to any website, and even a free mobile VPN , Avast Secure Browser ensures that your personal data remains safe from prying eyes.

Surf the web worry-free with a browser specifically designed by security experts with your privacy and security in mind.

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Download free Avast Secure Browser for Windows to enjoy private, secure, and lightning-fast web browsing.

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Install free Avast Secure Browser for Android to enjoy private, secure, and lightning-fast web browsing.

Install free Avast Secure Browser for iOS to enjoy private, secure, and lightning-fast web browsing.

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Download free Avast Secure Browser for Mac to enjoy private, secure, and lightning-fast web browsing.

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VPNoverview.com Privacy Anonymous Browsing Everything You Need to Know About Safari Private Browsing

Everything You Need to Know About Safari Private Browsing

Chris Bluvshtein

Ever wondered what Safari Private Browsing does exactly? Chances are it might not be giving you the level of online privacy you expect. Safari Private Browsing does have some perks, including:

  • Stopping Safari from remembering the websites you’ve visited
  • Not storing any new usernames, passwords, payments cards, and other information you input into private browsing
  • Forgetting any search engine queries you’ve run
  • Allowing you to save money by avoiding marketing cookies that might inflate prices

However, this is pretty much all the privacy that you’ll get with Safari Private Browsing. This incognito mode  won’t cloak your IP address, encrypt your internet traffic, or make you safe on public Wi-Fi . Private browsing still leaves you pretty exposed to a lot of the risks that come with connecting to the internet.

For true online anonymity, you’ll need to use a VPN to change your IP address . We’re big fans of ExpressVPN, one of the fastest VPNs in the industry.

Below, you’ll find more information on how to use Safari Private Browsing on all your Apple devices, as well as more details on how this incognito mode does and doesn’t protect your privacy.

If you use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, then chances are you’ve encountered Safari Private Browsing before. Whether you’re shopping for a partner’s gift or want to snoop on a long-lost colleague’s LinkedIn, there are many reasons why you might want to use private mode in Safari.

In this article, we answer the question, what is Safari Private Browsing ? We’ll also tell you what this handy tool can’t  do to save you any embarrassment or risk to your online security.

What is Safari Private Browsing?

Use anonymous search engine icon

There’s a little more to this method of browsing than meets the eye, but we’ll go into specifics further down in this article. The point is, for a more private experience, you can use Safari’s incognito mode . You’ll be logged out of all accounts, and Safari won’t autofill user logins, passwords, or payment information. When you turn on private browsing, Safari won’t remember :

  • Your search engine history
  • Webpages you’ve visited
  • Browsing activity or history

You should, however, be aware of a major drawback of this tool on Macs: your browsing activity likely isn’t as hidden as you might think. Websites you visit can still see who you are and what you’re doing . You can read more about this in our general incognito mode article .

With Macs, Private Browsing information is logged in a different place, as well: your Terminal archive.

Beware the Mac Terminal archive

On Macs, there’s something called the Terminal archive , and it’s as scary as it sounds — well, for fans of privacy at least. It’s a treasure trove for snoops. The Terminal archive contains all of the websites you visit , whether you’re using Safari Private Browsing or not. This is because your Mac stores static images and other files when you visit a website for the first time. This makes future visits to these sites and page loading much faster, as your Mac pulls the relevant files from the Terminal archive.

This command-line function also lets you make systemic changes to your Mac . For most users, there’ll never be a need to make any changes in the Terminal archive, and you shouldn’t if you don’t know what you’re doing. You could end up breaking something critical in your computer’s operating system if you tinker with the Terminal.

Screenshot of iOS user interface, Access Terminal app

However, it is good to know that, even when you’re using Safari’s Private Browsing mode, your online activity is logged here.

Make your Safari Private Browsing truly private

By now, you might be asking yourself: how do I clear the cache on my Mac? Well, today’s your lucky day.  Below, you’ll find a brief, step-by-step guide to clearing the cache on a Mac . Just make sure not to do anything else while inside the Terminal.

  • Open “ Finder ,” then search for “ Terminal ” in the search bar.
  • Run the  Terminal  application.
  • Paste the following text into the Terminal and hit enter: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

You may have to enter your Admin password to proceed. This is going to flush the DNS cache.

Remember that you shouldn’t do anything else inside of the Terminal application unless you know what you’re doing. It only takes a short command to nuke files or entire directories in this app forever! So, tread carefully.

Why You Should Use Safari Private Browsing on Macs and iOS

We can hypothesize all we want, but you’ve probably got a good idea of why you  use private browsing. According to a 2018 research study , the most common reason people use private browsing is so others that are using a shared device can’t see what they’re doing. This comes down to protecting two things from other users of your device:

  • Their personal data
  • Their browsing activity

Fortunately, these are two things that Safari Private Mode manages to do wonderfully. Below, you can read more about what else Safari Private Browsing does for you .

Online privacy

Privacy browser icon

  • Your browser won’t remember what websites you’ve visited.  Anything you browse while you’re in private browsing mode won’t be remembered by Safari. So, if you start shopping online for gifts or a product that you find embarrassing, you won’t usually have to worry about your friends or family coming across your browsing history.
  • Safari won’t suggest usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and so   on.  You’ve probably noticed that Safari can remember usernames, passwords, credit cards, and other information when you use it for the first time. If you tell your Mac, smartphone, or tablet to remember those details, they’ll be automatically filled in the next time you visit the website. With Safari Private Mode enabled, these kinds of details won’t be stored: you won’t be prompted to save or autofill them at all.
  • Your search engine queries won’t be remembered . If you’ve been shopping for gifts or trying to self-diagnose, you probably don’t want other users of the computer to see what you’ve searched for . Normally, you’ll see suggested searches popping up in search engines like Google. Based on your past searches and clicks, some links might be colored purple instead of blue, too. In private browsing mode, these won’t appear, nor will any new searches be stored.

How to pay less with Safari Private Browsing

There’s more to private mode options than just online security. You could also save money with Safari Private Browsing, as you won’t be quoted higher prices for products you’ve already viewed. When you visit a website, cookies (small text files) are stored on your computer by your browser.

These kinds of cookies aren’t delicious or rewarding at all. Instead, they allow the site to track you and figure out that you’re interested in, for example, a particular holiday destination. This can result in you seeing higher airfares, hotel booking fees, and more. Just turn on Safari’s Private Browsing to s top cookies from being stored on your browser and avoid hiked prices.

How to Go Incognito on Safari

Incognito mode icon

Safari Private Browsing on a Mac

Using  Safari Private Browsing  on a Mac is simple. If you’re reading this on a Mac, you can skip step one in our step-by-step guide below:

  • Open Safari on your Mac.
  • Click on “ File ” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  • Select “ New Private Window .” This will open a new private tab, but you can open as many private tabs in your tab bar as you need.

Screenshot how to open a New Private Window on Safari

It’s that simple. Now, any new tab you open within this new private browsing window will be a private browsing tab. Give it a whirl by opening some new private tabs and navigating to a website you frequently log into. You’ll notice that your username and password aren’t suggested for autofill as they usually would be .

Also, you’ll know that you’re in private browsing, as the URL bar will have a gray background rather than the usual white. Just remember to ignore or close your existing browser window if you had any open. If in doubt, check the background color of the URL bar.

Finally, to  turn off private browsing in Safari , simply click the red cross in the corner of the browser window as you usually would.

Safari Private Browsing on an iPhone

Using  Safari’s private browsing mode on an iPhone or iPad is fairly straightforward and could increase your privacy on an iPhone . If you’re running  iOS 14 or earlier , simply follow the steps below:

  • Open  Safari on your phone.
  • Tap on the “ Tabs ” button. That’s the two small squares in the bottom-right corner of your Safari window on iPhone.
  • A new option called “Private” should appear.
  • Tap “ Private ” and you’ll be taken to a blank screen confirming that you’re using Private Browsing Mode . You’ll notice that it’s using the same gray color scheme as Safari for Mac.
  • Lastly, click on the small “ + ” (plus) icon to launch a private browsing window.

Screenshots of iOS Access Private Browsing mode

If you’re using  Apple’s latest iPhone update, iOS 15.1.1 , you’ll need to follow a slightly different (and hey, we’ll say it — more confusing) set of steps:

  • Tap on the “ Tabs ” button.
  • Tap where it says “ X Tab(s) ” – this number will reflect the number of windows you have open.
  • Tap “ Private .”
  • Now, you’re in Private Browsing mode and can click the small “ + ” (plus) icon to launch a new private window.

Screenshots of iOS Access Private Browsing mode latest Apple update

Again, turning off private browsing in Safari for iPhones or iPads is simple. Just press the same “ Private ” button that you used to enable the feature. Don’t forget, if you have multiple private tabs open, they won’t close automatically. Swipe each tab closed before you exit private mode if you want to leave no trace.

How to Set Safari Private Browsing as the Default

If you’d rather always browse privately, you can also set Safari Private Browsing as your default, so that it opens automatically whenever you open a new tab or window. Check out the step-by-step instructions below for a Mac :

  • Make sure your active application is Safari, then select “ Safari ” from your Mac’s toolbar at the top of your screen. Click on “ Preferences ” next, which can also be accessed using the keyboard shortcut “ Command ” + “ , ” (that’s Command, plus a comma).
  • Now, you should see the Privacy window for Safari. Click on the “ General ” tab.
  • Next to “Safari opens with”, select “ A new private window ” from the drop-down list.

While you  can’t automatically use Safari Private Browsing by default on mobile , there are some options for minimizing what’s remembered, stored, or recommended. Here’s how you get there:

  • Open the “ Settings ” application.
  • Scroll down until you see “ Safari ” and tap on that option.

Now, you’ll have the choice to use a number of features. You can:

  • Disable search engine suggestions
  • Disable Safari suggestions specifically
  • Turn off autofill for Safari , either for personal information, payment information, or both
  • Disable “ Favorites “, which you can save in your Safari app’s home screen
  • Turn off “ Frequently Visited Sites “, which appear below your favorites

In this menu, you can also  prevent cross-site tracking and  block all cookies on the websites that you visit. In the event that you forget to launch Safari Private Browsing, these options should give you at least a little more privacy whenever you go online.

Is Safari Private Browsing Safe?

Question mark over padlock icon

That last risk is surprisingly common on public Wi-Fi networks  too. Bear in mind that private browsing doesn’t protect you against malware (malicious software) either, nor does it protect your payment information or other personal details . For true online anonymity and to  improve your online security , you should give serious thought to using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) .

How to use a VPN with Safari Private Browsing

Using a VPN along with Safari Private Browsing should give you the online security you’re looking for. In addition to avoiding any logged browsing history or search history , you’ll be much harder to track and enjoy greater online anonymity. You can check out the many advantages of a VPN for more information. Want to get started right away? The following steps will only take a few minutes of your time:

  • Choose a VPN provider and create an account. We recommend checking out our list of the best VPNs if this is new ground for you. Alternatively, ExpressVPN is a market-leading VPN provider that we’re always happy to recommend.
  • Download and install  the VPN software onto your Mac. You can also download ExpressVPN for mobile on your iPhone. Other premium providers like NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark all offer really slick mobile apps for iOS, too.
  • Log into your account , either in the desktop software or the mobile app.
  • Choose a VPN server in a country of your choice. If you’re purely interested in online security, then the location you choose isn’t  too  important (though some will be faster than others). However, if you want to  save money on subscriptions , for example, you should give it some more thought.
  • Connect to the VPN server . When you connect, you’ll be  changing your IP address to mirror the VPN server’s IP. It’s safe, legal ( in most countries ), and best of all, it’ll give you far greater online security than simply using Safari Private Browsing alone.

Safari Private Browsing is perfect for hiding those Christmas or birthday purchases from your family before the big day. It’s also a great way to save money on flights, hotels , or other purchases. However, it won’t do much for your online security. If you want  truly private browsing , then use a VPN along with Safari private mode.

Interested in exploring other private browsers? Check out these articles below:

  • How Anonymous Is DuckDuckGo?
  • Is Vivaldi Browser Safe?
  • How to Set Up Firefox as an Anonymous Browser

Do you want to know how to enable private browsing on Safari? Are you wondering how much privacy Safari Private Browsing actually gives you? You’ll find these answers and more in our frequently asked questions below.

To turn on Private Browsing in Safari for Mac, follow these simple steps:

  • Make sure Safari is the active application that you’re using.
  • Click on  File in the menu bar along the top of the screen.
  • Click on  New Private Window to switch to private browsing mode.

To turn on Private Browsing in Safari for iPhone or iPad, the process is much the same:

  • Open the  Safari application.
  • Tap on the  Tabs icon (the two small squares in the lower-right corner of your screen).
  • Tap on  Private to switch to private browsing.
  • Click on the small  + (plus) icon to open a new private browsing tab.

Check out our full article for more information on Safari Private Browsing.

No. Safari Private Browsing, like any browser’s private mode, won’t protect you against a lot of online threats. Your IP address will still be visible to many third-party individuals and organizations. For example, your ISP will know what websites you’ve visited, and hackers could determine your location using your IP (though some private modes do limit location tracking). For true online privacy and anonymity, you’re safer using a VPN like ExpressVPN .

With Private Browsing, it’s more difficult for websites to track you, since cookies are cleared the moment you close the browser — but it’s not impossible. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider), employer, school, or college could still see your internet history . That is, unless you use a VPN along with the incognito mode.

Yes. The owner of an internet connection can absolutely check up on your browsing session if they have the right technical knowledge. Some routers can be set up to remember all URLs a device accesses. So, if you’re trying to fly under your parents’ radar, for example, they could potentially bust you using the family router, even if you’re exclusively using private browsing modes.

For true anonymity , you’ll want to use a VPN. With a VPN connection, all of your internet traffic is encrypted, which gives you far better anonymity and privacy than using private browsing on its own.

Chris Bluvshtein

Chris Bluvshtein Author

Senior journalist.

Chris is a tech journalist with many years’ experience covering online privacy and cybersecurity. He’s also a published author and works as a Product Manager for some of the most innovative software development companies.

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Hi Chris , I’m finding while using private mode in safari my sound is being cut out and I have not been able to find a way to reconnect it. I use it on a iPad with a vpn and trend anti spam for protection as much as it can in private mode. I have not been able to find any reason as to why this is happening.

Hey Wayne, I've done a bit of digging, and I've found something that might be worth a try. It seems that recent versions of Safari have a built-in feature that can prevent audio from playing when you visit a website; it's enabled by default too. Give this a try and let me know if the issue goes away: 1. Open the Safari menu and click preferences 2. Click on the websites tab 3. Look for the setting: "When visiting other websites", which has a drop-down selection beside it 4. Change this setting so that it allows websites with media to play sound. You can alternatively add individual websites to this list if you'd rather have control over which ones can play sound by default.

Hi Chris Just tried your Terminal Commands, I am running macOS Monterey The Terminal Commands Below are not working dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host dscacheutil -flushcache

You're right. Thank you for pointing it out to us! There is a new terminal command you'll now need instead: "sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder". We've adjusted the article to reflect this. Hope this helps!

Looking for a VPN?

Take a look at our overview of the most trustworthy, fast, and safe VPN services. Extensively tested by our experts.

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How to Turn on Safari Private Browsing on iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Turning on Safari Private Browsing on an iPhone is a simple process. Open the Safari app, tap the tabs button (which looks like two overlapping squares), then tap “Private” to turn on Private Browsing Mode. Now, Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.

After you complete this action, your browsing activity will not be saved in Safari. This means that websites you visit won’t appear in your history, and information entered in forms won’t be saved for AutoFill.

Introduction

In today’s digital age, privacy is a hot commodity. With every click, tap, and scroll, we leave digital footprints that can tell a story about who we are and what we like to do online. That’s why learning how to turn on Safari Private Browsing on your iPhone is essential. Whether you’re entering sensitive information, researching a surprise gift, or simply want to keep your browsing history to yourself, Private Browsing Mode is your go-to feature.

This function is particularly handy for shared devices or when you want to keep your browsing habits under wraps. So, if you’re an iPhone user looking to browse the web without leaving a trace, you’re in the right place. We’ll show you how to enable this feature in just a few easy steps.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Turn on Safari Private Browsing on an iPhone

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve here. By following these simple steps, you’ll enable Private Browsing Mode in Safari, which prevents Safari from keeping track of your browsing history, search records, and AutoFill information.

Step 1: Open the Safari App

Navigate to your iPhone’s home screen and tap on the Safari app to open it.

Opening the Safari app is your gateway to the internet on your iPhone. Make sure you’re connected to the internet before you proceed.

Step 2: Access Your Open Tabs

Look for the tabs button, which resembles two overlapping squares, and tap on it.

This button will show you all your currently open tabs. If you have many tabs open, you may have to swipe left or right to find the “Private” option.

Step 3: Enable Private Browsing

Find the “Private” option at the bottom left of the screen and tap it.

Once you tap “Private,” you’ll notice the color of the browser interface changes, indicating that you’re now in Private Browsing Mode.

Additional Information

Now that you’re all set with Private Browsing Mode on Safari, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, while your browsing activity isn’t saved on your iPhone, your internet service provider or employer can still track it. Also, if you download files while in Private Browsing, they’re saved to your phone and visible in the Downloads folder.

Moreover, not all Safari features are available in this mode; for example, you can’t use Handoff to pass browsing activity between devices. Lastly, remember to close all private tabs before returning to regular browsing to maintain your privacy.

  • Open the Safari app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the tabs button to view your open tabs.
  • Tap “Private” to enter Private Browsing Mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does private browsing hide my activity from my employer or internet service provider.

No, Private Browsing only prevents Safari from saving your browsing data on your iPhone. Your activity can still be tracked by your internet service provider or employer.

Will downloads in Private Browsing show up in my regular downloads folder?

Yes, any files you download while in Private Browsing Mode will be saved to your iPhone and visible in the Downloads folder.

Can I use Handoff with Private Browsing?

No, Handoff does not work with Private Browsing tabs, as your browsing activity isn’t saved.

Can websites track me while I’m using Private Browsing?

Some websites may still track your activity using cookies during your Private Browsing session, but they will not be saved once you close the tabs.

How do I turn off Private Browsing?

To exit Private Browsing Mode, open the tabs view, tap “Private” again, and it will switch back to regular browsing.

Turning on Safari Private Browsing on your iPhone is a surefire way to maintain your online privacy. Whether it’s to shop for a surprise, handle sensitive work, or simply because you value your digital privacy, navigating this feature is a breeze. Just remember that while Private Browsing protects your data on your device, it doesn’t make you invisible online. Always exercise caution and use additional privacy tools if needed. Happy private browsing!

Matthew Burleigh Solve Your Tech

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.

His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.

Read his full bio here.

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[ULTIMATE GUIDE] Everything About Private Browsing in Safari and How to Browse Privately on Mac/iPhone/iPad

Quick Navigation

  • Part 1: How to Activate Private Browsing in Safari on Mac
  • Part 2: How to Deactivate Private Browsing Mode in Safari Mac?
  • Part 3: Clear Safari Private Browsing History in One-Click- Macube Cleaner
  • Part 4: How to Enable Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone/iPad
  • Part 5: How to Remove Private Browsing Mode in Safari on iPhone/iPad

Whether you are surfing the internet using a friend’s device or not, the private browsing mode on Safari will save you the stress of wiping your browsing data, such as search history, cookies, and caches, all of which slows down browsing speed and also exposes your online privacy. The private browsing mode lets you navigate the internet with minimal tracking.

However, mind you, for you to use this browsing mode, you have to activate it from your Safari browser, since it's not the default browsing mode. There are several ways to go about this depending on the Apple device you are using. We will discuss this here in this post as we look at how to browse privately on Safari. Keep reading.

What Is Private Browsing?

Private browsing is a feature tucked into many browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and more, to protect your online privacy. The feature is designed to help you conceal your browsing data so that whatever browser you are using doesn't have anything about your browsing session. It offers a great way to minimize tracking.

Why should you use private browsing in Safari Mac?

Private browsing mode comes in handy when you want to surf the internet using Safari on Mac for the following reasons:

  • Privacy Protection

When you activate the private browsing mode on your Safari browser, your browsing data is hidden. No one can track or know which website you visited. Also, your browsing preference is completely safe, since cookies and cached are completely disabled I'm private browsing.

  • Improved Browsing Speed  

Private browsing improves your browsing speed, thereby enhancing your browsing experience. You might be wondering how possible. Well, browsing search history, caches, and cookies take up little browsing storage which slows down the operations of a web browser.

Part 1. How to Activate Private Browsing in Safari on Mac

Having discussed the importance/reasons for using private browsing, let's explore how to activate the feature in Safari Mac. Check out the detailed guide down here to get this done:

How to start a private browsing session in Safari

Step 1: Go to the bottom of your Mac home screen and click on the Safari icon in the dock panel to launch the corresponding browser screen.

Step 2: At the upper left corner of the page that appears, locate the File button, and click on it. You should get a flyout menu without several options in response to your click. Select New Private Window to proceed.

New Private Window | Private Browsing

Alternatively, you can hold down Shift + Command + N on your keyboard to open a private browsing screen.

Step 3: The next screen that appears is the private browsing page. You will notice a dark Smart Search field on the page just as seen below:

private browsing page | Private Browsing

This signifies that you are using incognito or private browsing mode on Safari.

How to open a private tab in Safari

If you are looking to browse multiple private browsing screens, you may have to launch several tabs to ease and hasten your activity. A simple way to do this on your Safari browser is given below:

Step 1: Once you get on the private browsing screen, locate and click on the + icon in the toolbar section. Alternatively, you can press down Command + T .

Step 2: Once done, a new private browsing tab will open. Use the step 1 procedure as many times as you like to launch as many private tabs as you like.  

tips

  • If you are just opening Safari and you haven't activated the private browsing mode, all screens that open when you use the Command + T (or click the + icon in the toolbar section) buttons are in normal browsing mode. Your data will be recorded in this mode.

Steps to always browse privately in Safari

For folks that want to go incognito or private browsing mode permanently, use this instructional guide to achieve this:

Step 1: Run the Safari browser on your Mac computer by clicking on the corresponding button in the dock panel.

Step 2: Next, click on the Safari button at the topmost left corner of the browser page and select Settings from the options. If you don't want to use this approach, you can hold down the Command + ,  buttons to open the Preference window. Here's what the Preference window looks like:

Preference window | Private Browsing

Step 2: Click on the General tab, then head to where you have Safari opens with  and click the drop-down menu beside it. Select A new private window .

Step 3: Close the window and start using the Safari private browsing mode to surf the internet anytime any day.

Part 2. How to Deactivate Private Browsing Mode in Safari Mac?

No longer interested in the private browsing mode in Safari Mac? You can deactivate private browsing easily and quickly using the steps down here:

Step 1: Close the current private browsing page by tapping the  Red icon situated at the upper left corner of the Safari page, or use the Command + W to get the same result.

Step 2: Next, launch the Safari browser again and head to where you have the File icon. Click on the corresponding button, then choose New Window to use the regular window for your internet activities.

  • The guide above works best when you haven't configured Safari to browse privately permanently. However, if you’ve done that, kindly follow these instructions down here:
  • 1. Run Safari and click on the Safari button at the top left corner of the page that comes up.
  • 2. Click Settings and navigate to the General tab.
  • 3. Now select A new window from the flyout menu beside Safari opens with .

Part 3. Clear Safari Private Browsing History in One-Click- Macube Cleaner

Safari private browsing isn’t completely safe to use, as the browser still reveals some crucial info about you. The Safari private mode stores your IP address, plus download history in its database. If you want to be completely anonymous (safe), you need to install a privacy protection tool that offers top-notch services.

There are several tools you can count on, but we recommend the Macube Cleaner - a multipurpose software program dedicated to offering five star privacy protection services to end-users. This software protects online privacy by simply clearing your browsing data on web browsers such as Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

Macube Cleaner powers one of the best cleaning algorithms that clears your entire Mac to optimize its operations within the shortest time frame. With the simplified interface layout and impressive features tucked into this software, Mac users can quickly create over 500+ GB of memory space with just a few clicks.  

Free Download Free Download

Key Features

  • 1-click to clear your Safari private and regular browsing mode without compromising users’ data.
  • The fastest Mac cleanup suite with a fast speed to scan and delete unwanted files or data.
  • Simplified user interface with easy-to-grasp features you can count on to help you clean up your Mac and optimize the operations.
  • Supports over 5+ cleaning modes, such as duplicate finder, uninstaller, large and old files cleaner, file shredder, and many more.
  • Macube Cleaner is highly secured, so it's safe to use.

Steps to Clear Safari Private Browsing History

With the simple guide below, you can clear your private browsing history in the Safari browser on your Mac using Macube Cleaner:

Step 1:  Download and install Macube on your Mac computer. Load the software, and click on the Privacy  icon on the left sidebar. (I revised it)

Macube on your Mac | Private Browsing

Once done, tap the blue Scan  button to proceed.

Step 2:  Next, the Macube Cleaner will run a quick check on your Mac computer, scanning the Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers. When the scanning is over, the software will display the browsing data for each web browser on the left sidebar, just as seen below:

Macube on your Mac2 | Private Browsing

Step 3:  Select the Safari browser, and the corresponding browsing data, including search history, downloads, cookies, and caches, will come up on the right hand panel. Select the browsing history to delete by ticking the box beside the URL link.

Once this is finished, click Clean  and Macube Cleaner will proceed to clear your private browsing history.

Part 4. How to Enable Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone/iPad

If you don't own a Mac computer but have another Apple device like iPhone or iPad, you can also activate the private browsing mode on Safari. The procedure to follow is super easy, and quick.

Once you enable private browsing on Safari, your browsing data is safe and Apple can't track your web activity. Also, no data from your private browsing session will sync to Cloud. This means none of your iCloud-connected devices would have your browsing history.

Choose any of the guides that correspond with your iDevice to enable private browsing on it:

  • Click on the Safari browser button on your Home Screen and the page shown below will pop up:

Home Screen | Private Browsing

  • Next, click the Tabs button located at the bottom right corner of the page. Once done, this page will be displayed on your iPhone screen:

Home Screen2 | Private Browsing

  • Click on the [Number] Tabs to launch the window labeled Tab Groups , just as seen below:

Home Screen3 | Private Browsing

  • Now click Private and select Done to activate private browsing mode on your Safari browser.

Alternatively,

  • You can just hold down the Tabs button at the bottom right corner of your Safari browser page.
  • Select Private or New Private Tab  and the private browser window will come up.
  • Mind you, the private browsing window will display a black or dark search field instead of white.

browsing window | Private Browsing

  • On your iPad Home Screen, find the Safari browser icon and click on it.
  • Next, hold down the Tabs button, which is situated in the top right corner of the Safari browser page.

browsing window2 | Private Browsing

  • Choose New Private Tab  to switch from regular mode to private browsing mode.

browsing window3 | Private Browsing

  • Once done, the search field will turn black as opposed to the white color shown when you are using the regular mode.

Part 5. How to Remove Private Browsing Mode in Safari on iPhone/iPad

You can always exit the private browsing mode in Safari on your iPhone or iPad. Here's how to do this for the different iDevices:

  • While you are on the Safari browser page, click on the Tabs button.
  • Next, hit the Private drop-down menu at the center of the page to access Tab Groups .
  • Now click on the [Numbers] Tab  to activate regular browsing mode.

drop-down menu | Private Browsing

  • On the Safari browser page, locate the Tabs button at the top right corner. Click the button to proceed.

drop-down menu2 | Private Browsing

  • Next, hit the Private drop-down icon and you get the response window down here:

drop-down menu3 | Private Browsing

  • Now choose the [Number] Tabs and Safari will exit private browsing mode immediately.

Private browsing on Safari a secure way to protect your online privacy while surfing the internet on any Apple device, whether iPhone, iPad or even the Mac computer system. When you activate the function, your browsing data remain hidden. However, mind you, this function doesn’t keep you anonymous completely.

For instance, downloaded files are trackable, as Safari private browsing doesn’t hide them. Also, your IP can be tracked while using the Safari private mode. If you want to remain anonymous, then you need to install the Macube Cleaner to come to your rescue. The software helps you clear your entire browsing session, both in regular and private browsing mode. You should try the software out today!

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How-To Geek

How to enable private browsing on any web browser.

Private browsing has been around in one form or another since 2005, but it took some time for every browser to get behind it.

Quick Links

Google chrome: open incognito mode, mozilla firefox: open a private browsing window, internet explorer: open an inprivate browsing window, microsoft edge: open an inprivate browsing window, safari: open a private browsing window.

Private browsing has been around in one form or another since 2005, but it took some time for every browser to get behind it. Now, no matter what browser you use, you can surf the internet without leaving behind a local trail of history, passwords, cookies, and other assorted bits of information.

Private browsing is useful for covering your tracks (or rather, preventing any tracks from being made in the first place), among other things .  It isn't infallible , however, and while it will prevent information from being stored on your computer, it won't prevent your employer, Internet service provider, websites you visit, or the NSA for that matter, from collecting any information you transmit beyond your computer.

Every browser has their own name for private browsing, and while accessing it is accomplished in practically the same way, there can be subtle differences from product to product.

Related: How Private Browsing Works, and Why It Doesn't Offer Complete Privacy

Google Chrome remains the most used browser on the market, and calls its private browsing mode "Incognito Mode".

On Windows and Mac

You can spawn an incognito window by clicking the special menu in the top-right corner of the browser window. On Windows, it will be three line and on macOS, it will be three dots. Then, choose "New Incognito Window". (You can also access this option from the File menu on a Mac.)

Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+N on Windows or Command+Shift+N on a Mac.

Incognito mode is unmistakable: just look for the man-in-a-hat icon in the upper left-hand corner. On a Mac, this will be in the upper-right corner. (On some systems running the newest version of Chrome, the window will also be dark grey.)

Keep in mind that even while in Incognito mode, you will still be able to bookmark sites and download files. Your extensions, however, will not work unless you've marked them "Allowed in Incognito" on Chrome's extensions settings page.

To exit incognito mode, simply close the window.

On Android and iOS

If you use Chrome on a mobile device such as an Android phone, iPhone, or iPad, you can tap the three dots in the upper-right corner of the browser window and select "New incognito tab" from the dropdown menu.

The browser will then tell you that you've gone incognito with all the requisite warnings as to what that means.

To close out of incognito, tap the box with the number in it (indicating how many tabs you have open) and go back to a non-private tab, or simply close the incognito tab(s).

Firefox simply calls their mode "Private Browsing". Like Chrome, it can be accessed from the menu in the upper-right corner. Just click "New Private Window". (You can also access this option from the File menu on a Mac.)

Your private window will have a purple band across the top of the window and an icon in the upper-right corner.

From this window, you can also turn tracking protection on or off. Tracking protection is intended to guard you from being tracked across multiple websites. The problem is, any website can simply ignore this request and track you anyway--so while tracking protection can't hurt, it may not help either.

To exit private browsing, simply close the window.

While its popularity is on the wane, Internet Explorer is still used by quite a few people. To access its private browsing mode, called InPrivate Browsing, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner then Safety > InPrivate Browsing, or simply press Ctrl+Shift+P on your keyboard.

IE will indicate it's in InPrivate mode from the blue box next to the location bar, which also bears the label "InPrivate".

When InPrivate is enabled, not only will your browsing history be ignored, but toolbars and extensions will be disabled.

To exit InPrivate browsing, close the window.

Edge is Microsoft's new browser that comes included with Windows 10. Like IE, it retains the InPrivate nomenclature to designate when a private browsing window is open. To open a new InPrivate window, use the menu from the upper-right corner or press Ctrl+Shift+P on your keyboard.

Once open, the entire browser window will be grey and each tab will say "InPrivate".

Once you're done with InPrivate mode, close the tab or window to exit and return to regular browsing mode.

Safari is the original purveyor of private browsing and as such, will also let you surf in a private window just like the others.

The Private Window option is accessible from the File menu or by pressing Shift+Command+N on your keyboard.

While private browsing is enabled, the location bar will be greyed out and a band along the top of the new tab window will indicate that you're in private browsing mode.

Extensions in Safari will continue to operate while in private mode, unlike Chrome and Internet Explorer.

To exit this mode, as usual simply close the window.

Finally, if you're using an iPhone or iPad and surfing with Safari, then you can use private mode on it as well. To do so, first tap the new tab icon in the lower-right corner of the new tab screen.

Now, tap "Private" in the lower-left corner.

Once activated, the browser screen will turn grey and will tell you that you're in private browsing mode.

To exit, simply tap the "Done" button in the lower-right corner of the screen.

As you can see, every browser has more or less the same procedure for going into private browsing mode, and most operate in the same way (with a few occasional differences). Additionally, you can expect to hide similar types of information from prying eyes when using browsing mode.

And remember, private browsing is useful for more than just privacy . It also allows you to log into the same site from different accounts. Say for instance you're logged into your Facebook account and your friend wants to check their real quickly, simply open a private window and let them at it.

You can also use private browsing to troubleshoot potentially problem extensions. Imagine something isn't acting right, is it your computer or is it a problem extension? Since private mode typically disables all extensions and toolbars, you can use it to see if the problem is replicated, if it is isn't, then you have a pretty good idea where to start.

How To Open A Private Browser On IPhone

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  • Software & Applications
  • Browsers & Extensions

how-to-open-a-private-browser-on-iphone

Introduction

Opening a private browser on your iPhone can be a valuable practice to safeguard your online privacy. When you browse the internet in private mode, your device doesn't store your browsing history, cookies, or other data. This means that once you close the private browsing window, your session is effectively erased, leaving no trace of your online activity on the device.

In this article, we'll explore the step-by-step process of opening a private browser on your iPhone using Safari, the default web browser for iOS devices. By following these simple instructions, you can enjoy a secure and discreet browsing experience, free from the worry of leaving behind a digital footprint.

Whether you're researching a surprise gift for a loved one, accessing sensitive information, or simply seeking a more confidential online experience, utilizing the private browsing feature on your iPhone can provide peace of mind and ensure that your digital activities remain private.

Now, let's delve into the specific steps to open a private browser on your iPhone using Safari, empowering you to take control of your online privacy and security.

Step 1: Open Safari

To initiate the process of opening a private browser on your iPhone, the first step is to launch the Safari web browser. Safari is the default browser on iOS devices, offering a user-friendly interface and a range of features to enhance your browsing experience.

Begin by locating the Safari app icon on your iPhone's home screen. The icon typically features a compass rose design and is easily recognizable among your other applications. Once you have identified the Safari icon, tap on it to open the browser.

Upon launching Safari, you will be greeted by the browser's home screen, which serves as the gateway to the vast expanse of the internet. From here, you can access your favorite websites, conduct searches, and explore a multitude of online content.

As Safari opens, you will notice the familiar address bar at the top of the screen, allowing you to enter website addresses or search terms directly. This intuitive feature enables seamless navigation to your desired online destinations, ensuring that you can swiftly access the information or services you seek.

With Safari now open on your iPhone, you are poised to embark on the next steps toward activating the private browsing mode. This initial stage sets the foundation for a secure and discreet browsing experience, laying the groundwork for the subsequent actions that will enable you to safeguard your online privacy effectively.

By mastering the art of launching Safari with ease, you are well on your way to unlocking the full potential of your iPhone's browsing capabilities. With the browser at your fingertips, you can harness the power of the internet while maintaining control over your digital footprint, ensuring that your online activities remain private and secure.

Now that you have successfully opened Safari on your iPhone, let's proceed to the next step in the process of accessing the private browsing feature, empowering you to browse the web with enhanced privacy and peace of mind.

Step 2: Tap on the Tabs button

After successfully launching Safari on your iPhone, the next crucial step in accessing the private browsing feature involves tapping on the Tabs button. This action serves as the gateway to a range of browsing options, including the ability to open a new private browsing window and commence your discreet online exploration.

Located at the bottom-right corner of the Safari interface, the Tabs button is represented by a square icon containing multiple overlapping rectangles. This distinctive symbol signifies the tab management functionality within Safari, allowing users to navigate between open tabs, create new tabs, and, most importantly, initiate private browsing sessions.

Upon identifying the Tabs button, tap on it to reveal the array of tabs currently open in your Safari browser. This action presents a visual overview of your active browsing sessions, enabling seamless navigation between different webpages and the flexibility to manage your browsing activities effectively.

As you tap on the Tabs button, the interface will transition to display the open tabs in a visually intuitive manner, often presenting miniature previews of the respective webpages. This visual representation offers a convenient means of identifying and selecting the tab that aligns with your browsing intentions, ensuring that you can effortlessly navigate between different online destinations.

With the Tabs interface now visible on your screen, you are poised to proceed to the subsequent step in the process of activating private browsing on your iPhone. This pivotal stage sets the stage for leveraging the full spectrum of browsing capabilities offered by Safari, empowering you to tailor your browsing experience to align with your privacy preferences and security requirements.

By tapping on the Tabs button within Safari, you are harnessing the power to manage your browsing sessions with ease, facilitating seamless transitions between different webpages and unlocking the potential to initiate private browsing sessions at your discretion. This intuitive functionality underscores the user-centric design of Safari, prioritizing accessibility and user empowerment in navigating the digital realm.

As you navigate through the Tabs interface, you are one step closer to embarking on a private browsing session, enabling you to explore the internet with enhanced privacy and discretion. With the Tabs button serving as your gateway to a multitude of browsing options, including the coveted private browsing feature, you are well-positioned to take control of your online privacy and security, ensuring that your digital activities remain confidential and discreet.

With the pivotal action of tapping on the Tabs button now accomplished, you are ready to progress to the subsequent steps in the process of activating private browsing on your iPhone, setting the stage for a secure and confidential online experience tailored to your individual preferences and privacy considerations.

Step 3: Select "Private"

Having tapped on the Tabs button within Safari, you are now primed to delve into the pivotal action of selecting "Private" to initiate a discreet and secure browsing session on your iPhone. This fundamental step serves as the gateway to unlocking the private browsing feature, empowering you to navigate the digital realm with enhanced privacy and peace of mind.

Upon tapping the Tabs button, you will be presented with a visual representation of your active browsing sessions, typically displayed in the form of miniature previews of the respective webpages. At the bottom of this interface, you will notice the option to create a new tab, often depicted by a "+" symbol. Adjacent to this, you will find the "Private" button, which holds the key to accessing the coveted private browsing mode.

To proceed with activating private browsing, tap on the "Private" button, signaling your intent to commence a browsing session that prioritizes privacy and discretion. This action triggers the initiation of a new private browsing window, distinct from your regular browsing sessions, and ensures that your online activities within this window remain confidential and do not leave a trace on your device.

As you select "Private," Safari seamlessly transitions to the private browsing mode, visually distinguishing the private browsing window from your regular browsing tabs. This visual cue serves as a reminder that you are now navigating the internet in a secure and discreet manner, shielded from the retention of browsing history, cookies, and other data that could compromise your privacy.

By choosing "Private," you are harnessing the power to tailor your browsing experience to align with your privacy preferences, ensuring that your digital activities remain confidential and discreet. Whether you are conducting sensitive research, accessing personal accounts, or simply seeking a more private online experience, the private browsing mode offers a valuable layer of protection for your digital footprint.

With the selection of "Private" now accomplished, you have successfully activated the private browsing mode on your iPhone, setting the stage for a secure and confidential online experience tailored to your individual preferences and privacy considerations. This pivotal action empowers you to navigate the digital landscape with enhanced privacy and peace of mind, ensuring that your online activities remain shielded from prying eyes and digital footprints.

As you proceed to the final step in the process of accessing the private browsing feature, you are poised to embark on a discreet and secure browsing session, free from the worry of leaving behind a digital trail. With the private browsing mode now activated, you are well-equipped to explore the internet with confidence, knowing that your digital activities remain private and secure.

Step 4: Start browsing privately

With the private browsing mode successfully activated on your iPhone, you are now poised to embark on a discreet and secure browsing session, shielded from the retention of browsing history, cookies, and other data that could compromise your privacy. This pivotal step marks the commencement of a browsing experience tailored to prioritize privacy and discretion, ensuring that your digital activities remain confidential and do not leave a trace on your device.

As you enter the private browsing window within Safari, you will notice a distinct visual indicator, often depicted by a dark interface or a prominent banner, signifying that you are now navigating the internet in a secure and discreet manner. This visual cue serves as a constant reminder that your online activities within this window are shielded from prying eyes and digital footprints, offering a valuable layer of protection for your digital privacy.

With the private browsing mode now in effect, you are free to explore the internet with confidence, knowing that your online activities remain private and secure. Whether you are conducting sensitive research, accessing personal accounts, or simply seeking a more private online experience, the private browsing mode empowers you to navigate the digital landscape with enhanced privacy and peace of mind.

As you commence your browsing activities within the private browsing window, you can explore a multitude of online content, conduct searches, and access websites with the assurance that your digital footprint remains discreet. This discreet browsing session ensures that once you close the private browsing window, your session is effectively erased, leaving no trace of your online activity on the device.

By leveraging the private browsing feature on your iPhone, you are taking proactive steps to safeguard your online privacy and security, ensuring that your digital activities remain confidential and discreet. This user-centric functionality within Safari empowers you to tailor your browsing experience to align with your privacy preferences, offering a valuable tool to navigate the internet with enhanced privacy and peace of mind.

As you navigate through the private browsing window, you are harnessing the power to explore the internet with confidence, knowing that your digital activities remain shielded from prying eyes and digital footprints. This discreet browsing experience underscores the user-centric design of Safari, prioritizing accessibility and user empowerment in navigating the digital realm.

With the private browsing mode now in effect, you are well-equipped to embark on a secure and confidential online experience, free from the worry of leaving behind a digital trail. This discreet browsing session empowers you to explore the internet with confidence, knowing that your digital activities remain private and secure, ensuring a browsing experience tailored to prioritize privacy and discretion.

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From Visual Look Up to Safari Private Tabs: Hidden iOS 17 Features Make My iPhone Much Better

You can use your iPhone to easily decode the laundry symbols on your clothing tags -- and that's just one of the hidden features you'll find on iOS 17.

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There's more to iOS 17 than meets the eye.

I've been using  iOS 17 since it was released last September, bringing several big new features to the iPhone, like  contact posters , live voicemail and StandBy mode . But I'm still finding useful and interesting features that make using my iPhone a little better.

Like every mobile software release, iOS 17 has hidden features and settings that can be just as useful as the better known and popular features -- and ones you might end up using every single day on your iPhone too.

Read more:   What to Know About Apple's iOS 17.2.1 iPhone Update

If you want to take a deep dive into what your iPhone has to offer, read on to check out seven hidden features I discovered while using iOS 17. For more, check out all the new features on iOS 17.2 and what you need to know before you preorder Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset .

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

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Use Visual Look Up to figure out laundry codes

You grab a shirt and look at the tag. It's filled with symbols that are supposed to help you figure out how to wash this specific article of clothing -- maybe it can only be washed in cold water, or it might require a dry cleaning. Unfortunately, you might not know how to read these laundry symbols. But your iPhone can.

With iOS 17, you can now use the Visual Look Up feature, which can identify words and objects in your photos, to decipher what these laundry codes say. All you have to do is take a clear photo of your laundry symbols, go into the Photos app, find the image of the laundry symbols, swipe up and tap on Look Up Laundry Care . The results will show you what each of the recognized laundry symbols mean.

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Each laundry symbol has a link to a suggested website where you can learn more about what it means.

Automatically delete verification codes sent to you via text or email

Every time you sign in to an application that uses two-factor authentication, or 2FA, you'll first need to get a text message or email verification code sent to you. You might have hundreds of these verification codes littered in your text messages or email, and though you can delete these codes one by one, there's now an easier way to clean house, thanks to iOS 17.

In Settings > Passwords > Password Options , you can now toggle on a new Clean Up Automatically setting so that verification codes in the Messages and Mail applications are automatically deleted after being used with the autofill feature that appears at the top of your keyboard.

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The text message or email with the verification will disappear shortly after you use autofill.

Lock your private tabs in Safari

Private Browsing in Safari allows you to surf the web without your details, like browsing history and cookies, being saved. However, if you have tabs open in Private Browsing, these tabs don't automatically go away when you're done with your private browsing sessions. Instead, they live in Safari unless you close them, which means that if anyone gets access to your phone, they could potentially see what you've been browsing in private.

Thanks to iOS 17 though, you can now place a lock on the Private Browsing section of Safari. In the Settings app, go to Safari , scroll down and toggle on Require Face ID to Unlock Private Browsing . Now, when you go to Safari, you must use Face ID or type in your passcode to access Private Browsing in Safari.

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You can unlock Private Browsing in Safari with Face ID, Touch ID or your device passcode.

Use Apple Maps offline to navigate

You might be surprised to learn this, but you've never been able to use Apple Maps offline. Instead, you'd have to be connected to the internet, which is useless if you need to find your way back home when you're out in the wilderness or in an area with no connection. In iOS 17, you can finally download an offline map to grab directions even when you don't have service.

In Maps, tap your profile photo in the top right of the navigation window and go into Offline Maps. Depending on where you drive most, you may see a suggested map to download, along with the size of the map, in case you don't have much storage. You can also just hit Download New Map , type a city, manually adjust the map if needed and download it to your iPhone. 

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Updates to the map are downloaded automatically.

Crop your photos using the zoom feature in Photos

Cropping a screenshot or picture in the Photos app is a relatively easy process, but Apple has made it even easier with iOS 17. 

Now, when you're viewing a photo and you zoom in on it, a new Crop button will appear in the top-right. This will automatically take you into edit mode and allow you to then adjust the crop even more, or you can simply hit Done to finish the crop. You must act quick though, as the crop button appears for only a few seconds after you zoom in to a photo.

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You can further adjust the crop before hitting Done .

Use Crossfade for smoother transitions in Music app

If you're in charge of playing music at a friend's party or in the car, you now have the option to use a cross-fade effect between songs in Apple Music on iOS 17.

In the Settings app, go to Music and toggle on Crossfade . Once the setting is enabled, you can choose how long you want the cross-fade to be: Choose between one second and 12 seconds, in second intervals. If you choose five seconds, for example, the next song in the playlist/album will begin to slowly play in the background five seconds before the current song ends.

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The default crossfade is four seconds long.

Interact with certain widgets on your home screen

The widgets that live on your home screen are no longer there just for looks. Apple has brought interactive widgets to the iPhone, allowing you to control applications from your home screen, much like you would from the control center.

For now, the number of interactive widgets is limited, but if you want to add one to your home screen, press down on an empty space on your home screen to enter edit mode, tap the plus sign in the top right, and scroll through the list of widgets. A few interactive widgets available include Podcast, Home, Notes and Music.

For example, in Music you can play or pause music, while in Home, you can turn any connected devices off and on, such as a smart light bulb or a thermostat.

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In the Home widget, you can turn connected accessories on and off.

For more, check out the best iPhone deals in 2024 and how you can give your iPhone a physical keyboard .

Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work

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How to delete your Safari history on Mac, iPhone, or iPad

Posted: January 14, 2024 | Last updated: January 15, 2024

  • Clearing your Safari history removes cookies and reduces online tracking.
  • The process for deleting web history is different for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
  • You can use Private Browsing Mode to prevent web history from being saved.

From accessing your bank account on a shared computer to Googling embarrassing queries, there are a number of reasons to want to clear out your search history. Deleting your history on Safari removes your trail of web browsing, but the process also does more than clear out potentially embarrassing websites.

Clearing your history will also remove associated cookies from the web browser, reducing the number of ways you are being tracked online. While clearing your web history only removes cookies from Safari and not third-party websites that already have your data, it can still be helpful to reduce online tracking. Clearing the related cache can also sometimes fix bugs.

Deleting a web history from Safari isn't a terribly complicated process, but the steps are a bit different if you are using a MacBook , iPad , or iPhone . The steps for clearing several web pages and a single website are also different. Some privacy settings can also prevent you from deleting any web history, leaving the buttons you need grayed out.

How to close all Safari tabs on iPhone at the same time

There are also a few tricks that can make the process simpler. For example, if you turn on iCloud for Safari, when you delete the history from your Mac, it will automatically be deleted from your phone and tablet too. If you know you want to delete your web history before you make a single click, you can use Private Browsing Mode instead.

Whether you are a murder mystery writer looking to eliminate search queries that would raise the eyebrows of any detective, or you want to reduce the number of cookies tracking you, this guide will tell you how to delete Safari history in a few simple steps.

How to delete Safari history on a Mac

Safari allows you to delete a lot of web history from a Mac or MacBook at once by allowing you to choose the dates for which you would like to erase. If you want to clear websites from the last hour, last day, last two days or all of your web history, this is the process to use.

  • Open Safari
  • From the top toolbar, click on History , then click Clear History.
  • In the pop-up window, use the drop-down menu to select the time period you want to clear from your history.
  • Click Clear History .

How to delete Safari history on an iPhone or iPad

The steps for clearing out your Safari history on an iPhone is quite different from using a Safari browser on a Mac. But, the process is the same across both iPhones and iPads, so these steps below work for both your phone and tablet.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select Safari.
  • Scroll down to the Privacy & Security section and select Clear History and Website Data.
  • On the next page, tap the time frame that you would like to delete the history for.
  • Optional: If you also want to close out of all open websites, tap the toggle for Close All Tabs.
  • Tap Clear History.

How to delete a single website from Safari history

Safari allows you to easily delete websites from the last hour, day, two days, or your entire web history easily. But, if you only want to remove a single website, you'll instead have to access your history, and then select the individual page to remove.

  • Open a Safari browser.
  • From the top toolbar, select History > Show All History. Or, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Y.
  • Select the website entry that you wish to delete. If that site was not visited today, you will need to tap on the date that you visited the website to find it or use the search bar at the top.
  • Right-click on the website entry and select delete.

On an iPhone or iPad:

  • Tap the Bookmark icon on the bottom (it looks like an open book).
  • Tap the Clock or History icon at the top of the page.
  • Locate the website that you wish to delete from your history -- your history is organized by the date you visited.
  • On the website you wish to delete, swipe left, then tap on the red trash icon.

How to use Bing Chat on Safari

How to use private mode in safari.

If you know that you'll want to delete the website that you are about to visit from your history, try using Private Browsing Mode instead. This mode does not save any website history, including search history and autofill information. That means you can do your online banking without going back and deleting your web history when you are done.

To use Private Browsing Mode on a Mac:

  • Open Safari.
  • On the top toolbar, go to File > New Private Window.
  • Use this new private window for browsing. You can quickly see if a Safari browser is Private because the field to type in the URL is dark gray instead of white.

To use Private Browsing Mode on iOS:

  • Tap the tab icon in the bottom left corner.
  • At the bottom of the screen, tap Private (swipe to see all the toppings in this toolbar if you do not see the Private option.)
  • Private browsing will have a dark gray URL field instead of white. To return to regular browsing, repeat the steps but this time swipe back to your open tabs.

How to use picture-in-picture mode in Safari on Mac

How to instantly clear your web history from multiple devices.

With iCloud , Safari can save your web browsing across all the devices that you use with your Apple ID. While that's helpful for quickly recalling a website no matter what device you first opened it with, it also syncs any deletions to the web history across your devices . That means if you delete a web page from your history on a Mac, it will automatically be deleted from your iPhone too -- as long as both devices are logged into the same Apple ID and iCloud for Safari is enabled.

iCloud for Safari can be enabled during the setup process for a new device, but it can also be turned on and off from the Settings app:

  • Tap on your Apple ID or name at the top.
  • Tap on iCloud.
  • Under Apps Using iCloud, select Show All . (If you are running iOS 15 or earlier, you may not see the full list already instead of the Show All option, in which case you can jump to the next step.)
  • Toggle on Safari from the list.

Why can't I clear my Safari history?

In some cases, the buttons that you need to tap to clear your Safari history are gray. But why can't you delete your Safari history, and how do you fix it? Here are a few common reasons why the Safari history options are grayed out:

  • You've already deleted your history and there are no more websites to clear out.
  • Web content restrictions are turned on. Some parental control settings prevent kids and teens from deleting their web history, while other content restrictions can also prevent you from deleting. To access the content restriction options, open the Settings app and go to Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  • You are using Private Browsing Mode. This mode does not save your web history, so you have nothing to delete.

14 Safari tips and tricks you absolutely need to know

Can you permanently delete safari history.

Deleting your Safari history makes it difficult for the average person to recover the past websites that you have visited. However, if you are connected to your work or school network, in some cases the network administrator can still see your website access. Deleting your website history also may not fool a trained digital forensics expert during an investigation.

How to delete your Safari history on Mac, iPhone, or iPad

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Private Browser: Web Browser 17+

Fast & secure proxy browser, unicorn vpn llc.

  • 3.3 • 4 Ratings
  • Offers In-App Purchases

Screenshots

Description.

Browse like a ghost! Our Private Browser offers ghost-like invisibility, ultimate privacy, and secure, limitless web browsing. Say hello to Private Browser, a completely secure web browser for your Mac that guarantees total privacy and anonymity. Once you start using Private Browser, you will not be able to switch to any other browser - yes, it is that good. What makes us stand out is the top-level security we provide, along with unrestricted internet browsing. Private Browser gives you completely private and encrypted access to the internet; plus, it comes with a super ad blocker, private proxy, and Tor browser with 1000s of global server locations, accelerated speeds, and so much more! You can use Private Browser on your Mac to browse and stream your favorite content but with added privacy. This means you can enjoy worry-free access to Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, adult content, various news sites, and social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram plus online gaming, Roblox, and more! Replace your current browser with Private Browser - the privacy setting in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari does not make you completely anonymous, which means anyone can monitor your internet activity and browsing history – your school or employer, your internet service provider, or spies on a public Wi-Fi connection. At Private Browser, we spent hours refining the browser's interface and eliminating unnecessary annoyances. Its proxy service provides solid privacy against prying eyes. Not only that, but we've also included several practical features and tools that make the app simple and effecient. Private Browser Features: - Encrypts web browser data before transmission for an added layer of protection - Enjoy access to your favorite content - Quick switch between Private Proxy, Tor, and Native mode - 1000 plus global servers worldwide for unlimited, fast private browsing - Customizable private browser settings, including privacy options, ad block choices, history clearing, and search engine selection (including Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and Bing) - Quick examination of the connection's security level - Super Ad Block stops ads, ad trackers, and ad analytics for an ironclad ad blocker - Acceleration to give you faster speeds when you surf the web - Easy switch between dark and reader mode You will genuinely enjoy using Private Browser, so without any delay, download the browser and get started on your journey of secure browsing. If you have suggestions, or feedback (or compliment), we are reachable at [email protected]. Privacy Policy: http://ghostprivatebrowser.com/privacy-policy/ Terms of Use: http://ghostprivatebrowser.com/terms-of-use/ SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: - Payment will be charged to the iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase. - Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24 hours before the end of the current period. - The account will be charged for renewal within 24 hours before the end of the current period, and the renewal cost will be identified. - Subscriptions may be managed by the user, and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user's Account Settings after purchase. - Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription to that publication, where applicable.

Version 3.998

Enhance your privacy with Private Browser's latest update. We have polished our browser's performance, making it more efficient and responsive. It is designed to offer optimized performance and ease of use. Update and enjoy

Ratings and Reviews

This rocks.

It knocks out ads, private IP address, no data and videos galore

Developer Response ,

Thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review us. Your recognition means a lot to us and motivates us to keep going. Looking forward to continue serving your privacy needs. Feel free to reach out to us anytime at [email protected] for all your queries/feedbacks.

Piece of Crap, Stay Away

I am operating a business and the privacy you tout for my amusement is only a half a wit away from exposure. The computers are one thing, the artificial intelligence chip is another, you have to engage both and ensure that life on the otherside of favor is a consequential in getting me where I need to go to bring people together. I wasn't able to get on a zoom call. That is crazy. I couldn't get past your security feature within your browser controlled entity that claims PRIVACY. I am someone who doesn't read specs fully, give me what I need fast. If I get a hiccup after several security attempts then I am frustrated, bothered and annoyed as heck. However, if you want to continue this relationship within 7 days before I cancel you for good. Get me past the robots...I am a real person with a real client waiting for my great expertise in graphic design.
We are sorry you faced an issue with the app. Please get in touch with us via support at [email protected] and we will help address your issue.
Suprising, my initlial and somewhat crticical review of thie product and limitations thereof has been deleted. I'll keep this one simple. There are other more effective options available at a much more aggressive price point with the capability of SOCKS5 connection. This product is extremely limited in that it will only sevure browser traffic -- a limitation that fails to justify the cost.
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to review us and for sharing your experience. We are however sorry that we did not meet your expectations. Can you please get in touch with us via support at [email protected] and let us know what we can do better? It will be much appreciated.

App Privacy

The developer, Unicorn VPN LLC , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

Information

  • Weekly Browser Subscription $8.99
  • Monthly Browser Subscription $37.99
  • Weekly Subscription $5.99
  • Yearly: Private Browser $149.99
  • Monthly: Private Browser $29.99
  • Yearly: Private Browser $299.99
  • Developer Website
  • App Support
  • Privacy Policy

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Best Android browsers in 2024

These are the best Android browsers to try out on your smartphone

best android browsers

The best Android browsers allow you to customize your web-browsing experience on mobile just like how Android lets you fine-tune the look and feel of your home screen.

Even though we still think Google Chrome is the best Android browser for most people, other browsers place a greater emphasis on speed, privacy or readability and some even offer their own VPN -like proxy services. Just like with Chrome though, many of the Android browsers on this list can sync with their desktop counterparts. This way, you can access your history, saved passwords or even send tabs you've opened on your computer over to your smartphone.

Whatever your needs and preferences, there’s likely an ideal Android browser for you among the best Android browsers we’ve tested and used on the best Android phones .

The best Android browsers you can download today

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

If you're happy living in the Google ecosystem and believe you've benefited from the company knowing everything about your online life, then it's hard to justify avoiding the default browser on most Android devices. 

Syncing between mobile and desktop editions of Chrome is helpful, giving you the option to access passwords you've stored in Chrome (provided you don't use one of the best password managers , that is). As the dominant browser on the market, Chrome is also the most reliable option, as every web developer considers Google's browser when building a website.

Chrome offers extensive additional features such as secure storage for payment methods, a "Lite" data-saver mode, automatic translation of dozens of languages, a malicious-ad blocker, a pop-up blocker and the ability to group tabs.

This doesn't quite match the abundance of features that you can get with Firefox or Opera, but Chrome definitely ticks most of the mission-critical boxes. The search giant's browser even has the ability to detect when you're using a compromised password as well as enhanced safe browsing.

If you want a glimpse at what's coming soon to Chrome, or you want to test out some features that may never make it to the main Chrome browser, there are three additional Chrome apps starting with Chrome Beta , then Chrome Dev and finally, Chrome Canary . 

Each step further into experimental territory is trading in a bit of reliability, so you will likely want to turn to the traditional Chrome browser for vital tasks. But it's fun to try out upcoming features currently working their way through Chrome's development cycle. 

And if you've been using Chrome for a while, you may want to check out our guide on how to speed up Chrome on Android .

Opera is another mobile browser with a desktop counterpart that boasts all the benefits for users of both versions. 

Opera stands out from the rest of the best Android browsers with a data-saver mode that compresses videos as well as standard web pages. As a result, pages load faster thanks to the reduced data, and if you don't have one of the best unlimited data plans , you won't burn through your monthly data allotment as quickly.

Opera also offers a built-in free VPN -like feature that gives you a virtual IP address, although notably, you can't use both the VPN feature and data-saver mode in tandem. (Technically, the "VPN" is a proxy service for the Opera browser app only. To encrypt other apps' communications, you'll need one of the best Android VPN apps .) It also now blocks web trackers.

Even with its many features, Opera was one of the fastest browsers that I tested, with only Chrome consistently outperforming it. One slight frustration with Opera is its convoluted interface: You may be distracted by the menus at both the top and bottom of the screen.

Opera also offers a few variants of its browser. Opera Mini is focused on the data-saving side of things, while Opera Touch is geared toward a one-handed browsing experience.

As with Google Chrome, there's a strong incentive to carry over Firefox to your Android phone if that's the browser in which you do the majority of your desktop browsing. 

Your passwords, history and bookmarks will sync if you create a Firefox account and sign into it on all your devices, and if you spend a lot of time on one tab on your desktop, Firefox on Android will highlight it for you on your phone.

For better or for worse, you can customize Firefox to an astounding degree, with different themes and extensions that can tweak just about every aspect of the browser. 

If you are the sort of person who wants to decide how the tabs display in your browser, what color everything should be and exactly which features you want accessible, then Firefox is for you. If that sounds like a nightmare, however, you should look elsewhere, as even a basic setup of Firefox warrants some tweaking.

Firefox fans who are particularly security-conscious should take a look at Firefox Focus . It drops some of the functionality of its elder sibling in favor of privacy protection. 

A Firefox update brought over the Firefox Focus feature to always open links in a private tab. Alternatively, there are more experimental versions of Firefox, Firefox for Android Beta and Firefox Nightly for Developers . There's also a separate app for a VPN run by Firefox parent company Mozilla , although the VPN costs $5 a month.

Speaking of that Firefox update, the browser now has a dark mode and a grid view for open tabs. The URL bar has been moved down to the bottom of the screen, which Firefox did to accommodate larger phones. (You can move the bar back to the top if you prefer.) A new Collections feature lets you organize and save tabs, which should help with research projects.  

4. DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

DuckDuckGo, built around the DuckDuckGo search engine and based on Chromium (like Chrome and Brave), doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of the rest of the best Android browsers. 

Yet it makes up for this lack of features with its singular focus on keeping your activities private. A button to the right of the address/search bar will wipe all your tabs and browsing history at any moment with a tap.

DuckDuckGo also eliminates any ad-trackers that may be trying to follow you around the web and automatically will default to the highest encryption available on the site you are visiting. It even gives each site you visit a "privacy grade" ranging from A to F.

While the browser itself isn't reporting any of your activity back to the DuckDuckGo search engine, this protection still falls far short of a VPN. If you are looking to keep your activity secure from even your carrier or the Wi-Fi network you are connected to, then you will need a separate VPN app for that purpose. (You can check out our list of the best VPN services if you're looking for a VPN.)

DuckDuckGo doesn't offer any way to set up a DuckDuckGo account, so you won't be able to sync across devices but that's kind of the point of this privacy-minded service. However, it does now offer a desktop browser for those that want the same experience on both their phone and computer.

5. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has delivered a compelling Chromium-based browser in the second version of Edge. The Android version has undergone a snazzy revamp to match the desktop browser (although you can customize its look and feel), and it's a decent option that syncs up with your Microsoft account.

Microsoft Edge has finally added extension support, and it also offers several extras that are extension-based in other apps, such as an ad blocker, translation services, password manager, tracking blocker, price checker, voice search and something called NewsGuard. That latter feature assesses news websites based on their “journalistic standards of credibility and transparency.”

Sadly, Edge has killed its reading-list feature, which delivered the full-page version of an article rather than an abbreviated or text-only version of an article. 

Unlike the desktop version of Edge, the mobile browser lets you swap out the default search engine easily, so you can use Google instead of Bing in your Microsoft browser if you want to — but we've found that Bing works pretty well too.

The Vivaldi desktop browser, developed by the original Opera team, offers extensive customization options, but its Android counterpart is more focused on delivering unique features. 

Vivaldi’s Speed Dial is your main view, which is a visually appealing and easy-to-use quick launcher for bookmarks. 

When conducting online research, you may appreciate the built-in rich text Notes tab, the native full-page screen capture, the Clone tab option that pulls up a duplicate of your current tab to avoid losing it, and the translation tool that can handles web pages in 108 languages. There's even a QR code reader to take you to websites without having to open a dedicated barcode-reading app, a fun built-in 2D shooting game, and a way to adjust the width of your tabs.

Regardless of your default search engine, you can do a quick switch to another search tool — eight popular options are supported — by just clicking in the address bar. The search icons will appear below; tap on one to use it.

Vivaldi’s overall performance was quick, though I would often see the placeholder for an image or whitespace for a video or ad as I scrolled, even a minute or more after I loaded a longer article. 

I appreciate this preference for delivering the text as quickly as possible, but waiting until I scroll to load the rest of the page's content is taking this too far and ultimately a worse experience.

While it lacks extension support or more powerful ad-blocking features found in some of the other best Android browsers, Vivaldi offers a compelling feature set that I hope to see its developers continue to build upon. 

Since I last tested the browser, an update has added support for custom ad-blocking lists, and you can now move the address and tab bars to the bottom of your screen if that's how you roll.

7. Brave Browser

Brave was one of the first browsers to offer a built-in mobile ad blocker, which is left on by default. The Chromium-based browser provides users with the ability to pay websites for their content using the company’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) system, and Brave's own privacy-minded search engine is now the default.

I found that that only a few sites that I read regularly were registered with Brave's BAT tokens, but this will obviously vary greatly from user to user. There’s no official list of Brave publishers, but a small checkmark appears on the Brave logo in the upper-right corner of the browser when you are on a supported site.

The browser itself covers all of the basics and adds a couple of nice touches, such as the ability to set different preferred search engines on standard versus private tabs and some fairly granular privacy settings. There aren't many options to customize the look or feel beyond turning on a dark theme or moving the address bar to the bottom of the screen, but Brave does let you group tabs.

There are other features that cater to privacy, including forcing secure HTTPS connections when possible, blocking cookies and browser fingerprinting, and even blocking JavaScript, which will cripple many websites. However, the option to easily use the Tor anonymizing protocol hasn't carried over from the desktop version of Brave.

As far as browsing goes, the initial load times on Brave are comparable to our other top options, which is odd given that Brave strips out ads and trackers which should in theory be slow components to load. 

Despite the claimed “estimated time saved” on the home screen for the app, I found no perceptible advantage even on sites with extensive ads and trackers.

If you use the Brave desktop browser, you’ll no doubt enjoy the Android version as well, as it will sync over your content and carries over your Brave Rewards. (In fact, a recent update looked to bolster Brave's syncing features.) 

As a standalone option, though, there’s little to recommend Brave over the other best Android browsers higher on this list.

How to choose the best Android browser for you

For most people, the best Android browser will be the one that comes pre-installed on their phones. If you have no problems with Google Chrome when surfing the web on your smartphone, you should probably keep using it and not really worry about having to find another option.

However, if you don’t use Chrome on your desktop or laptop, you may find it more useful to switch to the mobile version of the browser you do use. Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera,Brave and Vivaldi all have Android versions and they’re worth checking out if any one of them is your preferred desktop browser.

You’ll also want to consider privacy and ad-blocking features when deciding between the best Android browsers. Many of the mainstream browsers offer some version of these features but for an extra layer of privacy, you may want to turn to a browser that specializes in keeping your online activity safe from prying eyes.

Don't forget to check out our other guides on the best Android apps , the best ad blockers and the best Android antivirus apps. 

How we test Android browsers

We conducted our initial browser testing using a Pixel 3 running Android 9 Pie, though your experience won’t differ all that much from phone to phone. During our testing, we looked at more than half a dozen browsers and focused on ones that are regularly updated.

We also periodically go back and check the browsers we’ve reviewed for new features to ensure that the experience hasn’t significantly changed with subsequent android updates.

Our testing process involves using each browser as our primary way to surf the web on one of the best Android smartphones until we get an overall impression of current features and user experience.

We also test loading speeds and see how well each of the browsers on this list handles websites that aren’t suited to mobile devices like those for banks or local restaurants. At the same time, we also visit websites that feature a lot of ads to see how each browser performs when it comes to stopping pop-up ads . 

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Anthony Spadafora

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

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Turn Private Browsing on or off on your iPhone

With Private Browsing, Safari won't remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information. Private Browsing also blocks known trackers, removes tracking used to identify individual users from URLs, and adds protections against advanced fingerprinting techniques.

How to turn on Private Browsing

While Private Browsing is on, the Safari address bar appears black or dark instead of white or gray.

Open Safari on your iPhone.

No alt supplied for Image

Swipe to the Private tab group button, then tap the tab that you want to open.

An iPhone showing the Safari app with the Private tab group selected.

For additional privacy, you can choose to lock Private Browsing when you're not using it. When you lock your device, your private tabs in Safari will also lock. Then, when you unlock your device again, just unlock Private Browsing with Touch ID, Face ID, or your device passcode.

Learn more about locking Private Browsing tabs

In iOS 16 or earlier

Tap [number] Tabs or Start Page to show the Tab Groups list.

Tap Private, then tap Done.

How to turn off Private Browsing

While Private Browsing is off, the Safari address bar appears white or gray.

An iPhone showing the Safari app in a Private Browsing tab with the Tabs button magnified.

Swipe to the [number] Tabs tab group button, then tap the tab that you want to open.

An iPhone showing the Safari app with the Tabs tab group selected.

Tap Private to show the Tab Groups list.

Tap [number] Tabs, then tap Done.

Learn how to use Private Browsing on your iPad .

how to private browser safari

Contact Apple Support

Need help? Save time by starting your support request online and we'll connect you to an expert.

IMAGES

  1. Private browsing in Safari: All you need to know

    how to private browser safari

  2. How to Use Safari Private Browsing on iPhone or iPad

    how to private browser safari

  3. How to enable and use private browsing in Safari for iOS

    how to private browser safari

  4. How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode and Delete Your Browsing

    how to private browser safari

  5. How to use Private Browsing with Safari on iPhone and iPad

    how to private browser safari

  6. How to Use Safari Private Browsing on iPhone or iPad

    how to private browser safari

VIDEO

  1. You use Safari browser?! Do this now. #shorts #applesafari #macbookpro #macios

  2. 3 tips -Safari Browser #iphonetips #safaribrowser

  3. How to Customize Your Safari Browser on an iPhone(Add Favourite, Folder, and Manage Home Screen)

  4. How to Turn On Private Browsing Mode on Safari

  5. safari browser

  6. Private browsing safari IOS 17 #shorts

COMMENTS

  1. Turn Private Browsing on or off on your iPhone

    Open Safari on your iPhone. Tap the Tabs button. Swipe to the Private tab group button, then tap the tab that you want to open. For additional privacy, you can choose to lock Private Browsing when you're not using it. When you lock your device, your private tabs in Safari will also lock.

  2. Use Private Browsing in Safari on Mac

    In the Safari app on your Mac, choose File > New Private Window, or switch to a private window that's already open. A private window has a dark Smart Search field with white text. When you use a private window:

  3. Browse privately in Safari on iPhone

    Table of Contents Browse privately in Safari on iPhone You can view the Privacy Report and adjust settings in the Safari app to keep your browsing activities private, and help protect yourself from malicious websites. Visit sites privately

  4. How to Use Safari Private Browsing on an iPhone or iPad

    Tap on the plus (+) button at the bottom of the screen to open a new Private window. From there, you can type in any address you want in the bar at the top or navigate by tapping on your favorites. In Private mode, you can use Safari as you usual, but it won't keep a local record of what you're doing.

  5. How to Use Private Browsing in Safari

    Hold down Command+Shift+N. This will open a new window with private browsing enabled. Alternatively, go to File > New Private Window. 2. Search or browse the web as you normally would. The...

  6. How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode

    To enable Private Browsing in Safari, follow these steps. Open Safari on your iPhone or iPad, tap the Pages icon (consisting of two squares) to bring up the open tabs view, and then tap the ...

  7. How to use Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone

    When you use Private Browsing, Safari won't remember your search history, the pages you visit, or your AutoFill information. Private Browsing also blocks som...

  8. 4 Ways to Open a Private Safari Tab on iPhone and iPad

    A quick way to open a private tab in Safari is to use the "Pages" button on the bottom toolbar on your iPhone. Fire up Safari. Long-press or hard-press the "Pages" button (cascading squares icon). Select the "New Private Tab" option with a hand icon next to it from the menu that pops up.

  9. How to use Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

    Open Safari on your iPhone. Tap and hold the Tabs button. Tap [number] Tabs in the pop-up menu. You may also exit out of incognito mode in Safari on iOS 17 by completing these steps: Open Safari on your iPhone. Tap the Tabs button. Tap [number] Tabs or Start Page to show the Tab Groups list. Tap Private, then tap Done.

  10. Private Mode On Safari

    You can also use a keyboard shortcut: Shift + Command + N. If you want to always have the Private mode turned on, you can try these steps: Open the Safari app and click on Preferences . Click on General . Click on the Safari opens with a pop-up option. Click on A New Private Window .

  11. How to Always Start Safari in Private Browsing Mode on a Mac

    In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click "Safari" and select "Preferences." In the Preferences pop-up window, make sure you're on the General tab. Look for the option called "Safari Opens With:" located beside a drop-down menu. Click on the drop-down menu and select "A New Private Window" from the list of options.

  12. How to Go Incognito in Safari on Mac, iPhone, or iPad

    To open a private browsing window in Safari — that is, to go incognito on Mac — use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + N ( Ctrl + Shift + N on Windows). Or, open Safari, select File in the task bar, and click New Private Window. Find more detailed steps below.

  13. Turn Private Browsing on or off on your iPad

    Open Safari on your iPad. Touch and hold the Tabs button . Tap New Private Tab . While Private Browsing is on, the Safari address bar appears black or dark instead of white or gray, and the buttons are black instead of blue. How to turn off Private Browsing Tap the Tabs button . Tap Private to show the Tabs Groups list.

  14. iOS 17 Safari makes private browsing more secure

    1. Go to Safari settings (Image: © Future) Launch the Settings app, and scroll down until you find Safari. (It's in the block of settings that contain the other built-in iOS apps.) Tap...

  15. Everything You Need to Know About Safari Private Browsing

    Visit ExpressVPN Below, you'll find more information on how to use Safari Private Browsing on all your Apple devices, as well as more details on how this incognito mode does and doesn't protect your privacy. If you use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, then chances are you've encountered Safari Private Browsing before.

  16. How to Open Private Browser Window in Safari [Tutorial]

    How to Open Private Browser Window in Safari [Tutorial]When you use Private Browsing windows, the details of your browsing aren't saved, and the websites you...

  17. How To Open Private Browser On Safari iPhone

    Introduction Welcome to the world of private browsing on Safari for iPhone! Whether you're concerned about your online privacy or just want to keep your browsing history confidential, using the private browsing feature on Safari can provide you with a safe and secure browsing experience.

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    Step 3: Enable Private Browsing. Find the "Private" option at the bottom left of the screen and tap it. Once you tap "Private," you'll notice the color of the browser interface changes, indicating that you're now in Private Browsing Mode.

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    Part 3. Clear Safari Private Browsing History in One-Click- Macube Cleaner . Safari private browsing isn't completely safe to use, as the browser still reveals some crucial info about you. The Safari private mode stores your IP address, plus download history in its database.

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    How to stop sharing Safari private browsing restrictions on other Apple devices. Luckily, when it comes to Apple products and services, the UI is simple to understand and follow. When it comes to disabling private browsing restrictions for your other Apple devices, it literally takes a click of a button. Delve back into Screen Time and, with ...

  21. How to Enable Private Browsing on Any Web Browser

    Read More. Quick Links Google Chrome: Open Incognito Mode Mozilla Firefox: Open a Private Browsing Window Internet Explorer: Open an InPrivate Browsing Window Microsoft Edge: Open an InPrivate Browsing Window Safari: Open a Private Browsing Window

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    On Mac, you can lock all private windows manually: From the Safari menu bar, choose Window > Lock All Private Windows. Private windows don't lock if you haven't loaded a web page. Private windows don't lock if you're playing audio or video. Published Date: November 15, 2023 Helpful? Explore Apple Support Community

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    Step 2: Tap on the Tabs button. After successfully launching Safari on your iPhone, the next crucial step in accessing the private browsing feature involves tapping on the Tabs button. This action serves as the gateway to a range of browsing options, including the ability to open a new private browsing window and commence your discreet online ...

  24. From Visual Look Up to Safari Private Tabs: Hidden iOS 17 ...

    Thanks to iOS 17 though, you can now place a lock on the Private Browsing section of Safari. In the Settings app, go to Safari, scroll down and toggle on Require Face ID to Unlock Private Browsing ...

  25. How to delete your Safari history on Mac, iPhone, or iPad

    On a Mac: Open a Safari browser. From the top toolbar, select History > Show All History. Or, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Y.; Select the website entry that you wish to delete.

  26. Private Browser: Web Browser 17+

    Replace your current browser with Private Browser - the privacy setting in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari does not make you completely anonymous, which means anyone can monitor your internet activity and browsing history - your school or employer, your internet service provider, or spies on a public Wi-Fi connection.

  27. Best Android browsers in 2024

    View. 7. Brave Browser. View. (Image credit: Tom's Guide) The best Android browsers allow you to customize your web-browsing experience on mobile just like how Android lets you fine-tune the look ...

  28. Turn Private Browsing on or off on your iPhone

    Open Safari on your iPhone. Tap the Tabs button. Swipe to the Private tab group button, then tap the tab that you want to open. For additional privacy, you can choose to lock Private Browsing when you're not using it. When you lock your device, your private tabs in Safari will also lock.

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