Private Browsing is a useful feature built-in to Safari in iOS that limits what information is saved and shared as you browse the web. Let’s take a look at how it works.

Here’s how Apple describes Private Browsing:

Private Browsing protects your private information and blocks some websites from tracking your search behavior. Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.

Note: You many notice that some websites won’t function normally when using Private Browsing, so give a try to turning off if you’re running into issues.

Open Safari and tap the   symbol (if you don’t see the icons at the bottom of Safari tap at the bottom of the screen). Tap Private and any Safari windows open in Private Browsing mode will appear. Tap Done if you’d like to browse privately, alternately tap Private again to turn it off and then tap Done.


You can quickly tell if you are using Private Browsing as it will appear with a dark theme instead of white as shown in the third screenshots above and below. Also, the white highlight around Private means it is turned on.

If you turn on Private Browsing and haven’t used it before or don’t have any open windows this is what you’ll see…


Tap the + symbol at the bottom of the screen and start browsing. When you’re finished using Private Browsing, tap the   symbol and tap Private and Done. Your open Safari windows in Private Browsing and regular modes will remain open if you go back and forth between the modes.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to utilize Handoff between your Private Browsing Safari windows and other Apple devices.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author