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Private Browsing On iPhone: How To Enable & Turn Off Private Browsing Mode On Your iPhone

private browsing on iPhone

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Have you ever wanted to browse the web without leaving a trail of your activity? Maybe you want to read some online content while at work or school, but you don’t want your colleagues or students to know what you’re browsing. Private browsing on iPhone can let you do so. 

With private browsing mode in Safari on your iPhone, no one will be able to track your online activity by checking your ‘history’ or search history. Private browsing mode can prevent websites from storing cookies and autofill information. However, this prevents you from doing things like ‘saving logins’ with your account. 

In this guide, you’ll learn the importance of browsing privately and how to enable and turn off private browsing mode on your iPhone.

Let’s get started.

Can you do private browsing on your iPhone?

Yes, you can do private browsing on your iPhone. iPhone’s native internet browser ‘Safari’ has private browsing features. Private Browsing mode in Safari is the same as Incognito mode on Android or Private Window on Google Chrome.  

It gets you rid of a lot of the tracking Google and Facebook do. 

Why should you do private browsing?

You should browse privately because it secures your privacy by disabling cookies, cache, tracking, etc. 

The logs that get stored when you’re in regular browsing mode potentially contain your passwords, browser search history, and other personal information such as contact details. Private browsing prevents this from happening.

There are certain situations when the chances of your privacy being compromised increase to an extent. That’s when private browsing becomes inevitable.

When should you do private browsing? 

Here are a few instances when you should use “private” mode to your advantage:

When shopping online:

When you pay for purchases online, some websites will request your shipping address or phone number. Entering this information while in regular browsing mode means it’s stored as cookies on your iPhone. If someone happens to have unauthorized access to the servers of the online store – and you allowed the store to create cookies – your personal information can be viewed.  To prevent this, use private browsing when making purchases online — especially if the purchase is a gift or has any other personal details attached.

When using someone else’s phone:

If you’re using someone else’s phone to access websites such as Gmail, Facebook, and other sites where you need to log in your account details, always turn private browsing mode on. It’ll prevent the device from storing your login credentials and other sensitive information. In addition, the owner of the phone won’t be able to see what sites you visited. 

When filling out online forms:

Many websites ask for contact information and other details through online forms. Private browsing prevents this information from being accessible through cookies.

How to enable private browsing mode on your iPhone?

Safari is the default web browser on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. 

A private browsing window is different from a regular one in that it does not store any data whatsoever about your activities. The history of websites visited and downloads made will be deleted when you close the window. That way, no one will know what you’ve been up to online. 

Steps to enable private browsing in latest iOS:

Step 1:

You can open a private browsing window from the home screen by tapping on Safari, and then follow the below steps:

Step 2:

Long press the Tabs button in the bottom right of the Safari window.

Step 3:

Now, you need to choose New Private Tab to begin private browsing in a new tab. When you’re browsing in Private mode, the address bar turns into black instead of grey or white.

Steps to enable private browsing in older iOS:

Step 1:

Launch the Safari browser on your iPhone.

Step 2:

Tap the New Tab button in the bottom right of the screen. A new tab will open.

tap New Tab

Step 3:

You’ll see the Private button in the bottom left of the screen. Tap it to enable Private Browsing. 

tap Private button

Private Browsing Mode means that Safari won’t remember the pages you visited, autofill information, and search history.

How do I turn off private browsing mode in Safari?

Safari’s private browsing mode does exactly what you’d expect it to do: It keeps your browsing history (and activities) private. But sometimes, it goes a little too far. 

Maybe you want to save an article to read later, or maybe you’re just curious about what else is out there. 

If you’re someone who’s a fan of automatic suggestions and rely on the search engine to find interesting content related to your recent searches, you’d want to turn off private browsing. Websites where you watch videos, read articles, or listen to podcasts optimize your experience by suggesting relevant content based on your previous interaction. If you want that, turn off private browsing mode in safari.

Steps to turn off private browsing:

Either way, here’s how to “turn off” Safari’s private browsing mode and get back to normal browsing.

Step 1:

Launch Safari browser on your iPhone. 

Step 2:

Now, tap the Tabs button in the bottom right of the screen (it looks like two overlapping squares in the corner).

tap New Tab

Step 3:

When Private Browsing Mode is enabled on your iPhone, the Private tab is highlighted. Tap on “Private” so that it is no longer highlighted. The address bar will turn to a grey or white background.

Alt-text: tap Private button

With Private Browsing Mode off, Safari tracks cookies save your search history, and stores cache data. This is normal for any web browser. 

Even when your private browsing is on, you can delete cookies, clear cache and search history. 

Wrap up

You have now learned how to enable private browsing in Safari. Going forward, you should keep in mind both the benefits and drawbacks of private browsing — ranging from security features to less convenience like not having to log into social media accounts every time you click on a link. 

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