The Safari web browser on your iPhone has a private browsing option very similar to the one you’ll find in other browsers you use on your laptop or desktop computer.
This private browsing mode will allow you to visit web pages without storing any cookies, history or site data in the browser.
But if you have not used this option on your iPhone before, you may not know how to access it.
To start a private browsing session in Safari on your iPhone, you need to open Safari, tap on the Tabs icon, select the Tabs drop-down menu, and then select Private.
How to enter a private browsing session in Safari on iPhone
- Open Safari.
- Click the “Tabs” button.
- Click the dropdown menu at the bottom of the screen.
- select private.
Our guide continues below with more information on how to enable private browsing on iPhone 13, including pictures of the steps.
Related: If you want to clear Safari history and cookies, you can read our article on clearing iPhone cookies here.
The private browsing feature that you will find in most modern web browsers is very useful, especially if you need to log into multiple accounts on the same site.
In addition to this functionality, it is also useful to be able to visit web pages and not view them in Views as you would in normal browsing, or to keep these pages in your history.
But if you haven’t used private browsing in Safari on your iPhone before, you may not know how to start a private browsing session.
Fortunately, Safari makes it easy to switch between normal and private browsing modes. We’ll show you how to do that with pictures in the next section of this article.
How to create a private browsing tab on iPhone 13
The steps in this section were performed on an iPhone 13 running iOS 16.3.1. This will also work on other iPhone 13 models such as:
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 mini
As well as other iPhone models using iOS 16.
Step 1: Find the Safari icon on the home screen, tap on it and open the browser.
Step 2: Tap on the tabs icon at the bottom of the screen.
It looks like two overlapping squares.
Step 3: Select the dropdown menu at the bottom of the screen called X Tabs, where X is the number of open tabs.
Step 4: Select the “Private” option to switch to private browsing.
You can then click the + symbol to create a new personal tab and go to a webpage or enter a search term.
Note that you’ll need to close these tabs when you’re done if you don’t want others to be able to see your personal browsing tabs. You can close a tab by clicking the x in the upper right corner of the tabs page.
Now that you know how to enable private browsing on iPhone 13, you will be able to switch between these different browsing modes as needed.
More information about Private Browsing on iPhone Safari
If you are unable to start a private browsing session on your iPhone, it is likely related to the Screen Time feature. You will need to go to Settings > Screen Duration and either turn it off completely or turn off the Content Restrictions option within that menu.
Most of the other popular web browsers that you use on your iPhone have their own browsing mode.
In the Chrome app for iPhone, it’s called Incognito Mode, and you access it by opening Chrome, clicking the Tabs button, and then selecting the Incognito tab at the top of the screen, which looks like a hat and glasses.
In the Firefox app for iPhone, you can use private browsing by opening Firefox, selecting the Tabs button at the bottom of the screen, and then selecting the mask icon at the top of the screen to switch to private browsing.
In the Microsoft Edge app for iPhone, you can open a private browsing tab by opening the Edge app, tapping the Tabs icon, and then selecting the InPrivate option at the top of the screen.
Note that just like in Safari, you’ll need to close these tabs when you return to normal browsing mode, or the tabs will remain open the next time you return to private browsing mode.