iPhone Private Browsing in Safari with iOS 15

Safari has received an overhaul with iOS 15, and while there are a number of improvements and changes, some features are no longer where they used to be. Read on to learn how to switch to private browsing on iPhone in Safari with iOS 15.

As a reminder, here is how Apple describes private browsing mode:

Safari won’t remember the pages you’ve visited, your search history, or your autofill information after you close a tab in incognito mode.

Private Browsing in iOS 15 can be a “who moved my cheese?” moment for many users because it’s more buried than in iOS 14 and earlier – unless you know the shortcut.

And beyond what Private Browsing offers, Apple also launched iCloud Private Relay with iOS 15, which is available on iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Switch to iPhone Private Browsing in Safari with iOS 15

Shortcut

  • On your iPhone running iOS 15, open Safari
  • Do a long press the two squares icon in the lower right corner (upper right corner for landscape view)
  • Choose New private tab

Standard

  • In iOS 15, open Safari
  • Tap the two-square icon in the lower right corner (upper right corner if you are using landscape view)
  • Press the “1 Tab” (or “X Tabs”) button
  • Choose Private
  • Press the + icon in the bottom corner
  • You can tell you’re using private browsing when the address/search goes dark
  • Follow the same steps and tap Private again to stop using the feature

Here’s what it looks like on iPhone:

How to use iPhone private browsing in Safari with iOS 15 walkthrough 1 - tap the two square icon, choose "Tab X" button, touch "Private"

Now just tap the + icon. When using light mode in iOS 15 the address/search bar changes from white to gray, and when using dark mode it changes from gray to black when using private browsing on iPhone.

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