Safari on iOS, like most of Apple’s native platforms, is extremely simple to use. But that doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in functionality — in fact, Safari is surprisingly powerful once you get the hang of it. Part of Safari’s capabilities include all of the hidden tricks or features baked into it. Even if you’ve been using Safari on iOS for a while, you may not know some of these hidden tips and tricks for the mobile browser. Continue reading to learn about 10 features Safari is hiding on your iPhone.
Close All Tabs
You may or may not be the type that keeps hundreds of tabs open in their web browsers (no judgment). Suffice to say, it’s extremely monotonous to try and close all of these tabs.
But Safari has a hidden trick that can save you from having to spend 10 minutes swiping those tabs away.
- Just press and hold on the Tab icon in the bottom-right.
- You should see a submenu pop up with the option to Close All Tabs.
Remotely Close Your Tabs
Leave an embarrassing website open on your Mac or iPad? As long as you’re using Safari across your Apple products with the same iCloud account, you can remotely close those tabs from another iDevice.
- Just go to the Tab view in Safari and scroll down.
- At the bottom, you should see a list of tabs open on your other iCloud-connected devices.
- Just swipe left on any tab and tap the red Close icon. It should then exit out of that tab on your other device.
Find the Tab You’re Looking for
Speaking of having hundreds of tabs open, if that’s the case, it can be pretty tricky to find the exact one you’re looking for. Luckily, Safari has a built-in feature that can help.
- Just go to the Tab view on the browser.
- Then, scroll all the way up.
- Once you hit the top, you’ll see a search bar appear. This will search all of your open tabs for a specific key phrase.
Delete Tabs Using Search
This extremely hidden but handy tip is related to the previous one. Basically, you can use Safari’s tab search bar to filter out certain webpages — and quickly close them with a single tap.
- Just search for a particular phrase with that search bar.
- Then, tap and hold on the Cancel button next to the search field.
- You should see an option open to close any tabs that have the corresponding search phrase.
Find Text on a Page
Most Mac users are probably aware of the wonders of Command + F. The handy search function allows you to quickly pinpoint a specific phrase in the text of a website.
While there’s no Command key in Safari on iOS, there is a similar capability.
- With a webpage open, just type something in using the top search/URL bar.
- Then, scroll down and tap on the On This Page option.
Use and Tweak the Reader Mode
Reading text content on a crowded and cluttered webpage isn’t always the most pleasant experience. Luckily, Safari has a built-in “Reader” mode that can make reading online much simpler and less busy.
- To activate the Reader mode, just tap the four-line icon in the upper-left of the search bar.
- You can also tweak the font size and the background color to something that’s a lot easier on the eyes.
Note that Reader Mode isn't available on every website.
Handoff with Continuity
In addition to remotely closing tabs, you can also easily pick up where you left off on multiple devices with Apple’s Handoff Continuity feature. That allows you to continue reading an article on your iPhone that you started on your Mac, for example.
As long as both devices are relatively new and the software is up-to-date, Handoff should be available.
- macOS: With Safari open on iOS, just look for the Safari icon on the left side of your macOS dock and click it.
- iOS: Hit the Tabs button in Safari and scroll down to find all of your Mac's open tabs.
Make 'Apps' out of Websites
This is a fairly old trick for Safari, but it could be incredibly useful for privacy-conscious users or those or who don’t want social media apps using up a bunch of battery life. Basically, you can create a shortcut to a website in Safari.
- Just tap the Share sheet at the bottom of the display.
- Then, scroll over and click on Add to Home Screen. This will create an app icon that will automatically bring you to that website in Safari when you tap on it. (Perfect for quickly getting to Facebook without downloading the Facebook app.)
See Your History
This is definitely an oldie-but-goodie when it comes to iOS Safari tips, since it’s been around since iOS 6. But given its age, it’s surprising how many people aren’t aware of it.
Basically, just tap and hold on the Back button in Safari. This will bring up your website history for that particular tab.
It’s a quick and easy way to get a spotlight view of the sites that you’ve visited.
Open Recently Closed Tabs
Accidentally close a tab that you didn’t want to? Rather than remembering the URL or delving into your history, Safari has an easy trick to see recently closed tabs.
Just tap and firmly press on the + icon in tab view to see a list of recently closed tabs. Note that this trick didn't appear to work on our iPhone SE test device, so your milage may vary.