Safari on the iPhone and iPad has several useful features that are designed to make browsing on your iOS device an enjoyable experience. Among those features is one called iCloud Tabs that shares your browsing sessions across your iOS or OS X devices. Another similar feature keeps track of the sites that you visits, allowing you to access them a later date. Though useful, not everyone wants to share their personal browsing information all the time. As a result, Apple added Private Browsing mode as an option starting in iOS 7.
Private Browsing mode does exactly what its name implies — the feature keeps your browsing activity private from prying eyes. In this mode, your open tabs are not shared, your browsing history is not stored, autofill is disabled and websites are not able to track you with cookies. Here is how to enable this private browsing mode in iOS:
- Open Safari by tapping the icon on your iPhone or iPad home screen.
- Tap on the “Show Pages” icon in the lower right-hand corner of the navigation bar.
- Tap on the “Private” option in the lower left-hand corner of the navigation bar.
- Select whether you want to close or keep all current tabs open if prompted.
- Tap Done in the lower right-hand corner to browse in Private mode if needed.
- Select the “+” button to open a new tab and start browsing privately.
In iOS 8, you can easily tell that you are in private browsing mode as the URL and search box at the top will be a dark gray color instead of the typical white. Once enabled, you will stay in this private mode until you manually turn it off. When you are done browsing privately, you can tap the “Show Pages” icon at the bottom, select the “Private” option in the lower left and then exit this privacy mode. You can switch between the two modes as often as needed using this method.