iOS 15: How to switch to Private Browsing on iPhone with the new Safari

Safari has gotten a major overhaul with iOS 15 and while there are a number of improvements and changes, some features aren’t found where they used to be. Read along for a look at how to switch to iPhone Private Browsing in Safari with iOS 15.

One of the biggest changes with Safari in iOS 15 is the default address/search bar is now on the bottom of the screen. There’s also a new tab/group tabs experience, and more. For an in-depth overview of everything new, check out our guide:

While some features are revertible (like changing back to a top bar design) some have permanently changed. With Private Browsing, iOS 15 will probably create a “who moved my cheese?” moment for a lot of users as it’s more buried than in iOS 14 and earlier.

As a refresher, here’s how Apple describes Private Browsing mode:

Safari won’t remember the pages you visited, your search history, or your AutoFill information after you close a tab in Private Browsing Mode.

Going beyond what Private Browsing offers, Apple is also launching iCloud Private Relay with iOS 15 which will be available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

iOS 15 is currently available as a public and developer beta with the official release set for fall 2021.

How to switch to iPhone Private Browsing in Safari with iOS 15

  • On your iPhone running iOS 15, open Safari
  • Tap the two-square icon in the bottom right corner (top right corner if using landscape view)
  • Tap the “1 Tab” button (or “X Tabs”)
  • Choose Private
  • Tap the + icon in bottom corner
  • You can tell you’re using Private Browsing as the address/search turns dark
  • Follow the same steps and tap Private again to stop using the feature

Here’s how that looks on iPhone:

How to use iPhone Private Browsing in Safari with iOS 15 walkthrough 1 - tap two-square icon, choose "X-tab" button, tap "Private"

Now just tap the + icon. When using light mode in iOS 15, the address/search bar will turn from white to gray and when using dark mode, it will turn from gray to black while using iPhone Private Browsing.

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