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Private Browsing: Visit Websites Without A Trace | iOS 17 Guide

It’s possible to browse the Internet without recording which websites you visit in your browsing history. This is perfect for a situation like searching for a gift without a significant other finding out, or many other situations you can probably think of.

To enable this mode, tap the tabs icon (two overlapping squares) to open the tabs menu. At the bottom, you’ll see the tab groups section. Swipe to the left of this menu to the Private section and hit the + button to open a new browsing tab.

Here, Safari won’t remember the pages you have visited, your search history, or your AutoFill information. When you close a tab, Safari will forget it ever existed.

Notice that the toolbars turn dark to signify that you’re in Private mode.

To return to normal browsing mode, hit the tabs icon again and swipe away from Private mode, back to a standard tab group.

You can leave pages open so that you can easily find them again later. To close them completely, press the tabs icon and then the x in the corner of the tab you wish to close.


If you have iOS 17, there’s an extra security feature protecting your browsing. If you switch apps, lock your device, or move to another tab group, your Private session will automatically lock. That means next time it opens, all your private tabs remain hidden until you verify yourself with Face ID or Touch ID.