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Everything You Need to Know About Safari Private Browsing

Chris Bluvshtein

Ever wondered what Safari Private Browsing does exactly? Chances are it might not be giving you the level of online privacy you expect. Safari Private Browsing does have some perks, including:

  • Stopping Safari from remembering the websites you’ve visited
  • Not storing any new usernames, passwords, payments cards, and other information you input into private browsing
  • Forgetting any search engine queries you’ve run
  • Allowing you to save money by avoiding marketing cookies that might inflate prices

However, this is pretty much all the privacy that you’ll get with Safari Private Browsing. This incognito mode  won’t cloak your IP address, encrypt your internet traffic, or make you safe on public Wi-Fi . Private browsing still leaves you pretty exposed to a lot of the risks that come with connecting to the internet.

For true online anonymity, you’ll need to use a VPN to change your IP address . We’re big fans of ExpressVPN, one of the fastest VPNs in the industry.

Below, you’ll find more information on how to use Safari Private Browsing on all your Apple devices, as well as more details on how this incognito mode does and doesn’t protect your privacy.

If you use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, then chances are you’ve encountered Safari Private Browsing before. Whether you’re shopping for a partner’s gift or want to snoop on a long-lost colleague’s LinkedIn, there are many reasons why you might want to use private mode in Safari.

In this article, we answer the question, what is Safari Private Browsing ? We’ll also tell you what this handy tool can’t  do to save you any embarrassment or risk to your online security.

What is Safari Private Browsing?

Use anonymous search engine icon

There’s a little more to this method of browsing than meets the eye, but we’ll go into specifics further down in this article. The point is, for a more private experience, you can use Safari’s incognito mode . You’ll be logged out of all accounts, and Safari won’t autofill user logins, passwords, or payment information. When you turn on private browsing, Safari won’t remember :

  • Your search engine history
  • Webpages you’ve visited
  • Browsing activity or history

You should, however, be aware of a major drawback of this tool on Macs: your browsing activity likely isn’t as hidden as you might think. Websites you visit can still see who you are and what you’re doing . You can read more about this in our general incognito mode article .

With Macs, Private Browsing information is logged in a different place, as well: your Terminal archive.

Beware the Mac Terminal archive

On Macs, there’s something called the Terminal archive , and it’s as scary as it sounds — well, for fans of privacy at least. It’s a treasure trove for snoops. The Terminal archive contains all of the websites you visit , whether you’re using Safari Private Browsing or not. This is because your Mac stores static images and other files when you visit a website for the first time. This makes future visits to these sites and page loading much faster, as your Mac pulls the relevant files from the Terminal archive.

This command-line function also lets you make systemic changes to your Mac . For most users, there’ll never be a need to make any changes in the Terminal archive, and you shouldn’t if you don’t know what you’re doing. You could end up breaking something critical in your computer’s operating system if you tinker with the Terminal.

Screenshot of iOS user interface, Access Terminal app

However, it is good to know that, even when you’re using Safari’s Private Browsing mode, your online activity is logged here.

Make your Safari Private Browsing truly private

By now, you might be asking yourself: how do I clear the cache on my Mac? Well, today’s your lucky day.  Below, you’ll find a brief, step-by-step guide to clearing the cache on a Mac . Just make sure not to do anything else while inside the Terminal.

  • Open “ Finder ,” then search for “ Terminal ” in the search bar.
  • Run the  Terminal  application.
  • Paste the following text into the Terminal and hit enter: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

You may have to enter your Admin password to proceed. This is going to flush the DNS cache.

Remember that you shouldn’t do anything else inside of the Terminal application unless you know what you’re doing. It only takes a short command to nuke files or entire directories in this app forever! So, tread carefully.

Why You Should Use Safari Private Browsing on Macs and iOS

We can hypothesize all we want, but you’ve probably got a good idea of why you  use private browsing. According to a 2018 research study , the most common reason people use private browsing is so others that are using a shared device can’t see what they’re doing. This comes down to protecting two things from other users of your device:

  • Their personal data
  • Their browsing activity

Fortunately, these are two things that Safari Private Mode manages to do wonderfully. Below, you can read more about what else Safari Private Browsing does for you .

Online privacy

Privacy browser icon

  • Your browser won’t remember what websites you’ve visited.  Anything you browse while you’re in private browsing mode won’t be remembered by Safari. So, if you start shopping online for gifts or a product that you find embarrassing, you won’t usually have to worry about your friends or family coming across your browsing history.
  • Safari won’t suggest usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and so   on.  You’ve probably noticed that Safari can remember usernames, passwords, credit cards, and other information when you use it for the first time. If you tell your Mac, smartphone, or tablet to remember those details, they’ll be automatically filled in the next time you visit the website. With Safari Private Mode enabled, these kinds of details won’t be stored: you won’t be prompted to save or autofill them at all.
  • Your search engine queries won’t be remembered . If you’ve been shopping for gifts or trying to self-diagnose, you probably don’t want other users of the computer to see what you’ve searched for . Normally, you’ll see suggested searches popping up in search engines like Google. Based on your past searches and clicks, some links might be colored purple instead of blue, too. In private browsing mode, these won’t appear, nor will any new searches be stored.

How to pay less with Safari Private Browsing

There’s more to private mode options than just online security. You could also save money with Safari Private Browsing, as you won’t be quoted higher prices for products you’ve already viewed. When you visit a website, cookies (small text files) are stored on your computer by your browser.

These kinds of cookies aren’t delicious or rewarding at all. Instead, they allow the site to track you and figure out that you’re interested in, for example, a particular holiday destination. This can result in you seeing higher airfares, hotel booking fees, and more. Just turn on Safari’s Private Browsing to s top cookies from being stored on your browser and avoid hiked prices.

How to Go Incognito on Safari

Incognito mode icon

Safari Private Browsing on a Mac

Using  Safari Private Browsing  on a Mac is simple. If you’re reading this on a Mac, you can skip step one in our step-by-step guide below:

  • Open Safari on your Mac.
  • Click on “ File ” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  • Select “ New Private Window .” This will open a new private tab, but you can open as many private tabs in your tab bar as you need.

Screenshot how to open a New Private Window on Safari

It’s that simple. Now, any new tab you open within this new private browsing window will be a private browsing tab. Give it a whirl by opening some new private tabs and navigating to a website you frequently log into. You’ll notice that your username and password aren’t suggested for autofill as they usually would be .

Also, you’ll know that you’re in private browsing, as the URL bar will have a gray background rather than the usual white. Just remember to ignore or close your existing browser window if you had any open. If in doubt, check the background color of the URL bar.

Finally, to  turn off private browsing in Safari , simply click the red cross in the corner of the browser window as you usually would.

Safari Private Browsing on an iPhone

Using  Safari’s private browsing mode on an iPhone or iPad is fairly straightforward and could increase your privacy on an iPhone . If you’re running  iOS 14 or earlier , simply follow the steps below:

  • Open  Safari on your phone.
  • Tap on the “ Tabs ” button. That’s the two small squares in the bottom-right corner of your Safari window on iPhone.
  • A new option called “Private” should appear.
  • Tap “ Private ” and you’ll be taken to a blank screen confirming that you’re using Private Browsing Mode . You’ll notice that it’s using the same gray color scheme as Safari for Mac.
  • Lastly, click on the small “ + ” (plus) icon to launch a private browsing window.

Screenshots of iOS Access Private Browsing mode

If you’re using  Apple’s latest iPhone update, iOS 15.1.1 , you’ll need to follow a slightly different (and hey, we’ll say it — more confusing) set of steps:

  • Tap on the “ Tabs ” button.
  • Tap where it says “ X Tab(s) ” – this number will reflect the number of windows you have open.
  • Tap “ Private .”
  • Now, you’re in Private Browsing mode and can click the small “ + ” (plus) icon to launch a new private window.

Screenshots of iOS Access Private Browsing mode latest Apple update

Again, turning off private browsing in Safari for iPhones or iPads is simple. Just press the same “ Private ” button that you used to enable the feature. Don’t forget, if you have multiple private tabs open, they won’t close automatically. Swipe each tab closed before you exit private mode if you want to leave no trace.

How to Set Safari Private Browsing as the Default

If you’d rather always browse privately, you can also set Safari Private Browsing as your default, so that it opens automatically whenever you open a new tab or window. Check out the step-by-step instructions below for a Mac :

  • Make sure your active application is Safari, then select “ Safari ” from your Mac’s toolbar at the top of your screen. Click on “ Preferences ” next, which can also be accessed using the keyboard shortcut “ Command ” + “ , ” (that’s Command, plus a comma).
  • Now, you should see the Privacy window for Safari. Click on the “ General ” tab.
  • Next to “Safari opens with”, select “ A new private window ” from the drop-down list.

While you  can’t automatically use Safari Private Browsing by default on mobile , there are some options for minimizing what’s remembered, stored, or recommended. Here’s how you get there:

  • Open the “ Settings ” application.
  • Scroll down until you see “ Safari ” and tap on that option.

Now, you’ll have the choice to use a number of features. You can:

  • Disable search engine suggestions
  • Disable Safari suggestions specifically
  • Turn off autofill for Safari , either for personal information, payment information, or both
  • Disable “ Favorites “, which you can save in your Safari app’s home screen
  • Turn off “ Frequently Visited Sites “, which appear below your favorites

In this menu, you can also  prevent cross-site tracking and  block all cookies on the websites that you visit. In the event that you forget to launch Safari Private Browsing, these options should give you at least a little more privacy whenever you go online.

Is Safari Private Browsing Safe?

Question mark over padlock icon

That last risk is surprisingly common on public Wi-Fi networks  too. Bear in mind that private browsing doesn’t protect you against malware (malicious software) either, nor does it protect your payment information or other personal details . For true online anonymity and to  improve your online security , you should give serious thought to using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) .

How to use a VPN with Safari Private Browsing

Using a VPN along with Safari Private Browsing should give you the online security you’re looking for. In addition to avoiding any logged browsing history or search history , you’ll be much harder to track and enjoy greater online anonymity. You can check out the many advantages of a VPN for more information. Want to get started right away? The following steps will only take a few minutes of your time:

  • Choose a VPN provider and create an account. We recommend checking out our list of the best VPNs if this is new ground for you. Alternatively, ExpressVPN is a market-leading VPN provider that we’re always happy to recommend.
  • Download and install  the VPN software onto your Mac. You can also download ExpressVPN for mobile on your iPhone. Other premium providers like NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark all offer really slick mobile apps for iOS, too.
  • Log into your account , either in the desktop software or the mobile app.
  • Choose a VPN server in a country of your choice. If you’re purely interested in online security, then the location you choose isn’t  too  important (though some will be faster than others). However, if you want to  save money on subscriptions , for example, you should give it some more thought.
  • Connect to the VPN server . When you connect, you’ll be  changing your IP address to mirror the VPN server’s IP. It’s safe, legal ( in most countries ), and best of all, it’ll give you far greater online security than simply using Safari Private Browsing alone.

Safari Private Browsing is perfect for hiding those Christmas or birthday purchases from your family before the big day. It’s also a great way to save money on flights, hotels , or other purchases. However, it won’t do much for your online security. If you want  truly private browsing , then use a VPN along with Safari private mode.

Interested in exploring other private browsers? Check out these articles below:

  • How Anonymous Is DuckDuckGo?
  • Is Vivaldi Browser Safe?
  • How to Set Up Firefox as an Anonymous Browser

Do you want to know how to enable private browsing on Safari? Are you wondering how much privacy Safari Private Browsing actually gives you? You’ll find these answers and more in our frequently asked questions below.

To turn on Private Browsing in Safari for Mac, follow these simple steps:

  • Make sure Safari is the active application that you’re using.
  • Click on  File in the menu bar along the top of the screen.
  • Click on  New Private Window to switch to private browsing mode.

To turn on Private Browsing in Safari for iPhone or iPad, the process is much the same:

  • Open the  Safari application.
  • Tap on the  Tabs icon (the two small squares in the lower-right corner of your screen).
  • Tap on  Private to switch to private browsing.
  • Click on the small  + (plus) icon to open a new private browsing tab.

Check out our full article for more information on Safari Private Browsing.

No. Safari Private Browsing, like any browser’s private mode, won’t protect you against a lot of online threats. Your IP address will still be visible to many third-party individuals and organizations. For example, your ISP will know what websites you’ve visited, and hackers could determine your location using your IP (though some private modes do limit location tracking). For true online privacy and anonymity, you’re safer using a VPN like ExpressVPN .

With Private Browsing, it’s more difficult for websites to track you, since cookies are cleared the moment you close the browser — but it’s not impossible. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider), employer, school, or college could still see your internet history . That is, unless you use a VPN along with the incognito mode.

Yes. The owner of an internet connection can absolutely check up on your browsing session if they have the right technical knowledge. Some routers can be set up to remember all URLs a device accesses. So, if you’re trying to fly under your parents’ radar, for example, they could potentially bust you using the family router, even if you’re exclusively using private browsing modes.

For true anonymity , you’ll want to use a VPN. With a VPN connection, all of your internet traffic is encrypted, which gives you far better anonymity and privacy than using private browsing on its own.

Chris Bluvshtein

Chris Bluvshtein Author

Senior journalist.

Chris is a tech journalist with many years’ experience covering online privacy and cybersecurity. He’s also a published author and works as a Product Manager for some of the most innovative software development companies.

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Hi Chris , I’m finding while using private mode in safari my sound is being cut out and I have not been able to find a way to reconnect it. I use it on a iPad with a vpn and trend anti spam for protection as much as it can in private mode. I have not been able to find any reason as to why this is happening.

Hey Wayne, I've done a bit of digging, and I've found something that might be worth a try. It seems that recent versions of Safari have a built-in feature that can prevent audio from playing when you visit a website; it's enabled by default too. Give this a try and let me know if the issue goes away: 1. Open the Safari menu and click preferences 2. Click on the websites tab 3. Look for the setting: "When visiting other websites", which has a drop-down selection beside it 4. Change this setting so that it allows websites with media to play sound. You can alternatively add individual websites to this list if you'd rather have control over which ones can play sound by default.

Hi Chris Just tried your Terminal Commands, I am running macOS Monterey The Terminal Commands Below are not working dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host dscacheutil -flushcache

You're right. Thank you for pointing it out to us! There is a new terminal command you'll now need instead: "sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder". We've adjusted the article to reflect this. Hope this helps!

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How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode

This article explains how to use Safari's Private Browsing mode, which prevents your browsing history from being logged on your Apple devices. It's a useful feature if you're buying gifts online for friends or family, for instance, and you don't want anyone with access to your devices to find out what you're up to.

safari icon blue banner

Using Safari's Private Browsing Mode

Enabling Private Browsing limits Safari in three important ways: It prevents the browser from creating a history of the pages you visit, it stops AutoFill information like website usernames and passwords from being remembered, and any tabs you open won't be stored in iCloud .

Also, for added peace of mind when you browse privately, Safari automatically prevents cross-site tracking , and requests that sites and third-party content providers don't track you as a rule. Additionally, the privacy mode stops sites from modifying any information stored on your iOS device, and deletes cookies when you close the associated tab.

To enable Private Browsing in Safari, follow these steps.

  • Open Safari on your iPhone or iPad , tap the Pages icon (consisting of two squares) to bring up the open tabs view, and then tap the profile icon, centered at the bottom of the screen.

safari

  • When you're done browsing, return to the open tabs view, individually swipe any open tabs to close them if you wish.
  • Tap the profile icon again, then choose your regular profile at the top. Your private browsing session is now cleared from memory.

Clearing Existing Browsing History

When you clear your browsing history on a device running iOS 11 or higher, the same logs are cleared on any other devices signed into your ‌iCloud‌ account. The following methods also clear all cookies and web data on the device you're currently using, although AutoFill information remains unchanged.

The first method outlined below allows you to either limit the clearing of history, cookies and website data to a specific timeframe, or to delete your existing web history altogether.

  • Open Safari and with a tab open, tap the Bookmarks icon (the open book) located at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap the tab at the top of the screen with a clock symbol, and you'll see a history of your browsing activity.
  • To remove instances of recorded visits to specific web pages, swipe leftwards across individual logs in the list and tap the red delete button that appears.
  • To delete the entire browsing history list, tap Clear .
  • Choose the timeframe to clear ( Last hour , Today , Today and yesterday , or All history ), choose the profile or select All Profiles , then tap Clear History .

safari

The second method of wiping your browsing history might be considered the 'nuke' option, since it clears all history, cookies and website data on that device, regardless of when the sites were accessed.

  • Open the Settings app and scroll down to Safari in the list.

settings

And that's it. Note that these built-in Safari features only make you safer from discovery by other people in the same household.

If your privacy concerns extend to a desire for enhanced security and anonymity online, consider subscribing to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers an iOS client or supports OpenVPN ( Private Internet Access and ProtonVPN are two popular options), and using a Tor-powered browser for iOS .

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Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar

This article explains how to use Safari's Private Browsing mode, which prevents your browsing history from being logged on your Apple devices. It's a useful feature if you're buying gifts online for friends or family, for instance, and you don't want anyone with access to your devices to find out what you're up to.

testcard Avatar

I can really use this info, because I’m always “buying gifts”. ;) :cool:

Hastings101 Avatar

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How to Enable Cookies in Safari

Last Updated: February 6, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA . Nicole Levine is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 571,759 times. Learn more...

Cookies are enabled by default in Safari on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. If the features of a certain website aren't working properly or you're getting errors about cookies, you may have disabled cookies in your settings. This wikiHow article will teach you how to allow cookies in Safari, and show you what to do if cookies aren't working properly.

Things You Should Know

  • Open Safari on your Mac. Go to Safari > Preferences… > Privacy and uncheck "Block all Cookies".

iPhone Settings App Icon

  • Try clearing your cookies if you are having trouble loading websites—sometimes old cookies get in the way of saving the new version of a cookie.

Enabling Cookies on a Mac

Step 1 Open Safari and click the Safari menu.

  • In most cases, you'll probably want to leave a checkmark in front of this option to preserve your privacy. However, if websites aren't loading properly or you can't use the features of certain sites, you may need to enable this option.

Enabling Cookies on iPhone and iPad

Step 1 Open your Settings icon.

  • In most cases, you'll probably want to leave this switch on, as this protects your privacy. However, if websites aren't loading properly or you're unable to use features of certain sites, you can enable this option and see if it resolves the problem.

Troubleshooting

Step 1 Fix the error

  • Mac: Click the Safari menu, select Preferences , click Privacy , and then remove the checkmark from "Prevent cross-site tracking."
  • iPhone/iPad: Open your Settings , tap Safari , and then toggle the "Prevent Cross-Site Tracking" switch to the Off (white) position.

Step 2 Turn off private browsing mode.

  • First, check to make sure private browsing is not always set to turn on—click the Safari menu, select Preferences , click General , and click the "New windows open with" menu. [4] X Research source If "A new private window" is selected, choose A new window instead.
  • Then, to open a new window, just close the currently open Safari window, click the File menu, and then select New Window .
  • iPhone/iPad: Open Safari and tap the overlapping squares at the bottom. [5] X Research source Tap Private at the bottom (if you see it), select (number of) Tabs , and then tap Done .

Step 3 Clear your cookies.

  • Mac: Click the Safari menu, click Preferences , click Privacy , click Manage Website Data , and then click Remove All .
  • iPhone/iPad: Open Settings , tap Safari , tap Advanced , select Website Data , and then tap Remove All Website Data . [6] X Research source

Community Q&A

Community Answer

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Enabling cookies can often allow you to view and have access to a larger number of websites that require cookies in order to function or display properly. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Despite their poor reputation, cookies aren't inherently malicious. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

safari private mode cookies

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Delete Cookies Using the Safari Web Browser

  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/manage-cookies-and-website-data-sfri11471/mac
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201265
  • ↑ https://helpx.adobe.com/sign/kb/ios-Cookie-disabled-error-when-signing-the-documents-in-safari.html
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/use-private-browsing-ibrw1069/mac
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203036

About This Article

Nicole Levine, MFA

1. Open Safari. 2. Click the Safari menu 3. Click Preferences... . 4. Click the Privacy tab. 5. Remove the checkmark from "Block all cookies." Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to use safari private browsing on an iphone or ipad.

Browse the web without leaving a local record on your iPhone or iPad with Private Browsing mode. Here's how to use it.

Quick Links

What is private browsing mode, how to use private browsing mode on iphone, how to use private browsing mode on ipad.

Sometimes, you'd like to check a website without leaving a record of it on your iPhone or iPad. Luckily, Safari includes a Private Browsing mode just for this purpose. Here's how to use it.

While using Private Browsing mode on your iPhone or iPad, Safari will not save your your browsing history, AutoFill form information, changes to cookies, and recent searches when you close each Private Browsing window.

However, Private Browsing mode does not protect your browsing history from the host of your network (such as your business or school), your ISP, or websites that might use your IP address to track you across sites .

Related: The Many Ways Websites Track You Online

First, open Safari. If you don't see the toolbar at bottom of the screen, tap once to reveal it. Then tap the "New Window" button. It looks like two squares overlapping each other.

You'll see a window management screen with a list of thumbnails representing all your open browser windows. On this screen, tap the "Private" button in the lower -left corner.

Private Browsing Mode is now enabled. Tap on the plus (+) button at the bottom of the screen to open a new Private window.

From there, you can type in any address you want in the bar at the top or navigate by tapping on your favorites. In Private mode, you can use Safari as you usual, but it won't keep a local record of what you're doing.

When you're done and want to exit Private Browsing mode, tap the "New Window" button again, then tap the "Private" button in the lower-left corner. You will switch back to non-Private mode.

Keep in mind that switching back does not close your Private Browsing windows. To get rid of your Private Browsing windows, you will need to enable Private Browsing mode again and click the "X" on the upper left corner of each window thumbnail until they all disappear.

Private browsing on the iPad works the same as on the iPhone, but the buttons that enable it are in different locations on the screen. To activate Private Browsing, first launch Safari. If you don't see the toolbar at the top of the screen, tap anywhere once to reveal it. Then tap on the "New Window" button in the upper-right corner.

On Safari's window management screen, tap the "Private" button in the upper-right corner.

After Private Mode is enabled, tap the plus (+) button in the toolbar to add a new window. From there, you can operate Safari as usual.

If you want to exit Private Browsing on an iPad, just tap the new button window again (the two overlapping rectangles) and tap "Private."

But be aware: if you just switch out of Private mode, Safari will keep your Private windows open in the background until you launch Private Browsing mode again. If you want to get rid of all of your Private Browsing windows, switch back to Private mode, tap the New Window button, and close each window with the small "X" in the corner of each thumbnail. Happy browsing!

What Does Private Mode Do On Safari

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Introduction

When it comes to browsing the web, privacy and security are paramount. In today's digital age, where online activities are constantly tracked and monitored, it's essential to have tools that help safeguard our personal information. This is where private browsing mode comes into play. Safari, the default web browser for Apple devices, offers a feature known as Private Mode, designed to provide users with a more secure and discreet online experience.

Private Mode, also commonly referred to as "Incognito Mode" in other browsers, allows users to browse the web without leaving a trail of their online activities. It's like wearing an invisibility cloak while surfing the internet. By enabling Private Mode, Safari ensures that your browsing history, search history, and cookies are not stored on your device. This means that once you exit Private Mode, all traces of your online session are effectively erased, leaving no digital footprint behind.

In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of Private Mode on Safari, exploring how to enable it, what happens when it's active, the benefits it offers, and its limitations. Whether you're concerned about maintaining your privacy, sharing a device with others, or simply want to prevent websites from tracking your online behavior, understanding the ins and outs of Private Mode can empower you to make informed decisions about your browsing habits. So, let's embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of Private Mode and discover how it can enhance your browsing experience.

How to Enable Private Mode on Safari

Enabling Private Mode on Safari is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in just a few simple steps. Whether you're using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, the method for activating Private Mode remains consistent across all devices. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Open Safari : Launch the Safari browser on your Mac. You can do this by clicking on the Safari icon in the dock or by searching for Safari using Spotlight.

Access Private Mode : Once Safari is open, navigate to the top menu bar and click on "File." A drop-down menu will appear. From this menu, select "New Private Window." Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Command + Shift + N" to open a new Private Window directly.

Start Browsing : After selecting "New Private Window," a new Safari window will open with a dark background, indicating that you are now in Private Mode. You can begin browsing the web with the assurance that your browsing history and other data will not be stored once you close the Private Window.

On iPhone or iPad:

Launch Safari : Locate the Safari app on your iPhone or iPad's home screen and tap to open it.

Activate Private Mode : Tap the tab icon in the lower-right corner of the Safari interface. This will reveal your open tabs. Next, tap "Private" in the lower-left corner to switch to Private Mode. The interface will change to a dark theme, indicating that Private Mode is now active.

Commence Browsing : With Private Mode enabled, you can now browse the web on your iOS device without worrying about your browsing history, cookies, or other data being retained after you exit Private Mode.

By following these simple steps, you can seamlessly enable Private Mode on Safari, ensuring a more discreet and secure browsing experience. Whether you're using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, the ability to switch to Private Mode empowers you to take control of your online privacy and security with ease.

What Happens in Private Mode

When you activate Private Mode on Safari, a series of privacy-enhancing measures come into play, creating a distinct browsing environment that differs from regular browsing sessions. Here's a closer look at what unfolds when Private Mode is active:

Browsing History Is Not Saved

One of the fundamental aspects of Private Mode is that Safari does not retain your browsing history. This means that the websites you visit, the pages you navigate to, and the searches you conduct during a Private Mode session are not stored in your browsing history. Consequently, once you exit Private Mode, there will be no record of the websites you visited during that session.

Cookies Are Temporary

In Private Mode, Safari treats cookies differently compared to regular browsing. While cookies are typically used to store information about your browsing habits and preferences, they function differently in Private Mode. Any cookies generated during a Private Mode session are temporary and are discarded once the Private Window is closed. This ensures that your online activities during Private Mode remain isolated from your regular browsing data.

Autofill and Form Data Are Disabled

Private Mode also disables the autofill feature and prevents Safari from storing form data. This means that any information you enter into web forms, such as login credentials, personal details, or payment information, will not be saved after you exit Private Mode. By doing so, Private Mode helps protect sensitive information from being stored on the device.

No Tracking by Websites

Websites typically utilize various tracking mechanisms to monitor user behavior and gather data for analytics and advertising purposes. However, when you're in Private Mode, Safari restricts these tracking methods. This means that websites are unable to track your online activities, preventing them from collecting data about your browsing behavior during the Private Mode session.

Separate from Regular Browsing

It's important to note that Private Mode operates independently from your regular browsing sessions. Any tabs or windows opened in Private Mode are distinct from your non-private browsing activities. This isolation ensures that the data generated during a Private Mode session does not intertwine with your standard browsing data, maintaining a clear separation between the two modes.

By understanding what happens in Private Mode on Safari, you can gain insight into the protective measures that come into effect when you choose to browse privately. Whether you're concerned about maintaining confidentiality, preventing websites from tracking your online behavior, or simply keeping your browsing history discreet, Private Mode offers a secure and secluded online experience.

Benefits of Using Private Mode

Private Mode on Safari offers a myriad of benefits that cater to users' privacy, security, and browsing convenience. By embracing the protective cloak of Private Mode, individuals can unlock a range of advantages that enhance their online experience. Let's delve into the compelling benefits of utilizing Private Mode on Safari:

1. Enhanced Privacy Protection

When you engage Private Mode, Safari refrains from storing your browsing history, search history, and cookies. This means that your online activities remain confidential, and once you exit Private Mode, there is no trace of the websites you visited or the searches you conducted. This heightened level of privacy protection is particularly valuable when using shared devices or accessing sensitive information, as it ensures that your browsing habits remain discreet and isolated.

2. Secured Personal Information

Private Mode disables the autofill feature and prevents the retention of form data, safeguarding sensitive information such as login credentials, personal details, and payment information. By doing so, it shields users from the risk of their personal data being inadvertently stored on the device. This is especially beneficial when making online transactions or accessing accounts on public or shared devices, as it mitigates the potential exposure of personal information.

3. Prevents Targeted Advertising

Websites often employ tracking mechanisms to monitor user behavior and tailor personalized advertisements. However, Private Mode disrupts these tracking methods, preventing websites from collecting data about users' browsing behavior during a Private Mode session. As a result, users can enjoy a respite from targeted advertising and experience a more neutralized online environment, free from the influence of personalized ad targeting.

4. Isolated Browsing Environment

Private Mode operates independently from regular browsing sessions, ensuring that the data generated during a Private Mode session remains separate from non-private browsing activities. This isolation provides users with a distinct and controlled browsing environment, allowing them to engage in online activities without the concern of their private data intertwining with their standard browsing data.

5. Temporary Cookies

In Private Mode, Safari treats cookies as temporary, discarding them once the Private Window is closed. This temporary nature of cookies in Private Mode prevents the accumulation of long-term browsing data and ensures that users' online activities during Private Mode remain isolated from their regular browsing data.

By leveraging the benefits of Private Mode on Safari, users can fortify their online privacy, protect their personal information, and enjoy a more secluded and secure browsing experience. Whether it's evading targeted advertising, safeguarding sensitive data, or maintaining a confidential browsing history, Private Mode empowers users to navigate the web with enhanced privacy and peace of mind.

Limitations of Private Mode

While Private Mode on Safari offers valuable privacy and security features, it's important to acknowledge its limitations. Understanding these constraints can provide a balanced perspective on the capabilities of Private Mode and help users make informed decisions about their browsing habits.

1. Local Device Activity

Private Mode primarily focuses on preventing the storage of browsing history, cookies, and other data on the local device. However, it's essential to recognize that Private Mode does not shield users from potential monitoring or tracking by network administrators, internet service providers, or other entities external to the device. Therefore, while Private Mode can enhance privacy on the local device, it does not guarantee anonymity or protection from external surveillance.

2. Limited Protection from Malware and Phishing

Private Mode does not offer comprehensive protection against malware, phishing attempts, or other online threats. While it may prevent certain types of tracking and data retention, it does not actively scan for or block malicious websites or deceptive content. Users should remain vigilant and rely on additional security measures, such as antivirus software and safe browsing practices, to mitigate the risks associated with online threats.

3. Incomplete Anonymity

Private Mode does not render users completely anonymous while browsing the web. While it prevents the storage of local browsing history, cookies, and form data, it does not conceal the user's IP address or prevent websites from recognizing repeat visits. As a result, users should be mindful that Private Mode does not provide absolute anonymity and should exercise caution when accessing sensitive or confidential content.

4. Limited Impact on Website Tracking

While Private Mode restricts websites from tracking user behavior within the Private Mode session, it does not eliminate the ability of websites to track users across different browsing sessions or devices. Persistent identifiers, such as IP addresses and device fingerprints, can still be utilized by websites to track user activity beyond the scope of Private Mode. Therefore, users should be aware that Private Mode's impact on website tracking is confined to the duration of the Private Mode session.

By acknowledging the limitations of Private Mode, users can gain a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities and make informed choices regarding their online privacy and security. While Private Mode offers valuable protective measures, it's essential to complement its usage with a holistic approach to online security and privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Private Mode

What is the purpose of private mode in safari.

Private Mode in Safari serves as a privacy-enhancing feature that allows users to browse the web without leaving a trail of their online activities. By activating Private Mode, Safari ensures that browsing history, search history, and cookies are not stored on the device, providing a more discreet and secure online experience.

Does Private Mode make me completely anonymous?

While Private Mode prevents the storage of local browsing history, cookies, and form data, it does not render users completely anonymous. It does not conceal the user's IP address or prevent websites from recognizing repeat visits. Therefore, users should exercise caution when accessing sensitive or confidential content, as Private Mode does not provide absolute anonymity.

Can I use Private Mode to protect my personal information on shared devices?

Yes, Private Mode is particularly useful for safeguarding personal information on shared devices. By disabling the storage of browsing history, search history, and cookies, Private Mode ensures that your online activities remain confidential and isolated from other users of the same device. It also prevents the retention of form data and disables the autofill feature, enhancing the security of personal information.

Does Private Mode protect me from online threats such as malware and phishing?

While Private Mode offers privacy and data isolation features, it does not provide comprehensive protection against malware and phishing attempts. Users should remain vigilant and employ additional security measures, such as antivirus software and safe browsing practices, to mitigate the risks associated with online threats.

Can websites track my online behavior when I'm in Private Mode?

Private Mode restricts websites from tracking user behavior within the Private Mode session. However, it does not eliminate the ability of websites to track users across different browsing sessions or devices using persistent identifiers such as IP addresses and device fingerprints. Therefore, users should be aware that Private Mode's impact on website tracking is confined to the duration of the Private Mode session.

Is Private Mode available on all devices that support Safari?

Yes, Private Mode is available on all devices that support Safari, including Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The method for enabling Private Mode remains consistent across these devices, providing users with a seamless and uniform browsing experience across their Apple devices.

Can I open regular and Private Mode windows simultaneously in Safari?

Yes, Safari allows users to open regular browsing windows alongside Private Mode windows. This flexibility enables users to seamlessly switch between regular and Private Mode browsing sessions based on their privacy and security preferences.

How can I tell if Private Mode is active in Safari?

In Safari, a distinct visual indicator, such as a dark-themed interface, is used to signify that Private Mode is active. When Private Mode is enabled, the browser interface adopts a different color scheme, making it easy for users to identify when they are browsing privately.

Can I customize the settings or preferences of Private Mode in Safari?

Private Mode in Safari is designed to operate with default privacy and security settings. While users cannot customize the specific behaviors of Private Mode, they can complement its usage with additional privacy and security measures, such as content blockers and secure browsing practices, to further enhance their online protection.

Does Private Mode prevent websites from tracking my location?

Private Mode does not specifically prevent websites from tracking a user's location. Location tracking is typically governed by separate browser and device settings. Users concerned about location privacy should review and adjust their location sharing preferences within their device and browser settings, in addition to utilizing Private Mode for enhanced privacy protection.

By addressing these frequently asked questions about Private Mode, users can gain a comprehensive understanding of its functionalities, limitations, and implications for online privacy and security. This knowledge empowers users to make informed decisions about leveraging Private Mode to enhance their browsing experience while maintaining control over their personal information and online activities.

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Private browsing: What it does – and doesn’t do – to shield you from prying eyes on the web

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Lorrie Cranor receives funding from Bosch, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Mellon CyLab, DARPA, DuckDuckGo, Facebook, an endowed professorship established by the founders of FORE Systems, Google, Highmark Health, Innovators Network Foundation, NSA, and NSF. She is affiliated with the ACM Technology Policy Council, the Computing Research Association, the Future of Privacy Forum, the Aspen Institute Cybersecurity Group, the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law, and the Consumer Reports Digital Lab Advisory Council.

Hana Habib receives funding from Carnegie Mellon CyLab and Facebook.

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Many people look for more privacy when they browse the web by using their browsers in privacy-protecting modes, called “Private Browsing” in Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple Safari; “Incognito” in Google Chrome; and “InPrivate” in Microsoft Edge.

These private browsing tools sound reassuring, and they’re popular. According to a 2017 survey , nearly half of American internet users have tried a private browsing mode, and most who have tried it use it regularly.

However, our research has found that many people who use private browsing have misconceptions about what protection they’re gaining. A common misconception is that these browser modes allow you to browse the web anonymously, surfing the web without websites identifying you and without your internet service provider or your employer knowing what websites you visit. The tools actually provide much more limited protections.

Other studies conducted by the Pew Research Center and the privacy-protective search engine company DuckDuckGo have similar findings. In fact, a recent lawsuit against Google alleges that internet users are not getting the privacy protection they expect when using Chrome’s Incognito mode.

How it works

While the exact implementation varies from browser to browser, what private browsing modes have in common is that once you close your private browsing window, your browser no longer stores the websites you visited, cookies, user names, passwords and information from forms you filled out during that private browsing session.

Essentially, each time you open a new private browsing window you are given a “clean slate” in the form of a brand new browser window that has not stored any browsing history or cookies. When you close your private browsing window, the slate is wiped clean again and the browsing history and cookies from that private browsing session are deleted. However, if you bookmark a site or download a file while using private browsing mode, the bookmarks and file will remain on your system.

Although some browsers, including Safari and Firefox, offer some additional protection against web trackers, private browsing mode does not guarantee that your web activities cannot be linked back to you or your device. Notably, private browsing mode does not prevent websites from learning your internet address, and it does not prevent your employer, school or internet service provider from seeing your web activities by tracking your IP address.

Reasons to use it

We conducted a research study in which we identified reasons people use private browsing mode. Most study participants wanted to protect their browsing activities or personal data from other users of their devices. Private browsing is actually pretty effective for this purpose.

We found that people often used private browsing to visit websites or conduct searches that they did not want other users of their device to see, such as those that might be embarrassing or related to a surprise gift. In addition, private browsing is an easy way to log out of websites when borrowing someone else’s device – so long as you remember to close the window when you are done.

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Private browsing provides some protection against cookie-based tracking. Since cookies from your private browsing session are not stored after you close your private browsing window, it’s less likely that you will see online advertising in the future related to the websites you visit while using private browsing.

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Additionally, as long as you have not logged into your Google account, any searches you make will not appear in your Google account history and will not affect future Google search results. Similarly, if you watch a video on YouTube or other service in private browsing, as long as you are not logged into that service, your activity does not affect the recommendations you get in normal browsing mode.

What it doesn’t do

Private browsing does not make you anonymous online. Anyone who can see your internet traffic – your school or employer, your internet service provider, government agencies, people snooping on your public wireless connection – can see your browsing activity. Shielding that activity requires more sophisticated tools that use encryption, like virtual private networks.

Private browsing also offers few security protections. In particular, it does not prevent you from downloading a virus or malware to your device. Additionally, private browsing does not offer any additional protection for the transmission of your credit card or other personal information to a website when you fill out an online form.

It is also important to note that the longer you leave your private browsing window open, the more browsing data and cookies it accumulates, reducing your privacy protection. Therefore, you should get in the habit of closing your private browsing window frequently to wipe your slate clean.

What’s in a name

It is not all that surprising that people have misconceptions about how private browsing mode works; the word “private” suggests a lot more protection than these modes actually provide.

Furthermore, a 2018 research study found that the disclosures shown on the landing pages of private browsing windows do little to dispel misconceptions that people have about these modes. Chrome provides more information about what is and is not protected than most of the other browsers, and Mozilla now links to an informational page on the common myths related to private browsing.

However, it may be difficult to dispel all of these myths without changing the name of the browsing mode and making it clear that private browsing stops your browser from keeping a record of your browsing activity, but it isn’t a comprehensive privacy shield.

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Tabletmonkeys is the world's largest computer tablet magazine/website with tablet comparison, tablet deals, tablet leaks, tablet rumors, and tablet news., how to put safari in private mode: a comprehensive guide.

Private browsing has become increasingly important in today’s digital age. With concerns about online privacy and security on the rise, it’s crucial to know how to protect your personal information while browsing the web. In this article, we will explore how to put Safari in private mode, a feature that ensures your browsing activities remain confidential. Whether you’re concerned about targeted advertising, preventing auto-fill and browsing history storage, or safeguarding sensitive information, Safari’s private mode can help you achieve a higher level of privacy. So, let’s dive in and discover how to enable private mode in Safari!

Accessing Private Mode in Safari

Enabling private mode in Safari is a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Launch Safari on your device.
  • Look for the Safari menu in the top left corner of your screen and click on it.
  • In the drop-down menu, select the “Private Browsing” option.
  • A prompt will appear, asking you to confirm your choice. Click on “Enable Private Browsing” to proceed.
  • Safari will now open a new window indicating that you are in private mode.

Alternative Methods to Access Private Mode

If you prefer using keyboard shortcuts or different methods to access private mode, here are a few alternatives:

  • Keyboard Shortcut : Press “Command + Shift + N” together to open a new private browsing window directly.
  • Menu Bar : Right-click on the Safari icon in your dock and select “New Private Window” from the menu.
  • File Menu : Click on “File” in the Safari menu bar, and then select “New Private Window” from the drop-down menu.

Benefits of Using Private Mode in Safari

Using private mode in Safari offers several advantages that enhance your online privacy and security. Let’s explore some key benefits:

Enhanced Privacy Protection

Private mode in Safari provides an extra layer of privacy by preventing the browser from storing your browsing history, cookies, and other data related to your online activities. This means that once you exit private mode, there will be no trace of your browsing session on your device.

Prevention of Tracking and Targeted Advertising

When you browse the web in private mode, Safari blocks websites from tracking your online behavior and collecting data about your preferences. This helps minimize the number of targeted ads you encounter, ensuring a more private and personalized browsing experience.

Avoiding Auto-fill and Browsing History Storage

Private mode also disables Safari’s auto-fill feature, ensuring that sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, and addresses are not stored in the browser. Additionally, any websites you visit while in private mode will not be saved to your browsing history.

Protecting Sensitive Information

Private mode is particularly useful when accessing sensitive information online, such as online banking or personal email accounts. By using private mode, you reduce the risk of your login credentials or other personal data being stored or accessible to unauthorized individuals.

Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Private Mode Usage

While private mode provides a significant boost to your online privacy, there are additional steps you can take to optimize your experience. Consider the following tips and tricks:

Utilizing Additional Privacy Settings in Safari

Safari offers a range of privacy settings that can further enhance your browsing experience. You can access these settings by clicking on “Safari” in the menu bar, selecting “Preferences,” and navigating to the “Privacy” tab. Here, you can manage website tracking, block cookies, and customize your privacy preferences according to your needs.

Clearing Cookies and Cache for Improved Privacy

Regularly clearing your browser’s cookies and cache can help maintain your privacy while using private mode. To clear cookies and cache in Safari, go to the “Safari” menu, select “Preferences,” and click on the “Privacy” tab. From there, you can click on “Manage Website Data” to remove any stored cookies and website data.

Managing Extensions and Plug-ins in Private Mode

It’s important to note that some browser extensions and plug-ins may still track your activities, even when using private mode. To ensure maximum privacy, review and manage your extensions by clicking on “Safari” in the menu bar, selecting “Preferences,” and navigating to the “Extensions” tab. Disable or remove any extensions that may compromise your privacy while browsing in private mode.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

While Safari’s private mode is generally reliable, you may encounter certain issues or experience unexpected behavior. Here are a few common problems and troubleshooting steps to resolve them:

  • Websites Not Remembering Login Information : Private mode disables auto-fill, so websites may not remember your login information. You can manually enter your credentials or temporarily switch to regular browsing mode for convenience.
  • Websites Still Displaying Targeted Ads : Although private mode prevents websites from tracking your behavior, it does not guarantee complete ad-blocking. Consider using browser extensions or ad-blocking software for a more comprehensive ad-free experience.
  • Extension Compatibility Issues : Some extensions may not function correctly in private mode. Disable or remove these extensions to ensure seamless browsing.

Remember, if you encounter any persistent issues, it’s always a good idea to update Safari to the latest version or seek further assistance from Apple’s support resources.

In conclusion, enabling private mode in Safari offers a simple yet effective way to protect your privacy while browsing the web. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enjoy enhanced privacy protection, prevent tracking and targeted advertising, avoid auto-fill and browsing history storage, and safeguard sensitive information. Combine these practices with additional privacy settings and regular maintenance of cookies and cache for optimal privacy. With Safari’s private mode, you can browse the internet with confidence, knowing that your online activities remain private and secure.

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How To : Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

Private Browsing mode finally lives up to its name in Apple's huge Safari 17 update for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. So whether you search for things you don't want anybody to know about or want to ensure websites and trackers aren't eavesdropping on your activity, you'll want to update your devices pronto.

By default, each tab in Safari's Private Browsing mode on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS is its own environment, isolated from your other tabs, so websites can't track your activity from the current tab to another session. You also won't see any recent private searches suggested when performing new searches in other tabs.

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Private tabs do not sync with iCloud, so they won't show up on your other Apple devices, and they won't work with Handoff or show downloaded files in Safari's downloads list. Once you close a Private Browsing tab, Safari forgets the pages you visited, your search history, your AutoFill information, and any new cookies or website data from the session.

But incognito browsing in Safari has even more protection available with the iOS 17 , iPadOS 17 , and macOS 14 Sonoma software updates. Here's everything you get with the new for-you-eyes-only browsing experience:

1. Face ID, Touch ID, or Password Protection

Safari's Private Browsing mode is now protected behind biometric authentication or your device passcode or password. So whenever you switch to Private Browsing from regular browsing or return to it from another app or window, you'll need to authenticate yourself using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

If the biometrics scan doesn't work or your device is not equipped with biometric protection, you can use your device's passcode or password instead.

While it's more useful on iPad and Mac, devices frequently shared between family members or housemates, it can also ensure no one can access your locked incognito tabs on your iPhone whenever someone borrows it or hacks into it.

Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

If Private Browsing is not locked on your device or you want to disable it, you can quickly turn it on or off.

  • On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings –> Safari –> Privacy & Security, toggle on or off "Require Face ID to Unlock Private Browsing" or "Require Touch ID to Unlock Private Browsing," and confirm with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. ( Shown below. )
  • On Mac: Go to Safari –> Settings –> Privacy, then check or uncheck "Require Touch ID to view locked tabs" or "Require password to view locked tabs."

Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

2. A Separate Search Engine

You could already change Safari's search engine on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but now you can choose separate search engines for regular and private browsing.

For example, you may like Google as your regular search engine, but you may want something like DuckDuckGo, which does not build user profiles and aims to prevent online tracking, as your search engine for Private Browsing mode. This can make Private Browsing even more private.

  • On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings –> Safari –> Private Search Engine, then choose the one you want. ( Shown below. )
  • On Mac: Go to Safari –> Settings –> Search, click the browser next to "Private Browsing search engine," and choose the one you want.

You can choose between "Use Default Search Engine" or any available search engine, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuck Go, and Ecosia. If you have additional languages installed on your device, you may see other options, such as Baidu, Sogou, Yandex, and 360 Search.

Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

3. Protection Against Extensions That Access Page Content

Before, any Safari extensions you had turned on for regular browsing also applied to Private Browsing mode. Now, "extensions that inject scripts or can read information about the pages [you visit]" are disabled by default in Private Browsing mode on iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14 Sonoma, according to Apple.

In contrast, content blockers and other extensions that don't access any content on webpages are allowed in Private Browsing mode by default. This is because they don't pose any additional privacy or security concerns.

4. Customization Options for Extensions

As you could probably guess from the previous section, Safari 17 now lets you toggle extensions on or off for Private Browsing mode without affecting their status in regular browsing mode. So if you ever want to turn on an extension that Safari automatically disabled for Private Browsing, you can do that. And you can turn off any extension in Private Browsing you don't want or need when searching incognito.

  • On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings –> Safari –> Extensions, tap an extension, and toggle the "Private Browsing" switch on or off. ( Shown below. )
  • On Mac: Go to Safari –> Settings –> Extensions, click on an extension, and toggle "Private Browsing" on or off.

When an extension is completely disabled, you won't be able to turn it on for Private Browsing alone. But when enabled on your "Personal" profile , you can turn it on or off for Private Browsing and any of your other profiles .

Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

5. Automatic Tracker Blocking on Websites

Safari 17 has more advanced tracking and fingerprinting protection. In Private Browsing mode, it completely blocks known trackers from loading on pages.

6. Automatic Removal of Tracking IDs in Links

Safari 17 also includes Link Tracking Protection automatically for Private Browsing. Link Tracking Protection disables known tracking parameters appended to URLs that websites use to monitor your movements across the web and build profiles on you. For example, it may turn this:

To ensure it's enabled for Private Browsing, follow the applicable instructions below.

  • On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings –> Safari –> Advanced –> Advanced Tracking and Fingerprint Protection, then choose either "All Browsing" or "Private Browsing." ( Shown below. )
  • On Mac: Go to Safari –> Settings –> Advanced, click "in Private Browsing" next to "Use advanced tracking and fingerprinting protection," and change it to "in all browsing" or "in Private Browsing."

Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More Private on iOS 17

Link Tracking Protection is an improvement in privacy, for sure, but it's not going to stop all marketing companies as there are ways to bypass parameter removals.

Other New Safari Features Also Work in Private Browsing

While the above features improve privacy when using Private Browsing mode, you can also use many of the other new features Safari has to offer when browsing incognito. Features that work in regular browsing that also work in Private Browsing include speedier Tab Group switching, faster and more relevant search suggestions, the new screen reader, and more.

Just updated your iPhone? See everything that's new with Apple's latest iOS update:

  • iOS 17.2 Has 59 New Features and Changes for iPhone You Won't Want to Miss

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iOS 17 Safari makes private browsing more secure — here's how

You can use Face ID to lock private browsing tabs in Safari

how to use locked private browsing in ios 17 safari

The private browsing feature in iOS 17 Safari gets an extra layer of privacy, as the your private browsing tabs can now lock when you're not using the feature. But to make sure prying passersby don't see your browsing activity, you've first go to turn on locked private browsing in iOS 17 .

When you turn on locked private browsing, you're setting things up so that your open tabs can only be unlocked with Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode. The advantage of having that safeguard in place should be clear — no one will be able to see your private browsing tabs except for you. That way, you can keep those tabs open when you need to move on to other things, secure in the knowledge that whatever sites you've visited in Safari will remain private.

Here's how to turn on locked private browsing in iOS 17, as well as as a guide to the updated interface for private browsing in mobile Safari.

How to turn on locked private browsing

1. go to safari settings.

Launch the Settings app , and scroll down until you find Safari. (It's in the block of settings that contain the other built-in iOS apps.) Tap Safari .

2. Turn on locked private browsing

In the Safari setting screen, scroll down to the Privacy & Security section. There's an entry for Require Face ID to Unlock Private Browsing. Move the slider right to turn on the feature.

For phones without Face ID — essentially the iPhone SE, at this point — the menu item lets you require Touch ID instead.

Once that slider is set, your private browsing sessions will now require you to unlock the page using Face ID (or Touch ID) before you can view any open tabs. You can also unlock pages by tapping Unlock and entering your passcode.

As a reminder, here's how to enter private browsing in Safari on your iPhone.

1. Go to the tabs page

In Safari, tap the tabs button . (It's the one on the far right of Safari's menu bar at the bottom of the screen.)

2. Launch private browsing

Swipe right on the tab menu so that the private browsing tab now appears on the center of the page. Tap Done to begin private browsing.

3. Turn on iCloud Private Relay (optional)

If you subscribe to iCloud Plus, you've got access to Private Relay . That's a a VPN-esque proxy service that encrypts your data and masks your IP address and DNS requests. That way, website and network operators can't build a profile using your browsing history.

Safari was just one of the apps to get an update as part of iOS 17, as you can see in our iOS 17 review . We can also show you how to take advantage of other new iOS 17 features, such as how to download offline maps in iOS 17 Maps , how to use the new Check In features in Messages and how to use gestures in FaceTime video chats.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

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How to use Locked Private Browsing in Safari

Lock your private windows, so that you can keep them open and private even when you step away from your device.

Browse privately in Safari on your Apple device

When you use Private Browsing, Safari doesn't remember the pages that you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information. Private Browsing also protects you from tracking by blocking known trackers from loading and by removing tracking used to identify individual users from URLs as you browse.

For additional privacy, your private windows can lock when you're not using them.

When your device is locked or asleep, or if you aren't actively using Safari, your private windows in Safari will lock.

When you unlock or wake up your device, or start using Safari again, just unlock your private window with Touch ID, Face ID, or your device passcode or password.

Locked Private Browsing is available starting in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and in Safari 17 on macOS Monterey, macOS Ventura, and macOS Sonoma. If you don't find the option to lock private windows, update your device to the latest software version.

Turn on Private Browsing on iPhone

Turn on Private Browsing on Mac

Locked Private Browsing is turned on by default in macOS. In iOS and iPadOS, you have the option to turn on Locked Private Browsing when you use Private Browsing for the first time after updating to supported software, or you can turn it on in Settings.

How to turn Locked Private Browsing on or off on iPhone or iPad

Open the Settings app.

Scroll down and tap Safari.

Scroll down to Privacy & Security, then turn on Require Face ID (or Touch ID) to Unlock Private Browsing. Or turn it off, if you don't want your private windows to lock.

In Safari settings, you can require Face ID to unlock Private Browsing windows.

How to turn Locked Private Browsing on or off on Mac

Open Safari.

From the Safari menu, choose Settings.

Click Privacy.

Next to Private Browsing, select "Require Touch ID to view locked tabs." Or unselect it, if you don't want your private windows to lock.

On Mac, go to Safari > Settings, then choose Privacy to turn require Touch ID to view locked tabs.

When private windows lock

A locked private window in Safari on iPhone.

On iPhone or iPad, private windows lock when Safari isn't running in the foreground or when you switch from Private Browsing. They also lock when your device locks.

On Mac, private windows lock when Safari isn't the active window for a period of time. They also lock when you lock your Mac, when it goes to sleep, or when a screensaver starts.

On Mac, you can lock all private windows manually: From the Safari menu bar, choose Window > Lock All Private Windows.

Private windows don't lock if you haven't loaded a web page.

Private windows don't lock if you're playing audio or video.

safari private mode cookies

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Find what’s been asked and answered by Apple customers.

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IMAGES

  1. How to use Safari private browsing on Mac, iPhone & iPad

    safari private mode cookies

  2. 4 Ways to Enable Cookies in Safari

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  3. 4 quick ways to open Safari Private Tab on iPhone in iOS 15

    safari private mode cookies

  4. Come Abilitare i Cookie in Safari: 9 Passaggi

    safari private mode cookies

  5. Managing Cookies in the Safari Web Browser

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  6. How to Manage Cookies in the Safari Browser

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VIDEO

  1. How To Turn Incognito On Safari Private Mode on iPhone

  2. How to use Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone (EASY)

  3. How to Enable Cookies in Safari on iPhone

  4. Cereal a la mode cookies

  5. How To Turn On Private Browsing on Safari in iPhone (2024)

  6. How to Activate Private Tab in Safari on iPhone

COMMENTS

  1. Use Private Browsing in Safari on Mac

    In the Safari app on your Mac, choose File > New Private Window, or switch to a private window that's already open. A private window has a dark Smart Search field with white text. When you use a private window:

  2. Everything You Need to Know About Safari Private Browsing

    Exclusive deal: Get a yearly plan for $6.67 per month (49% off)! Visit ExpressVPN Below, you'll find more information on how to use Safari Private Browsing on all your Apple devices, as well as more details on how this incognito mode does and doesn't protect your privacy.

  3. Browse privately in Safari on iPhone

    Tap , then tap Privacy Report . Use iCloud Private Relay to browse the web with more privacy When you subscribe to iCloud+, you can use iCloud Private Relay to help prevent websites and network providers from creating a detailed profile about you.

  4. Turn Private Browsing on or off on your iPhone

    Need more help? Save time by starting your support request online and we'll connect you to an expert. Get started With Private Browsing, Safari won't remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.

  5. How to Use Safari's Private Browsing Mode

    Method 1 The first method outlined below allows you to either limit the clearing of history, cookies and website data to a specific timeframe, or to delete your existing web history altogether....

  6. 3 Ways to Enable Cookies in Safari

    Method 1 Enabling Cookies on a Mac Download Article 1 Open Safari and click the Safari menu. While Safari is open, you'll see the "Safari" menu at the top of your Mac's screen. [1] 2 Click Preferences…. This option is near the top of the menu. 3

  7. How to Always Start Safari in Private Browsing Mode on a Mac

    First, launch Safari. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click "Safari" and select "Preferences." In the Preferences pop-up window, make sure you're on the General tab. Look for the option called "Safari Opens With:" located beside a drop-down menu. Click on the drop-down menu and select "A New Private Window" from the list of options.

  8. How to Use Safari Private Browsing on an iPhone or iPad

    To activate Private Browsing, first launch Safari. If you don't see the toolbar at the top of the screen, tap anywhere once to reveal it. Then tap on the "New Window" button in the upper-right corner. On Safari's window management screen, tap the "Private" button in the upper-right corner. After Private Mode is enabled, tap the plus (+) button ...

  9. PDF Learn how the Safari web browser protects your privacy.

    location data or cookies along with search data. Private Browsing mode . Private Browsing doesn't save browsing history, protecting a user's privacy from ... Similarly, in Private Browsing mode, Safari doesn't show search suggestions or pass any information to the default search engine while the user types in the Smart Search field.

  10. Private Mode On Safari

    Tap on the New Private tab option. On Mac You can choose to either browse privately once or set it as a setting for always. If you want to use it one time, you can follow these steps: Open the Safari app and click on File . Click on New Private Window. You can also use a keyboard shortcut: Shift + Command + N.

  11. How to Use Private Browsing in Safari on Mac, iPhone, or iPad

    Open the Safari app on your iPhone or iPad, then tap the Tabs button in the bottom-right corner to view your open pages. In the bottom-left corner, tap Private to enable private browsing mode. Then tap the Add ( +) button to open a private browsing window. Tap the Tabs button in the bottom-right corner.

  12. How To See Safari Private Browsing History

    Accessing Private Browsing History: To view the private browsing history in Safari on a Mac, you can follow these steps: Open Safari on your Mac. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on "History." From the drop-down menu, select "Show History." Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Y.

  13. What Does Private Mode Do On Safari

    Activate Private Mode: Tap the tab icon in the lower-right corner of the Safari interface. This will reveal your open tabs. Next, tap "Private" in the lower-left corner to switch to Private Mode. The interface will change to a dark theme, indicating that Private Mode is now active.

  14. Clear the history, cache, and cookies from Safari on your iPhone, iPad

    Tap the Delete button. Block cookies A cookie is a piece of data that a site puts on your device so that site can remember you when you visit again. To block cookies: Go to Settings > Safari > Advanced. Turn on Block All Cookies. If you block cookies, some web pages might not work. Here are some examples:

  15. How to use Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

    8 min read Incognito mode is known as Private Browsing in Safari on Apple devices. You may want to use this mode as it gives you the freedom to browse the web privately without your browsing activity being recorded and stored on your device.

  16. Private browsing: What it does

    Many people look for more privacy when they browse the web by using their browsers in privacy-protecting modes, called "Private Browsing" in Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple Safari;...

  17. Private browsing in Safari: All you need to know

    Another way to do this is to set up Safari to always browse in private mode. Launch Safari and go to Preferences from the menu bar (or use the keyboard shortcut, Command+[comma]). From the General tab of Preferences, locate the drop-down option called "Safari opens with:" and set this to "A new private window."

  18. How to Put Safari in Private Mode: A Comprehensive Guide

    Keyboard Shortcut: Press "Command + Shift + N" together to open a new private browsing window directly. Menu Bar: Right-click on the Safari icon in your dock and select "New Private Window" from the menu. File Menu: Click on "File" in the Safari menu bar, and then select "New Private Window" from the drop-down menu.

  19. macos

    1 Answer Sorted by: 4 No, this is currently not possible. Safari Private Browsing tabs and windows do not share any session data and are completely independent. From the Apple Support KB "Safari for Mac: Use Private Browsing windows in Safari":

  20. Safari's Private Browsing Mode Just Made Your Private Tabs Way More

    Private Browsing mode finally lives up to its name in Apple's huge Safari 17 update for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. So whether you search for things you don't want anybody to know about or want to ensure websites and trackers aren't eavesdropping on your activity, you'll want to update your devices pronto.

  21. Manage cookies and website data in Safari on Mac

    In the Safari app on your Mac, choose Safari > Preferences, click Privacy, then do any of the following: Prevent trackers from using cookies and website data to track you: Select "Prevent cross-site tracking." Cookies and website data are deleted unless you visit and interact with the trackers' websites.

  22. iOS 17 Safari makes private browsing more secure

    The private browsing feature in iOS 17 Safari gets an extra layer of privacy, as the your private browsing tabs can now lock when you're not using the feature. But to make sure prying passersby ...

  23. cookies

    Nov 14, 2015 at 12:02 @pidm , I answered the question. - Offir Dec 3, 2015 at 9:12 Add a comment 2 Answers Sorted by: 9 I implemented a LocalStorageHandler that checks if the browser supports local storage, if it doesn't support then I use a Cookie. This is the function that checks if it supports local storage:

  24. How to use Locked Private Browsing in Safari

    Click Privacy. Next to Private Browsing, select "Require Touch ID to view locked tabs." Or unselect it, if you don't want your private windows to lock. When private windows lock On iPhone or iPad, private windows lock when Safari isn't running in the foreground or when you switch from Private Browsing. They also lock when your device locks.

  25. Chrome vs Safari: Which Is More Secure 2024

    Safari: HTTPS mode: Pre-installed, not enabled by default : ... Safari's Private Search option stops the browser from logging your search history, queries, or information from forms you fill in.. ... Google wipes all session data, including cookies. Google's Incognito Mode hasn't always lived up to expectations though. Towards the end of ...