Apple announced that they officially have two billion active iPhone users globally, which is an absurd amount of smartphones out in the wild. With each of these iPhones, whether you love it or hate it, they come pre-installed with Safari as the default browser. So if you’ve had an iPhone since 2007, that means you’ve been using Safari on an iPhone for over 15 years (unless you’ve switched browsers). Most people don’t realize how much you can do in Safari; here are some features that I think every Safari user should know about!
10 Safari Features You Wish You Already Knew [Video]
1. Moving the URL/address bar
When Apple released iOS 15, they added the ability to move the Safari address bar to the bottom of the screen. The move was made for accessibility and one-handed use, which makes complete sense, and was a change made by default. This meant that anyone who updated to iOS 15 saw their address bar move. But as a longtime Safari user, I wasn’t a fan of this change. Fortunately, Apple added an option in the settings that allows you to move the address bar back to its proper place
Settings > Safari > Tabs
2. Add any website to your home screen
If you’ve been using the iPhone since the pre-app days, like me, then you know this feature well. Apple allows you to add a website shortcut to your Home screen. This feature has been around since the beginning – I remember when people made web apps and you could save them to your home screen on your iPhone 3G to pretend they were native apps.
iOS 16 still allows for this if you need quick access to a specific web page; What’s nice about it is that Apple hides the address bar, giving it the feel of an actual app. Try this with Instagram on your iPad and you’ll know what I mean.
Safari > Share Button > Add to Home Screen
3. Search bar for your tabs
Did you know that if you scroll all the way to the top of your tabs, a search bar appears? If you’re using 10s or 100s of tabs at once, you can go to your tab menu and then scroll to the top to search your tabs.
4. Closing tabs based on time
You may be aware that you can set automatic deletion of iMessages in your settings; so if you can get iMessage to delete your messages after a year, you can do the same with your tabs. You can set your tabs to delete on a daily, weekly or monthly basis from the settings menu.
Settings > Safari > Close Tabs > Choose Time
5. Customize your Safari home page
When you open Safari and have a fresh start page, there are some information that will be shown to you like recently visited, security information and more. There is a way to customize your website with not only the displayed information but also the background image. If you scroll to the bottom of a new Safari page, there is an edit button that allows you to change the order of the displayed information as well as change the background image
Start a new Safari page > Scroll to the bottom > Tap edit > Select background image
As I mentioned above, Safari on the iPhone is one of my most used apps by far. Apple has been slowly adding more and more features over the years to give users a fully optimized browsing experience, and it just keeps getting better. Be sure to check out the full video to see the rest of the Safari features that everyone should know. I go into much more depth and even show you how to use Safari extensions, which deserves its own post.
What is your favorite Safari feature? What do you primarily use Safari for? Do you use Safari as your main browser on your iPhone, or do you use another browser like Chrome? Let’s discuss our favorite features in the comments below.
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