The Evolution of Private Browsing on the iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

The Evolution of Private Browsing on the iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

Privacy is hard to come by in the digital age. Many users seek to have more privacy by opening a private browsing tab when using the Internet. The following information will teach you everything you need to know about using a private browser on iPhone. Read on to find out just how private these browsers are, and what you can do to improve your privacy online.

How to activate private browsing on iPhone or iPad

Safari comes pre-installed on all iOS devices. Unless you have another browser installed, you will use Safari to access the Internet on your Apple phone or tablet. Not that it’s a bad thing, as the browser was designed specifically for Apple devices and works like a charm most of the time.

If you decide to stop using Safari, you’ll likely choose Google Chrome instead. It is a great choice if you want more extensions and customization options. Let’s see how you can open a private browsing window in any of these browsers.

Private browsing in Safari with iOS 16

Opening a private tab in Safari is pretty easy, and there are several ways to do it, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Click on “ Tabs ” in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Press the « Tabs » button at the bottom center of the screen.
  4. Choose the “ Private ” option from the pop-up menu and press “ OK ” in the bottom right corner of the screen.

*The “x” represents the number of tabs you currently have open.

Shortcut for private browsing in Safari with iOS 16

If you want an even faster way to enter Private Browsing mode, here’s what you can do:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Press and hold the « Tabs » button in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Choose ” New Private Tab ” or ” Private Tab ” from the pop-up menu to start a private session.
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After completing these steps, your search bar will turn dark gray and you will see a notice at the top of the screen indicating that you are now in private browsing mode. 

Incognito Mode in Google Chrome with iOS 16

Google Chrome has its private browsing mode, which they call Incognito. This is how you can open a new Incognito tab:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click on three horizontal dots in the lower right corner of your screen.
  3. Choose the ” New Incognito Tab ” option from the pop-up menu.

When you enter Incognito mode, the search bar at the top and the navigation bar at the bottom turn dark gray. The Incognito logo also appears on the left side of the search bar.

How to turn off private browsing on iPhone and iPad

Disable private browsing in Safari with iOS16

The steps you must follow to exit private browsing mode are very similar to those to activate it:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Press the « Tabs » button in the lower right corner of the screen.
  3. Click on « Private » at the bottom center of the screen.
  4. Click on « x Tabs » just above « Private » and press « Done «.

After turning off private browsing mode, the search bar should return to white and the private browsing disclaimer will disappear. 

Disable Incognito mode in Google Chrome with iOS 16

To close an incognito tab:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Press the ” Tabs ” button to the left of the three horizontal dots at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click on the center icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Select a tab or open a new one to exit Incognito mode.

Once you exit Incognito mode, the dark gray highlights in the navigation menu and search bar should turn white.

What is private browsing and incognito mode?

Private browsing and incognito mode are local privacy features. They make your browsing and search history private from other people who might be using the same device. No browsing data remains on the device once you end your private session.

It should be noted that as soon as you open a new private window, parts of the cache and cookies cannot be accessed by your browser. This means that your saved login data is not transferred when your browser is in private mode. So you will have to remember them and enter them when entering any page.

Your browser continues to use cache and cookies

Private browsing does not eliminate the use of cache and cookies. The key difference is that your browsing history is only kept for the duration of the private session.

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All data from your session is deleted immediately upon completion. As a result, it is impossible to access any information about your activity during this time on your device because it simply isn’t there. But that does not mean that all traces of your activity have disappeared. Likely, your private session wasn’t so private.

Is private browsing safe?

With private browsing turned on, all you get is a bit of privacy. Your Internet security does not change one iota. Just because you don’t remember doing something doesn’t mean that others don’t remember it. Whether on iPhone, iPad, or a computer. 

Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can still see what you do as the data goes through their servers. The same goes for computers at the workplace or school, they can control users with programs or by requiring them to connect to their servers to use the device.

If you use Wi-Fi, the owner of the network can check your Internet activity through the administration panel of the router. In addition, the pages you visit can track your behavior and recognize your browsing patterns in addition to your user ID through Google Analytics. 

Incognito mode and the Google scandal

Does Google track you in incognito mode?

Google specifies that “…web pages may collect information about your browsing activity during your session.” However, what they didn’t mention is that they do it with Google Analytics directly. Many users were angered by the lack of transparency and communication on the issue, leading to a $5B lawsuit.

What does Apple do? As of this writing, no such thing has happened with Safari’s private browsing. At least not yet.

Everyone has the right to privacy and personal data. And private browsing alone does not guarantee safe browsing

Alternatives to private and incognito browsing

Now you know that turning on a private browsing tab won’t give you much real privacy. But what can you do if you want to keep your private data in front of the whole world and not just the people who have access to your device? Fortunately, there are a couple of good options that you can choose from.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best online privacy tools available today. A good VPN uses obfuscated servers and encrypts your data so no one can understand what you’re seeing. So even if someone is monitoring your traffic, they won’t be able to get any information out of it.

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Best of all, VPN apps are very easy to set up and use. You don’t have to be a tech expert to do it. Just choose a VPN provider you like, get their iOS app, and connect to a VPN server. That’s all you have to do to add a layer of protection to your privacy on the Internet.

Use a truly private browser

Some browsers do more than just delete your browsing history after you log out. Browsers like DuckDuckGo, Brave Browser, Red Onion, and others in the same category are much better at providing privacy and security when you browse the Internet. 

Many of them don’t track your activity and have their own ad and popup-blocking features. If you want to maximize your security, you can also use a private browser with a VPN.

Is it possible to browse privately on iPhone?

You can get online privacy on your iPhone. It’s not as simple as opening a private tab in Safari or an incognito tab in Chrome. Doing so will only protect your data from other people using the same device, not from the millions of eyes out there on the internet.

If you want your identity and data to be safe on the Internet, use a VPN whenever you use the Internet. Combine it with a private session, or better yet, a truly private browser, and enjoy true privacy on the Internet.

Guarantee your privacy and security on the Internet

Frequent questions

Is iPhone Private Browsing Private?

It’s only private to other users of the device you’re using, and it does very little to protect you online. To be truly private from your ISP and millions of prying eyes on the internet, consider using a VPN.

What happened to private browsing on the iPhone?

Apple updated Safari software and its design. To use the private option: Long press the “Tabs” icon to the right of Safari’s address bar and choose “New Private Tab”.

However, after the update, you need to go to the content and privacy restrictions of “Screen time” to restrict access to the content.

Which browser is private on the iPhone?

All browsers have some sort of “private browsing” feature. Unfortunately, most of them don’t do much for your privacy. DuckDuckGo, Brave Browser, and Red Onion are some of the most private browsers for iPhone users.

Is there private browsing in Safari?

Safari has a private browsing mode; however, it only keeps your data private from other people who may use your device. If you want to protect your privacy from threats lurking on the Internet, your best bet is to use a VPN.


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