How to Set Private Browsing for Safari in iOS 7

Private Browsing in Safari 1Normally, we provide a handy-dandy how-to guide for the iPad on Mondays. However, it has recently come to our attention that some of our users are having trouble figuring out how to turn on private browsing in Safari now that iOS 7 has completely redesigned the look of the Web app. Since the Holiday shopping season kicks off this Friday, we didn’t want any secret shoppers worrying about someone seeing which gifts were being purchased for other iPad users in the house. So, we wanted to give you a quick tutorial for enabling private browsing in iOS 7.

If there are no issues ahead of you, finding the private browsing tab is very easy. Simply tap the blue “+” plus symbol in the upper right corner of the screen in the Safari app. At the bottom left corner of the screen, the word “Private” will appear. Tap it to enable private browsing. You will know if it worked because the search bar at the top of the screen will turn dark gray, signaling that your Internet activity is not being stored on your iPad. To disable private browsing, tap the blue plus symbol again and then tap Private again.

If you tap the plus symbol and don’t see the Private tab at the bottom left of the screen, there may be a few reasons why.

Private Browsing in Safari 2First of all, check to see that your website restrictions are not enabled. Open your Settings app and select “General” and then “Restricted.” If Safari’s switch is toggled to the “Off” position, then restricted browsing has been enabled and you won’t be able to access private browsing in Safari. If it is on, and you don’t remember doing it, chances are, someone else doesn’t want you browsing the Internet in secret. You will need the four-digit passcode to access restrictions. This is not the same as your iPad’s lock screen code. So, the user who created the restricted content code might be the only one who knows what it is. You’re on your own from here on out.

Private Browsing in Safari 3Even if the Safari switch is in the “On” position, it is still possible that restrictions have been set. You still need the passcode to access this section, but if you do have it and can access the Restrictions section, scroll down to “Allowed Content” and select “Websites” from the list. If “Limit Adult Content” or “Specific Websites Only” are enabled, you will not be able to access private browsing in Safari. The allowed websites must be set to “All Websites.”

Private Browsing in Safari 5Another reason you may not be able to see the private browsing tab at the bottom of the screen is because you have not yet bookmarked any websites. You must have at least one favorite website bookmarked in order to see the private browsing tab. Find a website you want to add. Tap the Share icon in the upper left corner of the screen (it looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward). Then, select “Bookmark” from the list of available options. Tap “Save” to add the website to your favorites list. It will then show up when you open a new tab by tapping the blue plus symbol and the Private tab will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Now, you can do your online Christmas shopping without worrying about who is snooping around in your browser history.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik