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Privacy

Apple security tip: Use private browsing to erase your digital tracks (iPhone, iPad, Mac)

Despite Google’s invasive privacy practices, billions of people use Chrome to surf the internet. If you’re one of them, there are some steps you can take to protect your information and improve your overall browsing experience. Tap or click here for 10 ways to secure your Chrome browser.

Many people use the browser that comes with their computer because it’s convenient. In the case of Safari, this is a good thing. Apple’s browser blocks cross-site tracking, so you can enjoy the sites you use most without worrying about being followed. But there’s another tool to increase privacy.

You can also open pages in private browsing mode, which means your search history won’t be stored. Here’s how to do it on your Apple devices.

What is private browsing mode?

Private browsing mode erases your search history, visited websites, cookies and form data (such as auto-fill suggestions). If someone sits down on the same computer after you, they won’t be able to see your activity.

This is great on a local level. But it doesn’t hide your activity from the websites you visit. You can still be tracked, and your data can still be shared with third parties.

Chrome calls it Incognito Mode, while Microsoft Edge calls it InPrivate. Both Apple and Firefox call it Private Browsing.

RELATED: Sick of Google Chrome? 6 alternative browsers to try instead

When you use Private Browsing on Safari, your browsing details aren’t saved, and they’re not shared across devices. You can open a Private Browsing window on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

Turn on Private Browsing on your iPhone or iPod touch

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone or iPod touch.
  2. Tap the two squares tabs button in the lower-right corner.
  3. Tap [number] Tabs or Start Page if only one tab is open at the bottom of your screen to show the Tab Groups list.
  4. Tap Private, then tap Done.

Turn off Private Browsing on your iPhone or iPod touch

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone or iPod touch.
  2. Tap the two squares tabs button in the lower-right corner.
  3. Tap Private at the bottom of your screen to show the Tabs Groups list.
  4. Tap [number] Tabs, then tap Done.

RELATED: iPhone 14, AirPods Pro, Apple Watch 8 pre-orders open – Are they worth it?

Turn on Private Browsing on your iPad

  1. Open Safari on your iPad.
  2. Touch and hold the four squares tabs button.
  3. Tap New Private Tab.

Turn off Private Browsing on your iPad

  1. Open Safari on your iPad.
  2. Tap the four squares tabs button.
  3. Tap Private to show the Tab Groups list.
  4. Tap Tabs.

Turn on Private Browsing on your Mac

  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. Go to Safari > Preferences > General.
  3. Click the Safari opens with pop-up menu, then choose A new private window.
  4. If you don’t see this option, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > General and ensure Close windows when quitting an app is selected.

Turn off Private Browsing on your Mac

  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. Now you have three options: close the private window, switch to a non-private Safari window, or choose File > New Window to open a non-private window.
  3. Close any other private windows to prevent others from using the Back and Forward buttons to see pages you visited.

You may also like: 5 ways to keep your online searches private

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