How to Go Incognito in Safari on iPhone, iPad & Mac

In Safari on Apple gadgets, they call the incognito mode “Private Browsing.” It’s like your secret pass to surf the internet without leaving any trace on your device. In Safari when you go incognito, it doesn’t save your recent searches, browsing history, or any other online shenanigans. Plus, websites can’t use cookies to keep tabs on you. When you’re done with incognito mode, Safari cleans the house by tossing out all the site cookies and data from that session.

Now, with the cool features of iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and iPadOS 17, Apple is kicking things up a notch. Safari now lets you lock Private tabs using your Face ID for some extra security. In this article, we’ll show you how you can use incognito mode on your Apple devices. Let’s jump in!

Steps to be on Incognito mode on your iPhone


Just switch on the Private browsing mode on Safari, If you want to privately browse using your iPhone. It’s a quick and easy process, ensuring that your search history won’t be tracked, and it will stop syncing your private sessions on iCloud. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • After you launch Safari, in the bottom right tap the Tabs icon.
  • Tap on the number of tabs you have open to access Tab Groups. Then, select the Private option.

Go Incognito in Safari on iPhone

  • Tapping either “Done” or the “+” button will open a private tab.
  • Another faster method is to choose “New Private tab” when you press and hold Tab icon.

Private Browsing Window in Safari on iPhone

  • Now you’ll notice an address bar that is darker instead of the usual white one in the incognito mode in Safari.

Now, start browsing privately and more freely on Safari using your iPhone.

Exiting Incognito Mode in Safari:

  • Tap the Tabs icon in Safari, then select “Private” from the bottom-center.
  • Tap on the number of tabs you have open to exit private browsing mode on your iPhone.

Exit Private Browsing in Safari on iPhone

Note: This method doesn’t close the private tab but simply takes you out of private browsing mode.

Going Incognito in Safari:

The steps to enter Incognito mode in Safari on iPad are quite similar to those on the iPhone. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Launch Safari on your iPad and hold the Tabs icon.

Touch and hold Tabs icon in Safari on iPad

  • Tap “New Private Tab” to activate incognito mode on your iPad.

New Private Tab option in Safari on iPad

You can easily identify that you’re in private browsing mode in Safari when the address bar adopts a dark or black hue, accompanied by a switch in button color from blue to black.

Private Browsing Window Safari iPad

Exiting Incognito Mode in Safari:

Concluding your incognito session on Safari for iPad is a straightforward process. Here’s your guide:

  • While browsing in Safari, locate and tap the Tabs button. Select “Private” to access the Tabs groups list.

Tap Private to see Tab Groups List in Safari on iPad

  • The final step involves tapping on the number of tabs you have open, gracefully exiting Safari’s Incognito mode on your iPad. If you fancy revisiting a familiar webpage or exploring a new one, go ahead and tap the “+” button. 

Exit Incognito mode in Safari on iPad

Just a heads up: when you use this method, it takes you from the sneaky private mode to regular browsing, but it won’t actually shut down those private tabs. If you want to close them, just hit the little red cross button in the top left corner of the screen.

Going Incognito in Safari on Mac:

Wanna go undercover in Safari on your Mac? Piece of cake! It’s just as simple as on your iPhone or iPad. Check it out:

  • Open Safari and select  “File” up top.

Open Safari in Mac and go to File option in the Menu Bar

  • Pick “New Private Window,” and voila! Now you’ve got a special window just for your private browsing on your Mac.
  • Or, if you’re into shortcuts, hit Command + Shift + N, and you’re incognito in a flash.

Go to Incognito Mode in Safari on Mac

  • Notice the dark Smart Search field with white text? That means you’re in incognito mode on Safari for your Mac.

Bonus tip: in your undercover window, If you open multiple tabs, Safari won’t spill the beans and share any data between those tabs. 

Making Incognito the Default Mode in Safari:

If you’re someone who values privacy, you can set Safari to always start in incognito mode for your private browsing needs. This way, Safari will automatically open a private window by default on your Mac. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open Safari, then click on Safari in the menu bar, followed by “Preferences.”

Safari Settings in Mac

  • Under the General tab, locate the “Safari opens with” option and select “A new private window.”

Enable Incognite Mode by default in Safari on Mac

  • If you don’t find this option, head to the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, then navigate to Desktop & Dock. Turn on the “Close windows when quitting an application” option.

Close windows when quitting an application settings on Mac

Exiting Private Browsing in Safari on Mac:

You have a couple of options if you want to exit Safari incognito mode:

Close the private window on Safari, and then open a regular window.


from the menu bar Select “File” and choose “New Window,” or you can even use the Command + N shortcut on your keyword. This will switch you back to normal mode on your browser.

Exit Incognito Mode in Safari on Mac

Himangi is passionate about keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of technology. In her free time, she indulges her interests in neuroscience and art.


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