How to Use Safari on the iPhone

Using Safari on the iPhone is easy, but most users are missing out on the full functionality by not using all the features. Here’s how to use Safari on the iPhone to its full potential to save time and avoid frustration.

Some of these features include tweaking the default search engine, clearing the history and cache, using full screen mode, and setting up iCloud Tab Sync to open tabs from another iOS or OS X device.

Although there are many web browsers to use on the iPhone, Safari is one of the most reliable. Safari is also great for Autofilling passwords, making a reading list, and using private browsing.

Safari also features a lot of hidden functionality that when explained is easy to use.

Full Screen Mode

Full screen mode is a familiar feature for Mac users ever since the update to Lion. This added feature in Safari is very useful for those who read a lot in Safari, and do not want the distractions of the top bar.

How to use Full Screen Mode:

Fullscreen Mode

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Rotate the iPhone into the landscape position when on the webpage that the user wants full screen, and then tap the two opposing arrows to enter full screen.

Exit Fullscreen Mode

To exit Full Screen tap the two facing arrows in the bottom right corner.

Auto Complete in Address Bar

Auto Complete search bars have been around for a while in Chrome and other browsers but the functionality has finally reached Safari for iPhone. The way this works is by simply entering “cnn” for example, the browser knows to go to “www.cnn.com”.

QuicksearchBar

It’s a small tweak, but a time saver for anyone that surfs on the iPhone a lot.

Open Safari Tabs From Other Devices

Safari tab syncing is a great addition that makes working from any device a lot easier. With the help of iCloud, all the tabs in Safari on any Mac (running Mountain Lion), iPad or iPhone (both on iOS 6) that are all on the same Apple ID are accessible in a snap.

To make sure this feature is enabled Tap Settings –> iCloud and slide Safari to “ON.”

How to use Safari Tab Syncing:

Tap Bookmarks

Tap Bookmarks as shown above.

iCloud TabsSelect iCloud Tabs.

Choose a tab

Choose a tab from the device of your choice. The tabs stay in sync across all iOS and OS X devices.

Jump to the Top of a Webpage

Instead of scrolling up and up and up to get to the top of a webpage, tap on the clock in the iPhone status bar to quickly jump to the top of the page. This is something users can do in most iPhone or iPad apps.

Jump to top of iPhone Safari

Look at Browsing History

Whether the user forgot to bookmark a page, or just wondered where they started searching from going to the history of the browser is a useful tool. A quick way to do this is to hold the back button of the browser.

Hold back button

After holding the back button for about two seconds a new window with the user’s history should appear like so.

Search History

Change the Search Engine

Tap Settings.

Settings

Scroll down and Select Safari.

Safari

Next Choose Search Engine.

Search Engine

Once done, this next screen will appear.

Search Options

The choice is up to the user whether they would like to search with Google, Yahoo or Bing. The main reason that this would need changed is if Google is not what a user prefers to search with or if another search engine enabled itself without permission.

New Tab Behavior

Another helpful tip with Safari is how it handles links. By default when a link opens a new tab opens on top of what the user is currently reading. With a simple setting flip this can be changed to become less intrusive.

While still in Safari’s settings Select Open Links

Open Links

Once that is selected this next window will appear.

Link Options

The In New Page option remains set by default and behaves by opening the selected link on top of what the user is currently reading. A better option is In Background as the links open in another tab but they go behind the tab that is currently opened.

Clear Safari History

One last tip to get the most out of Safari is to clear your history and cookies. This is fairly common practice for pc web browsers but it is mostly looked over on mobile devices.

Users that want to remove details about visiting a certain Website or who experience a slow or crash-prone Safari can use these steps to clear out the history and cookies.

While in Safari’s settings Scroll down to see this screen.

Clear History and Cookies

To clear the history Tap Clear History and when a dialogue box pops up Tap Clear History again.

The same process applies with clearing cookies and data.

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It is not necessary to do this all the time, but occasionally clearing history and cookies is good for keeping Safari snappy and as a first step in fixing any Safari issues on the iPhone.

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