How to use the new tab bar in iOS 15 Safari

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Safari has been a mainstay of Apple iPhones from the very beginning, but iOS 15 brings major changes to the look and functionality of the venerable web browser. Perhaps the biggest change is in the tab bar, the part of Safari’s interface that governs how you interact with any websites you have open.

Most importantly, Safari’s tab bar on the iPhone is now at the bottom of the screen by default, instead of the top. It takes some getting used to, not to mention an adjustment in muscle memory – assuming you don’t just go and bring Safari’s tab bar back to the top of the screen.

The location of the tab bar may have changed, but other Safari functions remain the same, although they may seem a bit out of place if you keep that tab bar at the bottom of the screen. IOS 15 beta testers may also be confused, as Apple has made several changes to the look of Safari in response to user feedback.

To help you navigate the redesigned Safari browser on your iPhone, here’s a guide on using the tab bar in Safari on iOS 15, as well as a reminder on how to handle some basic interactions.

How to open a new browser tab in iOS 15 Safari

1. Tap the tabs button in the lower right corner of Safari.

how to open new tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2. Tap the blue plus (+) button on the left side of the address bar.

how to open new tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

3. Alternatively, press and hold the tab button, and then tap New tab from the pop-up menu that appears.

How to open a new tab in iOS 15 Safari press and hold the tabs button

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

How to close a browser tab in iOS 15 Safari

1. Tap the tabs button in the right corner of the address bar.

how to close browser tabs in iOS 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2. You will see an overview of all your currently open tabs. Press the “x” in the upper right corner to close a tab.

how to close browser tabs in iOS 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

3. Alternatively, when viewing the page you want to close, press and hold the tab button, and then tap Close this tab.

how to close browser tabs in iOS 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

This step also allows you to close all tabs at once with one click.

How to share a website in iOS 15 Safari

1. Tap the Share button in the center of the locate button.

how to share a website in iOS 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2. On the next screen, tap the contact you want to share a website link with (this will be in the last app you logged in with) or choose an app to share the link.

how to share a website in iOS 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The Share icon is also what you tap to perform other actions with a particular web page. These actions include copying the link, adding it as a bookmark or favorite, finding a word or phrase on the page, and adding it to your reading list.

how to share a website in iOS 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

How to reload a website

If you tested an early beta of iOS 15, reloading a website was unnecessarily complicated, forcing you to press a More button in the tab bar; Only then will you be able to access the reload button. But later in the beta process, the reload button was added to the tab bar – just tap it when you want to reload a page.

how to reload a webpage in iOS 15 Safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Alternatively, you can swipe down from the top of the webpage to reload it in iOS 15 Safari.

How to activate Reader Mode in iOS 15 Safari

1. Press the Aa button on the left side of the tab bar.

how to access ios 15 safari drive mode

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2. Select Show Drive.

how to access ios 15 safari drive mode

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

3. You are now in Reader mode. To close Reader, just repeat steps 1 and 2, but this time select Hide Reader.

how to access ios 15 safari drive mode

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

You can also press and hold the Aa button to automatically launch Reader mode.

How to switch between browser tabs in iOS 15 Safari

1. Press the tab button along the bottom strip of icons in Safari.

how to change tab in safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2. Select the tab you want to open.

how to change tab in safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Alternatively, you can swipe up on the location bar to see all of your tabs.

You can also quickly switch between taps by swiping the location bar left to right or right to left to move to the next or previous open tab, although we found this difficult on the iPhones with smaller screens.

How to open a new private browser tab in iOS 15 Safari

1. Press and hold the tab button on the lower right band of icons in Safari.

how to open private tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2. Select a new private tab from the context menu.

how to open private tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

3. The tab bar will change color, which means you are now in incognito mode.

how to open private tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

4. To exit a Private tab, press the Tab icon again. Then select the Private drop-down menu.

how to open private tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

5. From there, select your other non-private tabs.

how to open private tab in ios 15 safari

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

More iOS 15 tutorials


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