iOS 8: Using the "Quick Website Search" Feature

If you’re running iOS 7 or earlier and you want to search within a site instead of for a site, you’ve got a couple of options. First, you could go to the site itself, find the search box on the page, and then type in what you want to look for.

Another choice would be to employ a site-specific search, which you can use by typing something akin to “[search term] site:[URL]” within Safari’s search field, as below.

Believe it or not, though, I think iOS 8’s new Quick Website Search is better than both of those methods. Let’s all check it out and be impressed, shall we? To get started, go to Settings> Safari, then tap on “Quick Website Search.”

If the toggle at the top of the next screen isn’t on, make it so. 

As you can see above, I’ve already got a few websites saved that I can use this on. How do you save a site, you ask? And how does it work afterward? Calm yourselves! I’m getting to it! Geez.

To save a website there, do what you probably would at some point anyway—visit the site and use its built-in search box. Safari detects that you’ve done so, and within a moment or two, it’ll add that site to the list. Here’s the really neat thing: Once that happens, you’ll be able to search the site simply by typing “Reddit [search term]” (or “Amazon [search term]” or what have you). Then the top result in your suggestions list will be an offer to visit that page and perform the search.

A big time-saver here is that iOS 8 doesn’t just take you to a Google page with a list of results, oh no; it actually pretends you went to the indicated site and typed your query into its own search field.

Oh, so cool. I love that.

There are a couple of caveats to this groovy trick, though. First, it doesn’t work on every site. Sadface. Secondly, if you can’t get it to work at all, try going back to Settings> Safari and toggling “Quick Website Search” off and on again. In my case, this didn’t function until I’d done so. Hey, Apple, fix that part, OK? 


This tip was suggested by a brilliant friend of mine who didn’t want to be credited. I’m starting to think he’s a secret spy, but he’s awesome enough that I’ll forgive him.