iOS 7: Closing All Open Safari Windows on Your iPhone or iPad

As you may know, “Private Browsing” is what Apple calls the feature that prevents the webpages you’re viewing from being stored in your history (or being suggested as future autofill options). It’s available within both Safari on the Mac and mobile Safari, so no matter which of your devices you’re on, you can be assured that no one will be able to go back and look at what sites you’ve been to. I’m sure some of you are shrugging right now, as if to say, “So what if people look at my browsing history?” Others of you are putting clauses in your wills specifying that your computers be set on fire upon your death. I won’t comment on which camp I fall into.

So to turn this feature on for the iPhone, first tap the “Show All Windows” button at the bottom-right of your screen.

For the iPad, you’ll touch the plus button at the top-right.

On the iPhone, you’ll then see every window you’ve got open, organized in a card-deck-shuffley sort of way. (Don’t you love my highly technical language?) Just so you know, you can swipe any window from right to left to close it on that screen.

For all device types, if you want to turn on Private Browsing, you’ll tap the “Private” button. 

This tip isn’t just about toggling that on, however—oh my, no. Instead, I want to highlight the fact that when you do touch that “Private” button, Safari will ask you if you’d like to close all existing windows (or iPad tabs) before you switch over to the new mode.

Select “Close All,” and it’ll do just that. You’ll see that Safari’s swapped to a dark grey interface, which indicates that you’re currently browsing privately. 

At that point, you can repeat the steps above to switch back to normal browsing if you want to. And yes, I blurred out the names of my bookmarks. No reason. I said, NO REASON. Move along.