Can private browsing be traced on iPhone? The whole truth

Nowadays, when online privacy is essential, private mode helps you surf the Internet without any trace of your browsing history. The main reason for private browsing is to keep users’ browsing activity secret.

When people use private mode, the browser will leave no trace of their browsing history.

Really? Well, it’s not. This mode can really help protect your website data when surfing the Internet, but you need to know how it works. And if necessary, take additional security measures yourself.

What is private browsing mode?

Private browsing mode is a privacy feature in most web browsers. When in Safari private browsing mode, the browser opens a private window that does not track user website data, unlike normal browsing mode, which allows you to track traffic-related information.

How to enable private browsing mode on my iPhone?

When you use private browsing mode, your Safari is not saving any private browsing data and not sharing any information about the websites you visit with your other devices. Safari won’t remember the pages you view, your search history, or your autocomplete data.

Turning on private browsing mode

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Tabs button.
  3. Press the Switch Tabs button.
  4. Choose the Tab Number option.
  5. Click on the Private button.
  6. Tap Done.

When private browsing mode is enabled, the Safari address bar looks black or dark rather than white or gray.

Turning off private browsing mode

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Tabs button.
  3. Press the Private Browsing button to display a list of tab groups.
  4. Choose the button with the number of tabs.
  5. Tap Done.

How does private browsing work?

The private browsing feature actually helps keep anyone with physical access to your iPhone, iPad, and Mac from knowing what you’ve been up to.

Put your Safari browser in private browsing mode, and the web pages you visit are not saved in your browsing history. And your cookies (temporary data) are not saved.

The Smart Search field doesn’t remember what you’ve searched, which is very convenient.

Apple has also included additional security measures. For example, open web pages are not stored in iCloud and do not interact with Handoff.

Otherwise, anyone working on your Mac would still know you’re watching from your iPhone or iPad in private mode.

Can Safari private browsing be traced on iPhone?

The Internet remembers everything. The iPhone’s private browsing mode doesn’t prevent websites from keeping information about you, it just limits it.

Under certain conditions, Google can remember your search results and browser history, even with incognito mode turned on. Not always, but you have to be careful.

As Google itself warns, if you log into Gmail through your browser and then start searching for something like “untraceable poisons,” those queries will go into your search history.

How to use private browsing on iPhone?

In fact, Safari browser does a lot to keep your browsing private. However, private browsing is not perfect. But there are some simple steps you can take to improve it.

Use the DuckDuckGo search engine if you want maximum privacy. This search engine doesn’t save your searches or try to track you in any way. This is one of the main features of this search engine.

Perform all searches with DuckDuckGo:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose Safari.
  3. Tap Search Engine.
  4. Select DuckDuckGo.

How can I protect my private browsing history?

This may seem obvious, but… don’t forget to close the private viewing tabs when you’re done.

Cross-Site Tracking in Safari on iPhone

You should also remove cross-site tracking. This will prevent Google, Facebook, and others from knowing your activity on the Web. You can also do this in Safari preferences.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention in iOS 15

In iOS 15 in Safari, Apple has updated Intelligent Tracking Prevention to prevent trackers from accessing your IP address.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention doesn’t block ads; it simply prevents websites from tracking users without their permission in normal browsing. Apple now gives you the option to hide your IP address.

Here’s how to activate the feature:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down the menu and select Safari.
  3. Scroll down and under Privacy and Security.
  4. Tap Hide IP Address.
  5. Select Trackers and Websites or Trackers Only.

Apple began implementing Intelligent Tracking Prevention in 2017. This feature aims to protect data privacy, which is designed to make it harder for sites to track users online by preventing browsing histories.


Your Internet service provider can also track you. And your employer can, too, when you go online using their network.

To prevent your provider from tracking you, use a VPN. There are both paid and free VPNs.

How can I view private browsing history?

You can easily view private browsing history.

Follow the steps below to see someone’s private browsing history:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Swipe down and tap Safari.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Tap the Website Data option to open the private browsing list.

How to delete the private browsing history on my iPhone?

There is a quick and easy 5-step process to help you learn how to delete the private browsing history on your iPhone when you need it:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Swipe down to find and tap Safari.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Tap the Website Data.
  5. Choose Clear History and Website Data at the bottom.
  6. Click Clear in the pop-up window.

How to restore the private browsing history on my iPhone?

You can get the private browsing history using Safari settings. There will be a mention of the sites visited, but when removed from the settings. You cannot retrieve the data unless it is saved in the cloud.

How can I open Google in incognito mode on my iPhone?

Many users of Android and iOS devices use incognito mode on Google. If we’re talking about Apple products, the standard browser there is still the mobile version of Safari. Still, if your mobile device has the Google Chrome browser, you may be wondering how to open a new tab in incognito mode.

It’s pretty easy to do:

  1. Open the Chrome app on your device.
  2. Click on the three horizontal dots in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select the New Incognito tab.
  4. An incognito window will open.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this article, we tried to reveal all the secrets of private browsing. However, if you still have questions, you can find answers in our section with the most frequent questions from users.

Is iPhone private browsing really private?

The private browsing history on your iPhone can still be tracked.

To avoid this, try the following:

  • Use the DuckDuckGo browser.
  • Turn off Cross-Site Tracking in Safari.
  • For a Wi-Fi connection, turn on a VPN.
  • Use Intelligent Tracking Prevention in iOS 15.

Can police trace private browsing on my iPhone?

Yes, the possibilities for the police are great. Particularly suspicious queries will be stored in your browser history, even in incognito mode.

Can I be tracked if I use private browsing?

Yes, it is possible. To avoid this, use the following methods:

  • Remove cross-site tracking.
  • Use the DuckDuckGo search engine.
  • Activate the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature.
  • Use a VPN.

How can I see what has been viewed in private browsing on my iPhone?

Viewing your search history in private browsing mode is easy:

Launch the Settings app > Swipe down and tap Safari > Select Advanced > Tap the Website Data option to open the private browsing list.

Can private browsing be traced on iPhone?

Yes, but you can easily avoid that by using the DuckDuckGo search engine, removing cross-site tracking, activating the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, or using a VPN.


The best thing you can do is not to lose your head. Don’t look for a new job on your corporate Mac. Don’t look for new acquaintances on the iPad you share with your partner. And you won’t have any privacy issues.

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