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Safari Shortcuts

Safari Shortcuts You Didn’t Know About

Browse the web more quickly with these tap-and-hold tricks
App-dicted
December 7, 2016

Like air and Helvetica, Safari is just there. As the default web browser on iOS, it is, by and large, the browser of choice by the vast majority of iPhone and iPad users, whether they’re conscious of that choice or not. (Some users opt to use third-party web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.) It also doesn’t hurt that the app is extremely simple and easy to use, with a decidedly spartan interface devoid of extraneous elements. When you want to do something in the app, carrying it out feels like muscle memory in action. But what you probably don’t know is that you can do many of the things that you often do in the default web browser on iOS more quickly using Safari shortcuts that involve the tap-and-hold gesture.

What exactly are these Safari shortcuts? This AppAdvice article will walk you through each one, first showing the normal way of doing something and then showing the potentially quicker alternative method, aka the tap-and-hold way.

First things first:

  • In cases where you need the address bar or the bottom toolbar but don’t see either of them, just tap the top or bottom of the screen to make either appear.
  • In cases where you need to access a button on the share sheet, you may need to swipe through the options to see the desired button.
  • When browsing in private mode, some shortcuts may not be applicable, particularly those associated with browsing history.
  • Some shortcuts may not work on devices running on older versions of iOS.

Copy link

Copy link

The normal way

safari-copy-link-normal-way

Tap the share icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap the Copy button at the bottom row of the share sheet.

The tap-and-hold way

copy-link-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the address bar.

Tap Copy on the contextual menu that appears.

Enter link or search keyword from clipboard

Enter link or search keyword from clipboard

The normal way

safari-enter-link-normal-way

Tap the address bar.

Tap the “x” icon to clear the address bar.

Tap and hold on the address bar.

Tap Paste on the contextual menu that appears.

Tap the Go key on the keyboard.

The tap-and-hold way

enter-link-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the address bar.

Tap “Paste and Go” on the contextual menu that appears.

Request desktop site

Request desktop site

The normal way

safari-request-desktop-site-normal

Tap the share icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap the “Request Desktop Site” button at the bottom row of the share sheet.

The tap-and-hold way

safari-request-desktop-site-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the refresh icon in the address bar.

Tap “Request Desktop Site” in the pop-up menu that appears.

If you have Safari content blockers enabled, the pop-up menu will also include an option for reloading the webpage without content blockers.

Go back to particular webpage

Go back to particular webpage

The normal way

go-back-normal

Tap the back icon on the bottom toolbar as many times as necessary, until you arrive at the desired webpage in your browsing history.

The tap-and-hold way

go-back-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the back icon on the bottom toolbar.

On the History screen that appears, tap the page you want to revisit.

Go forward to particular webpage

Go forward to particular webpage

The normal way

go-forward-normal

Tap the forward icon on the bottom toolbar as many times as necessary, until you arrive at the desired webpage in your browsing history.

The tap-and-hold way

go-forward-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the forward icon on the bottom toolbar.

On the History screen that appears, tap the page you want to revisit.

Add bookmark, add to reading list, or add to shared links

Add bookmark, add to reading list, or add to shared links

The normal way

safari-add-to-normal

Tap the share icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap the “Add Bookmark,” “Add to Reading List,” or “Add to Shared Links” button at the bottom row of the share sheet.

The tap-and-hold way

safari-add-to-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the history icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap “Add Bookmark,” “Add to Reading List,” or “Add to Shared Links” on the pop-up menu that appears.

Open new tab

Open new tab

The normal way

safari-new-tab-normal

Tap the tabs icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen.

The tap-and-hold way

safari-new-tab-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the tabs icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap “New Tab” on the pop-up menu that appears.

Close all tabs

Close all tabs

The normal way

safari-close-all-tabs-normal

Tap the tabs icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap the “x” icon on the upper left corner of each tab, or swipe each tab to the left, until all tabs have been removed.

The tap-and-hold way

safari-close-all-tabs-tap-and-hold

Tap and hold on the tabs icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap “Close — Tabs” (where — is the number of tabs to be closed) on the pop-up menu that appears.

Restore recently closed tab

Restore recently closed tab

The normal way

safari-restore-recently-closed-tab-normal

Recall the link or search keyword for the recently closed tab you wish to restore.

Enter it in the address bar and tap the matching suggestion, if any.

You can also tap the history icon on the bottom toolbar and search your browsing history for the recently closed tab you wish to restore.

The tap-and-hold way

safari-restore-recently-closed-tab-tap-and-hold

Tap the tabs icon on the bottom toolbar.

Tap and hold on the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen.

On the list of recently closed tabs, tap the tab you wish to restore.

The list is limited to the five most recently closed tabs.