Can Private Browsing Be Traced on iPhone?

In Private Browsing Mode, Safari doesn’t save your search history, browsing history, and AutoFill information. Unfortunately, your network administrator, the websites you visit, and your ISP may still be able to trace your iPhone online.

Hi, I’m Devansh. Being passionate about cyber security, I’ve researched and tested Private Browsing Mode on my iPhone. In this article, I’ll explain what Private Browsing Mode does and three tips you can apply to improve it. I’ll also answer some common questions.

You’ll find everything you need about Private Browsing Mode in this article, so keep reading!

How to Use Private Browsing Mode on Your iPhone

Before I get into the limitations of Private Browsing Mode, I’ll first go through the steps to use it. First, open the Safari app on your iPhone and follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Tap the Tabs button in the bottom-right corner.
  • Step 2: Tap the Tab Groups button in the center of the tab bar at the bottom of the screen.
  • Step 3: Tap Private and tap ‘+’ to open a new private tab.

Safari doesn’t save your search history, browsing history, and AutoFill information when using a private tab. It also doesn’t share your private tabs with other Apple devices signed into the same Apple ID.

Private Browsing Mode only works on your iPhone and Apple ID, not the Internet in general. Your network administrator, the websites you open, and your ISP (depending on local data protection laws) may still be able to trace your iPhone online.

Top 3 Tips to Maintain Privacy

As noted, Private Browsing Mode can’t stop your iPhone from being traced online. So, here are three tips you can implement in addition to Private Browsing Mode to ensure your iPhone remains untraceable.

Tip #1: Enable Security Features in Safari

Apple provides many features that can enhance privacy and security on your iPhone. Open Settings, go to Safari, and scroll down to Privacy & Security. Here, you’ll find these options.

  • Prevent Cross-Site Tracking
  • Hide IP Address
  • Block All Cookies
  • Fraudulent Website Warning
  • Privacy Preserving Ad Measurement
  • Check for Apple Pay

Make sure to enable all of these options. They will make your iPhone more private and secure.

Tip #2: Use a VPN

When you use a VPN on your iPhone, your traffic is encrypted and routed through a remote server. So, your data (like your IP address and location) is kept private. The only downsides of using a VPN are the extra costs and reduced browsing speed.

You can try out apps like SurfShark, Turbo VPN, and ExpressVPN. If you don’t want third-party options, you can use iCloud Private Relay with iCloud+.

Tip #3: Switch to a Private Search Engine

You can also switch to private search engines like StartPage, Ecosia, or DuckDuckGo. These search engines block trackers, don’t track your searches, and don’t store your data.


Here are two questions about Private Browsing Mode on your iPhone.

Is Safari Private Browsing Mode Available on Mac and iPad?

Yes, Private Browsing Mode is also available on Mac and iPad. It performs the same job as on your iPhone. Your browsing data isn’t saved, and the tabs aren’t shared with your other Apple devices. For extra security, you can apply the tips I mentioned above.

How to Change Your iPhone’s MAC Address?

You can enable Private Wi-Fi Address, which will spoof your iPhone’s MAC address from wireless networks. See this article to learn more about MAC addresses.


Private Browsing Mode doesn’t make you anonymous or untraceable online. Instead, it only ensures that Safari doesn’t save your search history, browsing history, and AutoFill information on your iPhone and Apple devices.

For further protection, you can enable security features like ‘Hide IP Address’ in Safari, use a VPN, and switch to a private search engine.

Do you have any more questions about Private Browsing Mode on your iPhone? Let me know in the comments!

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