10 Ways to Easily Find Safari Tabs On Your iPhone and iPad

Web browsing in 2022 can be quite hectic, leading to a pile-up of tabs ranging from essential to non-essential to even unwarranted tabs. Hence, a browser must offer a quick way of finding specific tabs that concern you. Fortunately, Safari, allows you to scout for tabs based on several identifiers namely, websites, recently closed tabs, previous/next tabs, etc.

This article will take you through set-by-step guides of all the above-mentioned ways of finding a Safari tab. So, without further ado, let’s find the tab you’re looking for.

What’s new for tabs in Safari with iOS 15

Apple revamped Safari’s UI and features with the release of iOS 15. This new update came out in September 2021 and has introduced numerous cosmetic changes as well as new features in the app. Here are some of the most prominent ones to help you get familiar with the new Safari on mobile devices.

  • Grid view: Tabs on Safari now appear as tiles in a grid. The grid view allows you to see tabs as a whole so you can distinguish between tabs based on their preview thumbnails. This is a departure from the card-like tab view from iOS 14.
  • Tab Group: Tabs in Safari can now be organized into groups. This allows you to group a set of tabs without having to close your original browsing session. In many ways, the tab group feature functions like opening a different browser window on desktop devices.
  • Landscape tab bar: Enabling the landscape tab bar will add a mac-style tab bar on the top of your Safari window. The second layer of this tab bar displays the list of tabs opened in your browsing session.
  • Pull down to Refresh: An alternative to tapping the reload button, Safari now allows you to refresh a webpage with a downward swipe and release motion.

Related: iOS 15: How To Drag and Duplicate Tabs on Safari on Your iPhone and iPad

How to easily find Safari tabs on your iPhone in 10 ways

Not only can your browsing session be time sensitive but, generally speaking, the ability to find a specific tab in a cluster of tabs is a must for enjoying uninterrupted web browsing. 

Let’s see all the ways you can locate and subsequently navigate to the tab you wish in Safari.

Method 1: View all your tabs

Open Safari on your iPhone.

In your Safari browsing session, tap on the tabs option in the bottom right corner of your screen. This will open the grid view off all the tabs opened in your browsing session.

In the tab-view page, you will see each tab represented as a separate grid. From this page, you can open a specific tab by tapping on it.

You can also close a tab by tapping on the ‘X’ located in the upper-right corner of a tab.

The tab-view page also tells you the names assigned to each tap depending on the website opened in them and the total number of tabs open in your current browsing session. 

Method 2: Search for a tab by name

Open Safari on your iPhone.

Tap on the ‘Tabs’  icon in the bottom right corner.

In the tab-view page, swipe down to access the Search bar at the top.

Type in the name of the tab you wish to find and it should automatically show up in your search results.

Note: Tab name is the same as the name of the website opened in that tab.

Method 3: Find recently closed Safari tabs

Open Safari on your iPhone from the home screen or the app drawer depending on your setup.

Tap on the tabs option. This will open the tab-view page.

Tap and hold your finger on the ‘+’ icon near the lower-left corner of the tab-view page.

You will see a list of websites indicated by ‘Recently Closed Tabs’. Tap and select the recently closed tab you wish to open.

The recently closed tab will be opened as a new tab in your current browsing session.

Method 4: Find Safari tabs in a tab group

Safari on iOS 15 allows you to group your current browsing session as a group and assign this group a name. This way, you can treat each group as a separate browsing session.

Let’s see how you can find tabs from a tab group by first loading a tab group and then performing a search.

Open Safari on your iOS device.

Now tap on the ‘Tabs’ icon in the bottom right corner. 

Tap on ‘X Tabs’ at the bottom of your screen where X is the number of tabs open in your current browsing session.

Tap on the Tap Group you wish to search. For this guide, we will be using the tab group titled ‘Nerds Chalk’.

You will now be able to view a list of all the tabs saved in your selected tab group.

Swipe down on your screen to access the Search Bar at the top.

Type in the tab name, or a phrase from the tab name you wish to find.

Note: Tab name is usually the same as the name of the website opened in that tab. However, it can also be a description of the webpage.

Safari will now automatically search for the entered keyword and show you the relevant search results on your screen. Tap and select your tab from the search results. 

And that’s how you can search for tabs in your tab groups.

Method 5: Quickly navigate to the next/previous tab

Open Safari from the home screen or app drawer on your iOS or iPadOS device.

To open the next tab, place your finger on the address bar and swipe left.

Note: If your browsing session has a tab next to your current tab, you will be able to see a protruding part of the next tab on the right side of Safari’s address bar.

While swiping, you will see an interface similar to the one depicted below.

The next tab has now been opened.

To open the previous tab, place your finger on the address bar and swipe right.

Note: If your browsing session has a tab previous to your current tab, you will be able to see a protruding part of the previous tab on the left side of Safari’s address bar.

While swiping, you will see an interface similar to the one depicted below.

The previous tab has now been opened.

Method 6: Find tabs using the landscape tab bar

With a slew of updates in iOS 15 came the landscape tab bar. A macOS-inspired, two-layer edition of the older one-layer address bar. The second layer, which looks similar to Safari on a mac system, displays media related to the tabs opened in your browsing session, for example, website name, website logo, and webpage description.

Let’s see how you can enable the landscape tab bar in Safari and subsequently use it to view tabs in your browsing session.

Open the Settings app on your device.

In Settings, scroll down and tap on ‘Safari’.

In the Safari app settings, scroll down to the ‘TABS’ section. Now tap and enable the toggle for ‘Landscape Tab Bar’.  

Access the control center on your device and ensure the ‘Portrait Orientation Lock’ option is switched to OFF. If not, then tap and disable the same on your device.

Now open Safari on your device.

Hold your iPhone horizontally to switch to landscape mode. All open tabs in your current browsing session will now be shown at the top of your screen. 

Method 7: Find and Safari tabs ‘Shared with you’

The ‘Shared with you’ feature came along with iOS 15 as a continuity feature, intended to help you locate the content shared with you via the iMessage app.

Among other forms of media like photos, podcasts, Apple Music, etc, the ‘Shared with you’ feature can also be used to share website links via the iMessage app. Once shared, tap and hold on to the message and then select the ‘Pin’ option.

This link will now be visible under the ‘Shared with you’ section in Safari.

Let’s see how you can find this shared link in Safari. Open Safari on your device.

Tap on the ‘Tabs’ icon in the bottom right corner. 

Now tap on the ‘+’ icon to open the start page.

On the start page, you should now have a new ‘Shared with you’ section. Tap on the shared link you want to open from this section. The link we pinned earlier will also show up here. 

The shared link will be opened in a new tab.

Method 8: Find Safari tabs using custom shortcuts

You can create custom shortcuts for Safari tabs on your home screen. This is a long-standing feature in Safari that has helped many users visit frequently accessed websites directly from their home screen. Start by visiting the URL for the website you wish to add to your home screen. Now tap on the ‘Share’ icon at the bottom of your screen. 

Scroll down and tap on ‘Add to home screen’.

Choose a name for your icon and tap on ‘Add’ in the top right corner once you are done.

The selected website will now be added as a shortcut to your home screen.

You can now access this icon from your home screen to find frequently visited tabs on your device. 

Method 9: Find Safari tabs using your current browsing session

Internet browsing sessions usually involve visiting multiple websites. If you have been searching for a particular term, then you have likely visited a few websites and followed reference links to arrive at your current page. In such cases, you might want to view your previous visits or bookmark pages that led you to the current page. You can view all your visits in the current browsing session by tapping and holding on to the back or forward icon on your screen as shown below. 

You will now get a list of all the links opened in the current browsing session that led you to the current web page.

You can now tap and select the desired web page to visit it again. Similarly, if you have used the ‘Back’ option to visit previous web pages, then you can tap and hold on to the ‘Forward’ arrow to view webpages that you left behind. 

And that’s it! You can now use this trick to find all Safari tabs that you visited in your current browsing session. 

Method 10: Find tabs using all open webpages

Some of us aren’t that adept at managing tabs including me. I often end up with multiple tab groups and tons of open tabs which makes it quite difficult to keep track of open web pages and consume information in an orderly fashion. Thankfully, Safari’s address bar trick helps a lot in such cases to find lost tabs. Simply place your finger on the address bar at the bottom of your screen and drag it to the top. This gesture will allow you to view all currently open web pages within Safari. 

You can now use this to your advantage to find the concerned Safari tab from all the open tabs within your browser.

Simply tap on the desired tab to start browsing the desired webpage.

Note: This gesture is specific to tab groups. This means that if you have multiple tab groups currently open, then using this gesture will show you all the open web pages in the selected tab group only. 

FAQs

Will a search scan both my browsing session and saved tab groups?

No, if you search for a tab by its name in your current browsing session, only the tabs in this particular session will be searched. Similarly, if you search for a tab by its name in a tab group, only tabs belonging to that group will be searched.

What happens if I use the next/previous tab gesture with no additional tabs?

Swiping left on the address bar in a browsing session is supposed to take you to the next tab on the tab-view page. However, if your browsing session has no next tab, swiping left will automatically open the Safari start page in a new tab.

Can I reposition Safari’s address bar to the top?

Yes. You can shift Safari’s address bar to the top. This can be done by tapping the ‘Single Tab’ option under the TABS section in Safari’s app settings.

Will closing Safari close the tabs in a tab group?

No, closing Safari will not close the tabs opened in a tab group. The tabs in a tab group will not close until you manually close each tab.

Can I create a tab group from my browsing session?

Yes, simply, select the ‘New Tab Group from X tabs’ option in the Tab Groups menu. This will automatically create a new tab group for all your tabs in the current browsing session.

Figuring out the ins and outs of an Apple feature following an update can be a bit tricky. We hope one of the methods explained in this guide was exactly what you were looking for. 

However, If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to us using the comments section below.


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