How to Switch Tab Bar Position on Safari on iPhone on iOS 15

In case you didn’t know, Safari gets the biggest of changes in iOS 15 that not only brings new tools to browse the internet but also refreshes the way you use Apple’s native web browser.

Of the modifications that have been made to Safari, the most significant one of them is the location of the address bar that has been moved from the top to the bottom and it has been renamed to the Tab Bar. Let’s take a quick look at it. 

How Apple plans to tackle Safari’s new Tab Bar concerns

Until now, Safari’s new Tab Bar in iOS 15 has had divided opinions with one faction appreciating how easy it is to use the browser with a single hand rather than using two to be able to reach the top half of the screen.

The other faction, however, has clearly been of criticism for Apple’s approach pointing that it disturbs the traditional experience of iOS that they’ve gotten used to in earlier versions of iOS. 

To address this, Apple has brought a ‘Single Tab’ option inside iOS 15 that lets you switch back to the address bar at the top and steer clear of the new Tab Bar.

This lets users view the address bar as a single tab at the top like one iOS 14 and earlier versions but with one major caveat – you can no longer use Tab Bar gestures when doing so. You will have to suffice with the traditional navigation control from the bottom toolbar for going back/forward, switch between tabs, or opening Tab Overview. 

Required iOS version

The option to switch in and out of the new Tab Bar inside Safari is only available on iOS 15. You can get this option by updating your iPhone to iOS 15 by going to Settings > General > About > Software Update. 

How to Switch Tab Bar position on Safari on iOS 15

Apple now lets you switch in and out of the new Tab Bar on iOS 15 in two different ways. 

Method #1: Using Aa button on Tab/Address Bar

The easiest way to switch between the Tab Bar and Top Address Bar (the new name of the old address bar) is using the Aa button that will now always be present inside the Tab/Address Bar on Safari. 

From Tab Bar to Top Address Bar 

If you’re currently using Safari with the new Tab Bar, you can switch to the trust old Address bar by tapping the ‘Aa’ icon at the bottom left corner of the Safari screen. 

In the overflow menu that appears, tap on the ‘Show Top Address Bar’ option from the top. 

When you select this option, the Tab Bar will disappear from the bottom and you should see the old address bar appear at its original location as it did on iOS 14 and the versions before it. 

You will be able to see all the navigation controls stay at the bottom allowing you to move between previous and next webpages, open bookmarks, access the Context menu, and open Tab Overview.

You can no longer use Tab Bar gestures with the Top Address Bar enabled. 

From Top Address Bar to Tab Bar

If you somehow managed to get back using the Top Address Bar and are already regretting it, you can enable the new Tab Bar at any time by first tapping on the ‘Aa’ icon at the top left corner inside Safari. 

In the overflow menu that appears, select the ‘Show Bottom Tab Bar’ option which is present at the bottom of the menu. 

When you do that, Safari will now show you the iOS 15’s Tab Bar which you can use with gestures as well as the navigation controls at the bottom. 

Method #2: Using Safari Settings

You can also switch between Tab Bar and Top Address Bar inside your iOS settings. To do that, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on ‘Safari’ on the next screen. 

Inside Safari settings, scroll down until you reach the ‘Tabs’ section. Here, select either ‘Tab Bar’ or ‘Single Tab’ depending on how you want Safari to look and want to interact with it. 

If you select the ‘Single Tab’ option, you should be able to use Safari in a familiar way like you might have gotten used to in iOS 14 or earlier versions. This option is identical to choosing the ‘Show Top Address Bar’ from the method above as it moves the address bar from the bottom to the top with all other navigation controls at the bottom. 

That’s all you need to know about changing Tab Bar positions inside Safari on iOS 15.


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1 Comment

  1. this is a waste of pixels and a lie! I want the tab bar on top not the address bar. Why no choice? Your title lead me to believe this was possible but no thanks for wasting my time. all these how to articles that tell me how to flip a simple switch in a logical part of the settings app should be deleted from the web. People who cant figure this stuff out dont care and just the use the phone as is or should just give up. Thanks but no

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