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Guide to Using iPhone Safari

written by: Stephanie M. Lucas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 3/21/2011

Learn how to navigate the web, create bookmarks, set a homepage and clear your browsing history on iPhone with this in-depth guide to iPhone Safari.

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    Browsing the Internet on iPhone

    iphone 4 Surfing the web on iPhone can be an amazing experience. iPhone's Safari allows you to load regular web pages, whereas some other mobile phones only allow access to the mobile web. With the Internet being at your fingertips, you are able to look up what you need while you are on the go. Using the Internet can be a bit confusing if you're new to iPhone, so we're going to go over instructions and tips on how to navigate the web, create bookmarks, set a homepage and clear your browsing history.

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    Navigating iPhone Safari

    After opening Safari on iPhone, you have a few different options for navigating to a website. You can enter a web address into the URL bar, search the Internet with the Google search bar or use a bookmark link to go to a website. We will also go over how to open multiple Internet pages at one time and navigate between pages.

    Going to a Website with the URL Bar

    • Tap in the URL bar (top left bar with the refresh arrow on the right).
    • Enter the URL address for the website you'd like to go to (example: www.google.com).
    • Press "Go" on the keyboard.

    iPhone safari url bar 

      Searching the Internet with the Google Search Bar

      • Tap the Google bar (top right bar that says "Google"). Type the term or subject you wish to search for. Press "Search" on the keyboard.

      Google search bar 

        Using a Bookmark to Go to a Website

        • Press the open book symbol on the bottom menu bar. Find and tap the bookmarked website you want to go to.

        iPhone bookmarks 

          Adding Additional Pages

          • Press the double box symbol on the bottom menu bar. Press "New Page".

          Opening multiple internet pages on iPhone 

            Navigating Between Open Internet Pages

            • Press the double box symbol on the bottom menu bar. It will have a number in the box representing the number of web pages that are open. Swipe to the left or right to view other open web pages (the same way you scroll through pages on the home screen). To close an Internet page, press the red "x".
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            Creating Bookmarks in Safari

            For faster access to your favorite websites, you should create a bookmark. This allows you to go to the website without entering the URL. To create a bookmark in iPhone Safari:

            • Go to the website.
            • Press the box symbol with the outward facing arrow.
            • Press "Add Bookmark".
            • Name the bookmark.
            • Press "Save".

            Add iPhone Bookmark 

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              Setting a Homepage on iPhone Safari

              Unfortunately, you can't set a homepage for Safari on iPhone, but there is a bit of a way around that. You can create a shortcut icon to a particular website that appears on your iPhone home screen. If you use the shortcut icon, it opens a Safari page that is already set to that website. You can still navigate the Internet the same way, you just need to enter from the shortcut icon instead of the Safari app.

              Add a Website Shortcut to the Home Screen

              • Go to the website you'd like to set for your homepage.
              • Press the box symbol with the outward facing arrow.
              • Press "Add to Home Screen".
              • Name the shortcut icon.
              • Press "Add".

              Add to Internet Page to Home Screen on iPhone Edit internet page details 

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                View or Clear History on iPhone Safari

                Want to see which websites have been visited or do you need to clear your Internet history on iPhone? No problem! Whatever your reasons may be, checking your Internet history or clearing it are extremely simple. Both can be done from Safari's bookmark menu.

                Check or Clear Internet History on iPhone

                • Open Safari.
                • Press the open book symbol on the bottom menu bar.
                • Tap "History" at the top of the menu. This takes you to your Internet history.
                • To clear the history, press "Clear" at the bottom left corner of the screen.
                • Press "Clear History" to confirm.

                iPhone Safari History Clear iPhone internet history Clear iPhone Safari history 

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                  Sources and Image Credit

                  "iPhone User Guide." Apple, www.apple.com

                  Image Credit: All screenshots provided by author.

                  iPhone 4 Image Credit: Courtesy of Apple, www.apple.com