How to Permanently Disable Private Browsing on iPhone and iPad

To permanently disable private browsing on an iPhone or iPad, you need to go through the Screen Time feature in the Settings app. This will prevent anyone using the device from opening a private browsing session in Safari.

After completing the action, private browsing mode will no longer be accessible in Safari. This means that any web pages visited will be recorded in the browser history and will be visible to anyone who has access to the device.


In an age where privacy is a hot topic, the option to browse the internet without leaving a trace on your device is a feature many appreciate. Private browsing, also known as incognito mode, is a way to surf the web without your browsing history being saved. However, there may be instances where you’d want to disable this feature.

Perhaps you’re a parent wanting to keep tabs on your children’s internet use, or maybe you’re sharing a device and want to ensure transparency in its usage. Whatever the reason, disabling private browsing on your iPhone or iPad is a straightforward process. This article will walk you through that process and discuss why someone might want to take this step.

How to Permanently Disable Private Browsing: iPhone + iPad

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth noting what the following steps will accomplish. By the end of this process, private browsing will be disabled and all web activity will be visible in Safari’s history.

Step 1: Open the Settings app

Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

Opening the Settings app is your gateway to various device customizations, including parental controls and privacy settings.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time

Scroll down and tap on the Screen Time option.

Screen Time is a feature that tracks device usage and allows you to set restrictions on what can be accessed on the device.

Step 3: Set up Screen Time

If you haven’t already, set up Screen Time by following the on-screen instructions.

Setting up Screen Time may involve creating a passcode to prevent others from changing your settings.

Step 4: Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions

Once Screen Time is set up, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions.

Content & Privacy Restrictions let you control what content can be accessed on the device, including web content.

Step 5: Enter your Screen Time passcode

Enter your Screen Time passcode if prompted.

This step ensures that only someone with the passcode can make changes to these restrictions.

Step 6: Tap on Content Restrictions

Tap on Content Restrictions to modify what type of content is allowed on the device.

Content Restrictions include settings for things like web content, movies, and apps.

Step 7: Tap on Web Content

Within Content Restrictions, tap on Web Content.

Web Content settings specifically govern what can be accessed through the Safari browser.

Step 8: Select Allowed Websites Only

Under Web Content, select “Allowed Websites Only.”

This setting restricts Safari to only load websites that you have explicitly allowed.


Increased OversightDisabling private browsing allows parents or guardians to monitor the web activity of their children, ensuring a safer online experience.
TransparencyIn a shared device situation, it ensures that all users are accountable for their browsing activity.
ControlIt allows for better control over the content that can be accessed through the browser, which can be particularly important in educational or professional settings.


Limited PrivacyUsers will not have the option to browse privately, which can be a concern for those who value their privacy.
InconvenienceSome users may find it inconvenient to not have the option to bypass the browser history when needed.
Potential OverreachFor some, these restrictions might feel like an overreach, especially if the need for private browsing is legitimate, like accessing sensitive information.

Additional Information

When you disable private browsing on an iPhone or iPad, it’s important to understand the implications fully. This action is not only about restricting access but also about data management. Safari will keep a record of all browsing activity which can be useful for revisiting sites but also means that this data can potentially be accessed by others.

Keep in mind that this setting only affects Safari and does not prevent users from downloading third-party browsers that may have their own private browsing features. Additionally, while disabling private browsing can be a helpful tool for oversight, it’s crucial to balance it with trust and open communication, especially in a family setting.


  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Screen Time.
  3. Set up Screen Time if not already done.
  4. Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  5. Enter your Screen Time passcode.
  6. Tap on Content Restrictions.
  7. Tap on Web Content.
  8. Select Allowed Websites Only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can private browsing be re-enabled after disabling it?

Yes, by reversing the steps and choosing unrestricted access or limiting adult content, private browsing can be re-enabled.

Will this affect browsing history that was already saved in private mode?

No, previously saved browsing history in private mode will not be affected. However, no future private browsing history will be saved.

Does this setting affect other browsers installed on the device?

No, this setting only affects Safari. Other browsers installed on the device will retain their private browsing capabilities unless they have their own restriction settings.

Is it possible to disable private browsing on devices other than iPhone and iPad?

Yes, most devices and browsers have a way to disable private browsing, but the process may differ.

What happens if I forget my Screen Time passcode?

If you forget your Screen Time passcode, you may need to erase your device and set it up as a new device to remove the passcode.


Disabling private browsing on your iPhone or iPad can serve various purposes, from safeguarding children’s online experiences to ensuring accountability on shared devices. While privacy is valuable, there are scenarios where transparency takes precedence.

Like any feature, it’s important to weigh the potential pros and cons and consider the broader implications of this action. When used thoughtfully, the steps outlined in this article can be a powerful tool for managing your digital environment.