Skip to content

How to Turn Off Incognito Mode on Your iPhone

Have you ever used incognito or private browsing mode on your iPhone? This handy feature allows you to browse the web without saving any history on your device. It‘s great when you want to visit websites privately without leaving a trace.

But there may come a time when you want to turn off incognito mode and return to regular browsing. Don‘t worry – it‘s easy to disable private browsing on your iPhone.

In this simple guide, I‘ll show you exactly how to turn off incognito mode on your iPhone using step-by-step instructions and helpful screenshots. You‘ll also learn what incognito mode is, why people use it, and whether you should disable it.

Let‘s get started!

What Exactly is Incognito Mode on iPhones?

When you turn on incognito or private browsing mode in the Safari app, your browsing history is not recorded on your iPhone. Searches, sites visited, cookies, downloads and other data does not get stored locally on your device.

This allows you to browse the web more privately without saving any traces of your activity. It‘s a useful feature when shopping for gifts, planning a surprise party, researching sensitive topics or simply wanting to keep your browsing history private.

According to a 2021 survey by Statista, 29% of iPhone users regularly use private browsing mode. It‘s a popular tool for maintaining privacy.

However, it‘s important to note incognito mode does not make you anonymous online. Your internet service provider can still see your browsing activity. If you want to browse anonymously, using a trusted VPN like ExpressVPN is highly recommended.

How to Turn Off Private Browsing Mode on Safari

If you want to stop using incognito mode on your iPhone, it‘s easy to disable it and return to regular browsing mode:

Step 1: Open the Safari App

Tap on the Safari icon on your home screen to launch the browser app. This is the one with a compass icon.

Step 2: Tap the Tabs Button

At the bottom of the screen, tap on the two overlapping squares icon to open your tab view.

Step 3: Tap on the "Private" Button

This displays all of your private/incognito tabs. Tap on the word "Private" at the top of the screen.

Step 4: Select the "Regular" Tabs

Now you will see your regular and private tabs. Tap on "Regular" at the top to switch back to normal browsing mode.

And that‘s it! Incognito mode is now turned off on your iPhone‘s Safari browser. Your browsing history will once again be saved locally on your device when using Safari.

How to Completely Disable Private Browsing

If you want to take it a step further and completely prevent incognito mode from being activated, you can disable the feature entirely through your iPhone‘s settings:

Step 1: Open Settings > Screen Time

From your home screen, launch the Settings app. Then scroll down and tap on Screen Time.

Step 2: Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions

Next, choose the Content & Privacy Restrictions tab at the top of the Screen Time menu.

Step 3: Turn On Restrictions

Switch on Content & Privacy Restrictions by sliding the toggle to the right and green position. Enter your passcode if prompted.

Step 4: Select Content Restrictions

Now tap on Content Restrictions within the Content & Privacy section.

Step 5: Choose Web Content

Select the Web Content option from the Content Restrictions menu.

Step 6: Limit Adult Websites

Finally, turn on the switch for Limit Adult Websites. This disables incognito mode entirely.

With just those 6 simple steps, you‘ve completely turned off the ability to use private browsing on Safari for good!

What Happens When You Disable Incognito Mode?

Once disabled, incognito mode will no longer be available in Safari. Here‘s what happens when you turn off private browsing on your iPhone:

  • Your browsing history remains locally saved on your device
  • Cookies, cache and site data stays on your phone after closing Safari
  • Autofill information from forms and passwords can be easily accessed again
  • Websites can track your behavior across multiple visits
  • Bookmarks, downloads and other data persists
  • Synced devices like iPads can access your browsing history

Essentially, Safari returns to its normal behavior of saving your activity. For some, this makes browsing quicker and more convenient. However, it comes at the cost of reduced privacy.

Key Facts About Incognito Mode on iPhones

Here are some important things to know about private browsing on iPhones:

  • Apple first introduced the feature to Safari in 2005.
  • 29% of iPhone users utilize incognito mode regularly according to Statista
  • Your browsing history is not recorded locally while incognito mode is on
  • Websites can still track you through methods like IP address tracking
  • Incognito tabs are deleted when you close them
  • It does not make you anonymous, only more private on your device

Why Do People Use Incognito Mode on iPhones?

There are several reasons why people take advantage of private browsing on their iPhones:

1. Avoid cookies and trackers – Incognito prevents sites from using cookies and other trackers to monitor your activity across multiple visits.

2. Keep browsing history private – Your embarrassing, sensitive or private searches remain hidden from others who use your phone.

3. Save space – With no browsing data saved, incognito mode takes up less storage space on your device.

4. Perceived security – Some feel incognito mode provides more security, although this is somewhat misleading.

5. Shopping surprises – Private browsing allows you to secretly shop for gifts without the recipient finding out.

6. View blocked sites – Incognito mode lets you visit sites that may be blocked by parental controls.

As you can see, the primary benefits are privacy, space savings and the ability to maintain secrets more easily.

Should You Disable Incognito Mode on Your iPhone?

Whether you should turn off private browsing on your iPhone comes down to your personal preferences:

Potential Pros:

  • Easier access to your browsing history
  • Sync browsing data across multiple devices
  • Websites load slightly faster
  • Use bookmarks, autofill and other features

Potential Cons:

  • Loss of privacy as your data is stored locally
  • Websites can track you over time
  • No way to secretly shop or browse
  • Others can see your activity if they use your phone
  • More storage space used

According to a 2022 survey of smartphone users, over 65% said they would never disable incognito or private browsing mode on their devices. They valued the privacy benefits too greatly.

However, around 25% said they rarely or never used private browsing features. They didn‘t mind their data being saved locally.

So think carefully about your own priorities when deciding whether to turn off private mode for good. For many, the privacy trade-offs aren‘t worth it.

In Summary

Here are the key points about turning off incognito mode on your iPhone:

  • Incognito mode prevents your browsing history from being locally saved
  • You can easily turn it off by switching to regular Safari tabs
  • Disabling it completely requires adjusting restrictions in Settings
  • Your browsing history will again be saved when incognito is off
  • Consider the pros and cons carefully before turning off private browsing

I hope this guide has helped explain exactly how to disable incognito mode on your iPhone if you choose to do so. Let me know if you have any other questions!