Private Browsing Missing in Safari on iOS 8 on iPhone/iPad? How to Fix It

The Private mode in Safari (iOS 8) lets you browse websites without any trace in the app’s history. It’s a safe way to browse the web on your iPhone/iPad because it prevents recording your browsing history, storing cookies, website tracking etc.

RELATED: How to Enable Private Browsing in iOS 8 Safari

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Enabling Private mode is easy but we just found out recently that sometimes, the “private” link doesn’t show up in Safari’s tab view. Given that this is the easiest way to enable private mode, it will be impossible to switch between private and normal modes without this link. Incidentally, you might also notice that the “Clear History and Website Data” option (in Settings → Safari) disabled. Fortunately, there is a fix for this. Here’s more on that.

Private Browsing Missing in Safari on iOS 8Turns out, “Restrictions” plays a role in enabling/disabling the “Private” mode link in Safari’s tab-view. If you have website restrictions enabled, there’s a possibility that the private mode link will be hidden. Sometimes it looks like a bug too but anyway, here’s how to fix the missing Private link in Safari.

Step #1. Open Settings

iOS 8 Setting in iDevice

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Step #2. Tap on General

General Settings in iOS 8

Step #3. Tap on Restrictions

Restrictions Setting in iOS 8

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Step #4. Enter the restriction passcode

Enter Restrictions Passcode on iPhone

Step #5. Scroll down and tap on Websites

Scroll down and tap on Websites

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Step #6. Under Allow Websites, tap on All Websites

Under Allow Websites, tap on All Websites

Step #7. If that’s selected already, tap on Limit Adult Content and then tap on All Websites again

Step #8. Quit Settings and Safari (if it’s open.)

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Re-open Safari and go to the tab-view (tap on +). Hopefully, you should now see the “Private mode link.

Also, within Settings → Safari, check if Clear History and Website Data is now enabled. Note that you should have visited a few websites (basically, have some history) before the link/button becomes clickable again.

Note that this method only applies when you have already enabled restrictions. If restrictions are disabled, then there is no point in enabling them again and trying this out. However, just to be sure, you can try enabling restrictions and tapping on All Websites option.

Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.


  1. Thank you, I looked everywhere and they kept saying, hit the double squares, or access it from the address bar, but I remembered there was something I did in the settings, and no web site mentions this, so THANK YOU so much for helping me as I have been searching forever….

  2. I have an iPad 8, and it has no “Restrictions” settings. I’m trying to close all tabs to sort out a continual problem with reloading pages. The advice given does not match the machine’s command hierarchy, so the advice is useless. Nothing has greater nuisance value than a computer. One day they will all break down, or we will advance to using paper and pencil. That day cannot come soon enough.


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