“Private” Button Missing in iOS 7 Safari on iPad? Here’s Where to Find It


iOS 7 made enabling private browsing (Safari) very easy on the iPhone and iPad. We wrote about toggling the private mode for Safari in iOS 7 but we noticed that one troubleshooting theme kept coming up consistently: people were reporting “missing” private browsing link in Safari for iPad.

It’s technically not missing but the way iOS 7 integrates the “Private” link makes it appear to be missing. Read on to find out how to enable Private browsing mode on iOS 7 Safari on the iPad.

Enabling Private Mode in iOS 7 Safari on iPad:

Step #1. Open Safari on your iPad.

Step #2. Now, open a new tab. Press on the “+” icon on top-right to do this.

Step #3. Tap on the unibar field (where you enter the web address or search term). The keyboard pops up from below the screen.

Step #4. Now, right on top-left of the keyboard layout, you have the Private link. Tap this to enable private browsing. You will be greeted with the familiar Close All or Keep All screen. You can either continue to browse with all the tabs intact or close them all to open a new private browsing session.

Private Button in Mobile Safari on iPad
On the iPhone, the Private link is instantly visible on the bottom-left of the tabs page. We imagine that the same kind of an interface would be replicated on the iPad but since the iPad doesn’t have a tabs page with cascading tabs shown beautifully, things change.

This makes it seem like the Private button/link is missing but in reality, Apple “hid” the link on top of the keyboard UI. So tap on the address bar field and there you have the Private button ready to be clicked.

Now, this might not be the case in everyone’s iPad. If you have the Favorites tab open by default (which can be configured via Settings → Safari), the Private link can show up even without the keyboard UI. But if this doesn’t happen, you follow the steps above and you should certainly see the Private link on top of the keyboard.