How to Permanently Disable Private Browsing on iPhone and iPad

Disabling private browsing on an iPhone or iPad is a simple process that involves adjusting the Screen Time settings. Once done, the private browsing option in Safari will be permanently disabled, preventing anyone using the device from accessing it.

After completing this action, the private browsing option won’t be accessible through Safari. Any attempt to open a new private tab will be blocked, ensuring that all browsing data, including history and cookies, will be visible and saved on the device.


Private browsing, also known as incognito mode, is a feature available on most browsers that allows users to surf the internet without leaving a trace of their activity on their device. It provides a layer of privacy by not saving browsing history, cookies, or search records. On iPhones and iPads, Safari is the default browser, and it offers a private browsing option. While this feature can be useful in certain situations, there are times when you might want to disable it permanently, especially if you’re concerned about privacy and security or if you’re managing a device for someone else, like a child.

Disabling private browsing can ensure that you have oversight over internet usage, which is crucial for parents who want to protect their children from inappropriate content. It also prevents users from bypassing content restrictions or hiding their online activity. If you’re an employer, this might be important to ensure employees are using company-issued devices appropriately. Regardless of the reason, disabling private browsing is a straightforward process on iOS devices.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Permanently Disable Private Browsing

Before we begin with the tutorial, understand that what we’re about to do will prevent the use of the private browsing feature in the Safari browser.

Step 1: Open Settings

Go to the ‘Settings’ app on your iPhone or iPad.

In the settings menu, you’ll find various options to customize your device to your liking. Look for the ‘Screen Time’ option, which is what we will use to disable private browsing.

Step 2: Tap on Screen Time

Select ‘Screen Time’ from the list of settings.

Screen Time is a tool introduced by Apple to help users monitor and limit their device usage. It offers a range of options including downtime, app limits, and content restrictions.

Step 3: Set a Screen Time Passcode

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up a Screen Time passcode. Tap ‘Use Screen Time Passcode’ to create one.

This passcode adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that only those with the passcode can make changes to the Screen Time settings.

Step 4: Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions

Once you’ve set up a passcode, select ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions.’

Content & Privacy Restrictions allow you to manage what content can be accessed on the device. This includes privacy settings, allowed apps, content ratings, and web content.

Step 5: Enter your Screen Time Passcode

You will be prompted to enter your Screen Time passcode.

Make sure to remember this passcode, as you’ll need it to make any future changes to the Screen Time settings.

Step 6: Tap on Content Restrictions

Select ‘Content Restrictions’ from the Content & Privacy Restrictions menu.

Here, you can specify the type of content that can be accessed on the device, such as music, movies, TV shows, and apps.

Step 7: Scroll down to Web Content

Within Content Restrictions, scroll down to find ‘Web Content.’

The Web Content section allows you to control access to websites and determine the level of web filtering.

Step 8: Tap on Limit Adult Websites

Under Web Content, tap ‘Limit Adult Websites.’

By choosing to limit adult websites, you can add websites that you want to always allow or never allow.

Step 9: Disable Private Browsing

After selecting ‘Limit Adult Websites,’ look for the option that says ‘Private Browsing’ and turn it off.

Once you disable private browsing, it will no longer be possible to open a private tab in Safari. All browsing data will be visible and saved on the device.


Increased OversightBy disabling private browsing, you can have better oversight over the device’s internet usage. This is particularly important for parents monitoring their children’s online activity.
SecurityDisabling private browsing can enhance security by preventing users from accessing potentially dangerous or inappropriate content through incognito mode.
AccountabilityWhen private browsing is disabled, users are more likely to be accountable for their online activities since their browsing data is visible and saved.


Reduced PrivacyDisabling private browsing removes the option for users to browse the internet without leaving a history, which can be seen as a reduction in personal privacy.
InconvenienceSome users may find it inconvenient not to have the option to use private browsing when they want to keep certain activities confidential, like gift shopping.
Potential ConflictsIf you’re managing a device for someone else, disabling private browsing could lead to conflicts if they expect to have that feature available.

Additional Information

When you’re managing an iPhone or iPad, whether for a child, employee, or just for your own use, knowing how to customize the device’s settings to fit your needs is essential. Disabling private browsing is just one of the many ways you can tailor an iOS device to ensure safety and accountability.

It’s important to note that while this feature can be a useful tool for oversight, it should be used responsibly and with respect for the user’s privacy when appropriate. Remember, once private browsing is disabled, it cannot be turned on again unless you go back into the Screen Time settings and reverse the process.


  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on Screen Time
  3. Set a Screen Time Passcode
  4. Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions
  5. Enter your Screen Time Passcode
  6. Tap on Content Restrictions
  7. Scroll down to Web Content
  8. Tap on Limit Adult Websites
  9. Disable Private Browsing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is private browsing?

Private browsing is a feature that allows users to browse the internet without saving any history, cookies, or search records on their device.

Can I turn private browsing back on after disabling it?

Yes, you can re-enable private browsing by reversing the process in the Screen Time settings.

Will disabling private browsing affect all browsers on the device?

The steps provided will disable private browsing for the Safari browser, which is the default browser on iOS devices. Other browsers may have their own private browsing settings.

Can someone bypass the Screen Time passcode to enable private browsing?

If the Screen Time passcode is known, it can be entered to change the settings. Otherwise, it provides a secure way to prevent changes to the restrictions you’ve set.

Does disabling private browsing also block adult websites?

Selecting the ‘Limit Adult Websites’ option can help filter out inappropriate content, but it focuses more on limiting access to adult websites rather than blocking them entirely.


Disabling private browsing on your iPhone or iPad is a straightforward process that can be accomplished through the Screen Time settings. It’s a useful option for parents, employers, or anyone who wants to ensure that all internet activity on a device is visible and accountable.

While it has its advantages in terms of oversight and security, it’s also important to consider the potential drawbacks regarding privacy and convenience. Regardless, knowing how to manage this feature is an important part of device management and can help create a safer and more responsible digital environment.