How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Safari on your iPhone

Surfing the Web on Safari is one of the best experiences for iPhone users. Accidentally closing a tab in Safari or closing it too soon is something most iPhone users have done a time or two. You wake up trying to remember something from one of the pages in Safari that you closed.

Like everything else, you can always find a record of your activity on these types of devices. The closed web pages can be re-opened even if they haven’t been bookmarked. Not to worry. The latest mobile browsers allow the user to go back and reopen closed tabs in Safari. This tutorial will show you how to retrieve those pages in Safari.

Re-open Closed Safari Tabs on iPhone

Sometimes you may accidentally close Safari instead of closing a particular tab. When you reopen Safari, you need access to those closed pages. You can re-open your closed tabs in Safari by following these simple steps on your iPhone:

1. Open Safari

2. Press down the Tab View button in the right bottom corner of the Safari browser to bring the tab view

Press and hold down the ‘+’ plus

3. Press and hold down the ‘+’ plus (New Tab) button in Safari tab view. After a moment or two, Recently Closed Tabs should appear on your screen.

4. Select the tab for the page that you would like to re-open from the list

5. Your page should appear in the browser

6. Flip ON the Wallet switch in Allow Access When Lock

You should now be able to access the Safari tab(s) that you closed.

Note: The tabs are time sensitive and should be recovered as soon as possible. If a considerable amount of time has passed since you opened the tab in your Safari browser, it may no longer appear on the Recently Closed Tabs list. Also, you can’t reopen private pages.

Check Settings App History

If you still can’t reopen your most recent tabs in Safari, check your Settings history. If you have cleared the Settings app history, you will not have a Recently Closed Tabs list. If you selected Clear History and Website Data in your Settings, all of your recent Safari tabs are deleted.

Use iCloud Tabs

iCloud tracks the tabs you open in iPhone Safari and keeps them updated. This allows you to go from your iPhone to your other Apple devices and access the same recent tabs. To set up iCloud Tabs, follow these steps:

1. Make sure Bluetooth is ON

2. Go to Settings > User Name > iCloud

3. Confirm that Safari is ON

4. Repeat these steps on your iPad and Mac

To use the iCloud Tabs as a manger for your iPhone Safari browsing history:

1. Open Safari on your iPhone

2. Select Tabs

Scroll the open list of tabs on your iPhone

3. Scroll the open list of tabs on your iPhone. You should be able to see the tabs on your other devices as well.

4. Select the tab(s) you want to reopen.

Note: iCloud Bookmarks can manage your Safari bookmarks across all of your devices.

Use Handoff

Handoff allows to you browse in Safari on your iPhone and then pick up the browsing session on your Mac, or vice versus. If you have Handoff installed on your iPhone, follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings > General > Handoff on your iPhone

2. Turn Handoff ON

3. Browse using Safari on your iPhone

4. Access your most recent pages on your Mac

On your Mac:

1. Go to Apple > System Preferences > General

2. Select the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices option located below Recent Items.

Turn Handoff OFF by deselecting it. Handoff can also be used with your Apple apps and many third party apps.

Restore from a Backup

You can try to access your closed tabs in iPhone Safari by restoring them from a backup that contained the history. iPhone stores your history in SQLite, where it merely becomes unallocated when you deleted. Simply restore your iPhone from a backup with iTunes or iCloud, and your tabs should still be there:

1. Go to iTunes on the device you used for the backup

2. Connect your iPhone to the device

3. Select iPhone option

4. Select Restore in iTunes

Make Sure Your iPhone is secure

Just as you can retrieve pages from your Safari browser history, so can other users with access to your phone. You should be wary of someone using your iPhone and viewing all of the content stored in your browser’s cookies. Mark your pages as Private, activate a screenlock password on your iPhone, or remove your website data from time to time if there is a chance that others may use your iPhone.

Contact Apple Support

If you followed these steps and you still can’t access your closed tabs in iPhone Safari, contact Apple Support or the Genius Bar for assistance.