How to Use Safari on an Apple iPad

by David Weedmark
Tap the Safari icon to get started.

Tap the Safari icon to get started.

Safari, the default Web app on Apple iOS devices like the iPad, works much the same as Web browsers on a computer. However, if you're not used to touchscreens or tablets, take a few minutes to exploreSafari's features and settings.

Getting Started

Safari recommends links as you begin typing.

Tap the **Safari** icon. When the app opens, tap the address bar at the top of the screen. If you don't have a Bluetooth keyboard connected, the iPad's virtual keyboard opens. Type a URL, like "google.com," or enter keywords to search for a website. As you begin typing, Safari makes recommendations below the address bar based on your browsing history, favorites and what most people search for. For example, even if you never visited Google.com before, when you begin typing "goo," Safari will offer you the Google website. Tap a link when it appears or tap the **Go** button on the virtual keyboard.

Basic Navigation

Drag your finger up and down the screen to scroll.

Drag your finger up and down the screen to scroll through a Web page. Most websites today are optimized so they fit horizontally on the iPad's screen. However you will still encounter websites that aren't. The text on these will be difficult to read, or you may need to drag your finger left and right on the screen to scroll horizontally. If the text is too small to read comfortably, use a reverse pinching motion on the screen to zoom in.

Using Links

Hold a link to see additional options.

Links aren't always obvious on an iPad. If you're looking at an article summary, for example, and don't see the telltale blue text indicating a link, tap **the picture**, **the title** or keywords like "more" or "cont'd." If you hold your finger on a link, Safari gives you more options. In addition to opening the link, you can open a link in a new tab so you don't lose the page you're currently on. You can also add the link to your reading list or copy the link to paste in a document or share with someone in a text message.

Bookmarks and Icons

Save and open bookmarks using Safari

If you find a page you like or want to save for later, tap the **Share** icon. From the drop-down menu, you can send a link to the page using social media, text message or email. The Bookmark option adds the page to your Safari bookmarks, while the Add to Home Screen option creates a link to the page on your iPad home screen. To visit your bookmarks, tap the book-shaped icon to the left of the address bar.

Safari Settings

Safari's Setting options.

To change preferences in Safari, open **Settings** and tap the **Safari** icon. Here, you can change the default search engine, manage favorites and specify whether you want Safari to remember passwords and autofill text fields with your personal information. Scroll down to the bottom of Safari's Settings to clear the browser history and any saved data. Additional options block pop-ups and cookies and if you open the **Advanced** options, disable JavaScript.

Pro Tip: Private Browsing

Use Private Browsing to have Safari forget your browsing activity.

If you share your iPad with others and would rather not have anyone know what you use Safari for, use the Private Browsing mode. Tap the **Multi Window** icon in the upper-right corner, tap **Private** and then tap the **+** icon. A new window opens with a dark gray menu and address bar, indicating that anything you do in this window won't be saved in Safari after you exit. To leave Private Browsing mode, tap the **Multi Window** icon again and then tap the **X** in the corner of each private window.

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Screenshot courtesy of Apple.