iOS tips: Reopen recently closed tabs in Apple's mobile Safari browser

in iPhone edited July 2015
Apple's Safari browser for iPhone and iPad features a somewhat hidden but incredibly useful feature, allowing users to quickly reopen tabs they recently closed. Here's how to access it.

When using Safari, users can tap the tab button, located in the bottom right of the display on an iPhone running iOS 8, or the upper right of an iPad screen. From there, a list of currently open tabs can be seen.

Then, to open a new tab, users simply press the plus button at the bottom of the iPhone screen. Tabs can be closed by tapping the 'X' in the upper left corner of a tab, or by swiping the tab to the left off of the screen.

But if you accidentally close a tab, or wish to reopen one you recently accessed, simply press and hold the plus button in the tabs view. This will pull up a list of recently closed tabs in Safari.

On an iPad running iOS 8 or later, the list is even more accessible, as the new tab button is permanently displayed at the upper right corner of the Safari browser. Here again, users can simply press and hold the plus button to invoke a pop-over menu that will display recently closed tabs.

Selecting a recently closed tab will open it in a new tab.

The long-press input method can also be used to reorder tabs in iOS. Open up the tab view on an iPhone or iPad and tap and hold on the tab you want to move, then simply drag your finger to reorder the browser tabs accordingly.

For more, see AppleInsider's extensive list of iOS 8 tips.


  • Reply 1 of 13

    Come on are you guys just browsing /r/apple and posting popular threads as news now?

  • Reply 2 of 13
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    good one. Thanks.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Best tip so far
  • Reply 4 of 13
    nice function, but why does Apple have so many hidden functions in its built-in applications? I can understand overloading a UI element but how do I know when I should press-hold or some other action to discover these functions?
  • Reply 5 of 13
    I recently did this by accident but couldn't figure out how to bring back the closed tabbed list. Thank You!
  • Reply 6 of 13
    ddawson100ddawson100 Posts: 480member
    Long live the iOS tips. I read them all but this is the first one I've personally found useful. This is great. Bummer that it's sorta hidden but this seems fairly intuitive after doing it just once.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,860member
    Ah, nice. I knew about tap&ahold to reorder, but not tap&ahold +.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    mdjcmmdjcm Posts: 29member
    Does this take care of that annoying mobile Safari feature of auto-replacing other tabs when you have too many open?

    I hate that one, it's scary.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Better be careful with logged in pages. Make sure you log out not just close the window. I just tried it and it will log you right back in which is somewhat unexpected behavior.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,237member

    The whiners showed up pretty quickly.


    It's like your cleaner tells you (s)he found you a $100 bill in your pocket that you didn't know about, and the reactions range from "gee, I wonder how many were there that I didn't know about" to "damn, I wish you had told me that yesterday," to "sheesh, I wonder if it'll solve the problem of my pant zippers not working."


    Your life was no better or worse until you read this article about a feature that you did not know existed, and its very existence -- assuming you choose to put it to use -- does nothing more than make things better, and yet, all you can do is whine.


    Sometimes, just a 'thank you' is fine (as some indeed have expressed).

  • Reply 11 of 13

    AI should publish all the iOS 8 tips as an App. It would probably be more useful than the current Tips app, which I hardly use. 

  • Reply 12 of 13
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,243member
    Ars has an insightful editorial on Safari and how it compares to other current browsers. Whether you agree or disagree with the opinion of the author (he's an Android developer among other things) it's a thoughtful look at how it currently stacks up and why.

    And for an Apple-view response to it there's this iMore editorial:
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