How to search for text on a web page with Safari for iPhone and iPad

How to search for text on a web page with Safari for iPhone and iPad

Browsing the web on the iPhone and iPad is arguably one of the best mobile surfing experiences available. You can quickly navigate to different web pages, sync bookmarks across devices, and more. One of the less noticed features of the Safari browser for iPhone and iPad is actually quite useful, and that's searching for text on web pages. This is particularly useful when looking through forum posts or trying to find a specific topic on a page that has a lot of text content.

Here's how.

  1. Launch Safari from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Navigate to the web page you'd like to search for text on.
  3. Now tap on the Search field in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Type in the word you'd like to search the page for.
  5. Instead of hitting Search in order to search the web, you'll see text above the keyboard telling you how many instances of that word or phrase are found on the page you're currently on.
  6. Tap on Find "phrase you're searching for" and you'll be shown the instances where that word or phrase is found on the current page.
  7. When you've found what you're looking for or you're done with text search, just tap the blue Done button in the bottom left hand corner.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to search for text on a web page with Safari for iPhone and iPad


It also works on the iPhone, but it's not exactly the same. There isn't a separate search box. When you type a word in the upper search box, it will display a list of matches, but when you scroll to the ver bottom it will have "On This Page" that you can click.

If you’re having troubles for whatever reason, these are more precise instructions for on-page search with Safari:

From Safari, open the webpage you want to search for text on
Tap the URL address bar at the top of the screen
Tap on the (X) button in the address bar to clear the existing text (the websites URL)
Type the text to search for in the address bar, ignore the top “Google Search” suggestions and scroll down to find the “On This Page (x match)” section, then tap on “Find ‘phrase’” to search the webpage for that text and jump to the first reported entry of the match, it will be highlighted in yellow
Use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to go to the next match or prior match, or when finished tap “Done” to exit out of on-page search and go back to browsing the web using Safari as usual.

You’ll find the process is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It’s really not too different than how it worked prior to iOS 7, but rather than having a dedicated search bar it has been merged into the URL bar, there is no obvious indicator that is the case though, suggesting the feature could be improved upon a bit to make it more obvious and eliminate some of the confusion surrounding such a widely used feature.

Thank you, Ed! This answer is exactly what I was looking for. Great explanation – thanks for all the details. You made my day!

Bravo, that is the search, that i looking for. With separate search field will be easier, but there is no such in Safari iOS 8.

Signed up only to comment.
This is an awesome feature I completely overlooked. Thank you for creating this article.