Safari for iPhone spun out of Safari for Mac to become one of the very first fully-functional web browsers on mobile. Taking all that power and making it simple and accessible for the masses meant that, over the years, a lot of shortcuts and time savers got hidden away behind gestures. Luckily, once you know how to long-tap (touch and hold) and swipe your way around, you'll be using Safari for iPhone faster than ever!

Note: Some shortcuts, like history list and tab restore don't work in private browsing mode, because private.

Originally published January 2015. Updated January 2016.

1. To the top

One of the first and still one of the best iPhone gestures, while I'm sure almost all of you already know this, I'm including it just in case. If you've spent a while scrolling down a page but decide you want to go back to the top, instead of scrolling all the way back up, try this:

  1. Tap the title bar at the very top of the screen. (If the address bar is minimized, tap twice — once to maximize it, once to jump up.)

2. Tap for tools

To show you more of the page content, Safari hides the toolbar as you scroll down. Instead of trying to make it reveal itself by scrolling back up, try this:

  1. Tap the very bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the tool button you want to invoke.

3. Super saver

If you come across an image on a website you want to save — or copy — to the clip board, try this:

  1. Touch and hold down on an image.
  2. Choose to save or copy it from the menu.

(If it doesn't work, the image may be embedded in the style sheet instead of the page — no luck!)

4. Flash back

If you've tapped a bunch of links and decide you want to go back to a previous page, instead of tapping the back button or swiping to go back a page at a time, try this:

  1. Touch and hold down on the back arrow button at the bottom left to pull up the history list of pages you visited previously.
  2. Tap the page you want to jump back to.

5. Flash forward

If you've already jumped back but decide you want to go forward again, instead of tapping the forward button or swiping forward a page a time, try this:

  1. Touch and hold down on the forward arrow button at the bottom left to pull up the history list of pages you visited next.
  2. Tap the page you want to jump forward to.

6. Book'em in a blink

If you land on a page you love and you want to make sure you remember it, instead of tapping the share button and then choosing what you want to do, try this:

  1. Touch and hold down on the bookmark button at the bottom center to bring up the bookmark menu.
  2. Tap add a bookmark, add to reading list, or add to shared links.

7. Rapidly reorder

If you like to keep your tabs in a very specific order, and they aren't already the way you want them, instead of closing them and opening them all again, try this:

  1. Tap the tabs button.
  2. Touch and hold down on the tab you want to reorder.
  3. Drag it to the position you want it.

8. Flick away

When the time comes to close a tab, you can hit the small X button at the top left, but if you want to be a little more physical, and have a little more fun, try this:

  1. Tap the tabs button
  2. Touch and hold down on the tab you want to close.
  3. Toss it away to the left.

9. Rapidly restore

If you close a tab or set of tabs by mistake, or you close them but later wish you hadn't, instead of trying to remember the page, try this:

  1. Tap the tabs button at the bottom right
  2. Touch and hold down the + button to bring up a list of recently closed tabs.
  3. Tap the tab you want to restore

10. Remotely close

If you leave a tap open on an iPad or Mac you wish you hadn't, instead of running back to the device, turning it on, going to Safari, and closing the tab, try this:

  1. Tap the tabs button and scroll down to iCloud tabs
  2. Swipe across the iCloud tab to bring up the delete button.
  3. Tap the delete button to close the tab.

11. Direct to desktop

While some sites think they're doing iPhone owners a favor by forcing them into mobile versions of a website, sometimes those mobile versions are poorly formatted or missing important functionality. (Hi Twitter!) You can get Safari to request the full desktop site from the Share Sheet, but you can also do it quickly right from the reload button.

  1. Touch and hold the reload button at the right of the address bar at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap on Request Desktop Site.

12. Instant un-block

Content blockers can speed up and clean up your browsing by refusing to load ads, fonts, tackers, and other large or complex assets. Sometimes, though, that can break the website you're trying to load. You can disable content blockers, but you can also reload without them right from the address bar.

Note: This only works if you have a content blocker installed, of course.

  1. Touch and hold the reload button at the right of the address bar at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap on Reload Without Content Blockers.

13. Find on Page

Once you find the web page you want, you might still need to find specific text on that page like a word or phrase. You can still do that in the most recent version of iOS, but the option has moved to the Share sheet.

  1. Tap the Share button.
  2. Tap Find on Page in the black and white action options near the bottom. (You'll need to scroll right.)

14. Print to PDF

Web pages are great, but sometimes you need to keep a copy of a page offline. That's what PDFs are for. With the latest version of iOS, you can save any web page to a PDF file and store it safe and sound in iBooks so you can reference it any time. And you can do it right from the Share sheet.

  1. Tap the Share button.
  2. Tap Save PDF to iBooks in the share options near the top. (You'll need to scroll right.)

15. Home screen jumps

If you have an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus with 3D Touch, you can press on the Safari icon on your Home screen to jump directly to Reading List, Bookmarks, a new Private tab, or a new regular tab.

  1. Press firmly on the Safari icon on your Home screen
  2. Tap on the Home screen option you want to use.

16. Peeks and pops

If you have an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus with 3D Touch, you can also press on frequently used site icons, list entries, and even links on any web page to bring up a "peek" preview and press harder to "pop" right into the page.

  1. Press firmly on any web icon, list item, or link to preview.
  2. Press harder to go to the page.

17. Your shortcuts?

These Safari shortcuts should have you browsing faster than ever! We're always on the lookout for more, though, so if you've come any we missed, let us know!