Can Private Browsing be Traced on iPhone, iPad, or Mac?

The last thing you want anybody to do is to be able to trace what you are viewing on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. These things happen. But what can you do about it? This is what we were wondering and decided to do some research on this aspect to find out the answers.

You see, one of my friends was concerned about this issue and called us up about this. He asked, can private browsing be traced on iPhone, iPad, or Mac? Obviously, we did not know the answer but decided to spend some time in research and finding the answers.

You are aware that most of the government agencies can spy on or have the authority to go through your browsing history list. When you are residing or visiting another country, then please make sure that you know the browsing rules and abide by them.

You do not want to get into any legal problems in a foreign country. On that note, let us begin our post, and find out the answers or solutions to this very interesting issue.

What is private browsing?

Private browsing is a term that enables you to increase the speed of your login process. This happens when your browser wants to track the content that you have used in the past, are going to use currently, and may use in the future.

That content includes usernames, passwords, images, videos, and so on. As a user, it may come useful to your cause because you do not have to type in these details on a daily basis. However, you certainly don’t want that information to violate your privacy, do you?

That is because web browsers which are scammers or imposters can sell your data to other third-party users. It could be extremely dangerous for you. As you may know by now, the Google incognito mode was not developed for concealing your username & password.

The Google incognito mode was designed to help you share information effortlessly with other devices. If you are using iOS devices, then your browsing history can’t be viewed by anybody else.

Using this feature, you can hide your browsing history and all the websites that you have visited recently. Moreover, it does not allow the website to save cookies. This means, that you have left no trace.

The private browsing feature allows you to safely browse the websites that you want to go through for personal or professional requirements. But your data can still be traced & tracked. We will help you understand how you can prevent your private browsing from getting traced on your iPhone.

We just read about private browsing. We feel that private browsing can do the following:

  • To help you get search results not related to the earlier searches.
  • To hide your browsing history efficiently.
  • However, the privacy functions end at that.

How do you use the private browsing feature on your iPhone?

Here is how you can enable private browsing on your safari browser.

  • Open Safari on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  • You need to press & hold the tabs button on the bottom right.
  • You can use the private or new private tab options.
  • The private browsing feature is enabled now.

How do you use the private browsing feature on your iPhone? (Safari) Follow the steps

Here is how you can exit the private browsing feature. This can be used once you are done browsing and want to wrap up your internet session.

  • You have to press & hold the tabs button for a few seconds.
  • You can tap on the tabs.
  • You have exited the private browsing feature.

We will learn how you can switch on & off the incognito mode when you are browsing on Chrome using iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

  • You have to click on the Chrome icon for it to open.
  • You can press & hold on the tabs button using the square at the bottom right corner.
  • Now, use the new incognito option.
  • You have switched on the incognito mode.

How do you use the private browsing feature on your iPhone? (Chrome) follow the steps

If you want to switch off the incognito mode, then you have to do the following methods.

  • You have to tap on the tabs button.
  • Choose the tabs button that is found in the top center.
  • Pick the tab you want to return to.

How to improve the privacy of your safari?

When you are somebody who uses your safari on a daily basis, then you would want to do everything that it takes for ensuring that it is safe to browse on. Luckily, you are provided with an abundance of privacy settings that has tracking of users under their wrap.

However, the additional features do not provide you with the kind of security measures that you were looking for. They hide it from the trackers, but there is still no guarantee on that because it can be traced if required.

To do that you will need to go to the settings, then choose safari, and then switch on the privacy & security feature. Here is how you can do it.

  • You can hide the IP address by keeping the tracker’s options switched on. Safari has the ability to hide trackers from your devices when browsing on it.
  • You can block all the cookies when visiting websites and adding the cookies on your iPhone.
  • It also enables you to prevent cross-site tracking for maximizing your privacy and that is why you would want to keep it switched on. This helps make safari decrease the third-party cookies and makes your browsing history untraceable.

Is private browsing mode really private?

Yes, private browsing is private when you are using your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. But when you are using the internet, you are putting your device and your browsing history are a risk. That is because you are going beyond the bounds of your device.

So, you still have a good chance of being tracked.

  • The website you visit can keep your data. They know that you have visited the website and may reply back to you.
  • Besides, the ISP is aware that you are accessing the website to get the information you seek.
  • The induvial who works in the local internet service provider can see that you have visited the website due to the data that is available with them.

It becomes quite obvious that private browsing won’t help you to protect against things like this.

Methods of private browsing can be traced on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac

You can make use of several methods of private browsing that can be traced on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

IP address

Just like your house has an address, the IP address is located on your devices. When you are visiting a particular website, then your IP address gets stored by the ISP. Besides, even government agencies too can track your devices, websites, and messages that you sent to others.

All these details are stored and moreover, the number of minutes or hours you visited a particular website is also tracked.

Account activity

When you have social media accounts, then the activity log shows you everything. You can go and check it if you want. The number of minutes or hours, what kind of work you were doing, or the content that you were watching, or reading can be seen by you.

Wi-Fi router logs

There are also Wi-Fi router logs that route your information back to the internet. The router logs are aware of what you are doing with your device. Besides, the kind of internet service used is also saved, and you can check it out if you want.


The same is said about the internet service provider. We have mentioned this in our earlier pointers. They have the knowledge of what kind of websites you visit, how long you were visiting, and the kind of content that you view & read.

All your actions are traced and stored by them. When you are an American citizen, then your data can be sold to brokers.

Malware and plug-ins

You may not know about this, but the active plug-ins are switched when you are visiting a website. Though you are using private browsing, the malware will not bother about the kind of private browsing that you are using on your device.

Browser fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting enables you to identify the device that you are using without having the cookies. HTML5 is the base code for modern websites that allows your website to be able to identify through the browser, hardware, and operating system.

You will not be able to delete this data that is present on your devices.

How can you avoid getting tracked on private browsing?

Here are some steps that you can take to avoid getting tracked on private browsing. You may use them to help you out.

You may not want to use your real name or details

You can log on to your account using the private mode, and then use false names. Do not provide them with the real name and other details. For example, John Smith is a common false name that several users tend to make use of on social media.

Never provide your personal data

Sadly, this is something that is not possible on social media platforms. You tend to provide images, videos, and other details about yourself. These can’t be taken back once you have uploaded them on these social medial websites.

Disable extensions

When you have enabled your regular extensions, then you will want to make sure that you disable them. This helps in preventing tracking of your device and details. It is the same for extensions that are related to your email, social media, and others as well.

Update your software

You would want to update your software. Before the iOS 11 software, you could easily check the private browsing data through the website data lookup. Today, we have the iOS 15 that enables you to update the stuff.

Verify if your smartphone is hacked

If your smartphone is hacked, then you will want to check the private mode history to see and find out whether somebody else is accessing your details. Sometimes, if it has specialized monitoring software, then even anti-virus tools can’t track it.

Remove malware

You would want to make sure that your device is free from any form of malware. The malware can effortlessly bypass several privacy tools and is not developed to be traced by them. Having this habit is a good idea to ensure that your device comes free from malware and virus.

Use iPhone privacy functions

You can make use of the iPhone privacy functions. Did you know that your iPhone comes with the hide IP address function? That is correct. However, it works only against trackers. Using this function, you can reroute your data by the iCloud Private Relay.

When you are certain that you would want to protect your browsing history and sensitive data from prying eyes, then you might want to consider using the next step.

Get a VPN

You can make use of a VPN where the information is encrypted. It is then routed through the VPN server. This helps your IP address to only note the encrypted connection that is present on the server.

But the services you want to access can only notice the server’s IP address. It not only keeps the data hidden from the routers but also from unwanted eyes as well. You can make use of some free, but reliable tools, if you want they come with a free trial and a money-back scheme.

These were some methods that can help you avoid getting traced. You can make use of some reliable software or tools that can keep trackers at bay. Though we may not recommend you any of them as we are not very certain about them, but some tools actually do work.

However, the TOR browser is a good option. It masks your IP by using three random nodes when you are browsing the internet. Besides, it uses multiple layers of encryption. Sadly, it comes with several flaws like slow browsing, the internet service provider can see you use TOR.


The answer to can private browsing be traced on iPhone, iPad, or Mac is a yes. Tracing & track have always been there on the internet for more than a decade now. Our websites and data have been tracked by various government agencies.

However, as users, we have the right to know how to make use of some of the best practices prevalent in the incognito or private mode. Using that you can now ensure that your smartphone, tablet, and PC devices are safe.

This enables you to prevent impostors, scammers, and unwanted eyes from going through your browsing history. That is why you may want to use the steps we have mentioned in the above post to make this information into private.

We encourage you to do your own research and find out other methods and search engines that provide you with a safe method of keeping your data safe. Do write to us sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We would be delighted to hear from you.


Does private browsing show up across devices?

Yes, it does show up on most of the devices that you use on a regular basis. You can make use of the private browsing mode for opening the private tabs. They do not appear on the history option on your iPhone or in the list of tabs present on other devices.

Does private browsing show up on Mac?

Yes, private browsing can show up on your Mac. If you are using safari, then you need to go to the file, then choose a new private window. Besides, you can make use of a private window that is open.

Does private browsing on iPhone show on iPad?

Yes, the private browsing on your iPhone can show up on your iPad, if your private browsing mode is on. In this case, the background of your safari is gray in color. Moreover, the sites that you did not visit also appear in the history or in the list of tabs. Besides, you can open multiple private tabs in the private tab group.

How can I see what has been viewed in private browsing?

You can see the incognito history that is found on your Apple devices. You can’t view the DNS cache however, you can make use of a third-party app to view it on your Apple devices. You can find several parental control apps that have the ability to track incognito browsing.

How can I see what has been viewed in private browsing on Mac?

The visited sites are mostly stored on your PC or Mac. You can see them by opening the finder option. Then you have to click on the go menu option, hold the option key, and click on the library as it appears.

Then you should open the Safari folder, you will be able to find the WebpageIcons inside the folder and then click on the browse data tab that is present on the SQLite window. This is how you can see what you have viewed in private browsing on your Mac.

James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.