Close Safari tabs on iPhone and iPad from your Mac

Safari web browser

Oops! You left open some Safari tabs on your iPad or iPhone and someone might see them! What can you do? Fortunately, you can close them from anywhere in the world using your Apple Mac.

This might not worry you if you are the only person in your home and you are the only one that uses your iPhone and iPad, but what if you have a partner or kids? There are no accounts in iOS and everyone uses the same one.

Whatever tabs are open in Safari can be seen by anyone that has access to the device. Suppose you were buying a surprise present for your partner or kids? They might stumble across the web page you were ordering it from and then it would no longer be a surprise.

You might have been checking your bank balance or other financial information and left the tab open, you could have been looking at a site that is not suitable for kids. There are any number of reasons why you might be worried if there are tabs open on your iOS devices.

Fortunately, you can shut them down from your Mac whether you are at home, at work, or a Wi-Fi hotspot in a cafe or hotel.

Enable iCloud on iOS

For this to work, iCloud and Safari must be enabled on the iPhone or iPad. It usually is, but you can check by going to Settings, iCloud and making sure that the Safari switch is turned on.

iCloud settings on iOS

Enable iCloud on OS X

iCloud and Safari must also be enabled on the Apple Mac. It usually is, but check anyway. Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Click iCloud and make sure that Safari is ticked.

iCloud settings in OS X

Safari tabs

Assuming that Safari is turned on both for the iOS device and OS X, open Safari on your Mac and click the tabs button in the top right corner.

Safari tabs

Tabs and devices

The tabs that are open in Safari are shown as thumbnail images at the top and your iOS devices are displayed below. Under each one is a list of the web pages that are open on tabs on the device. You can open a tab on the Mac to continue reading it by clicking it.

Safari tabs

Close open tabs

If there are tabs on the iPhone or iPad that you don’t want anyone to see, move the mouse over them and a cross icon appears on the right. Click the cross and the tab is closed.

Safari tabs

This is not instantaneous and it might take a minute. The Mac must sync to iCloud and the iOS device must also sync the change too.

Now no-one can see what websites you were looking at on your iPad or iPhone.



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