How to close just the tabs you searched for in mobile Safari

This tutorial explains how you can fast close searched tabs in Safari on iPhone and iPad

If you keep a lot of pages open in Safari on your iPhone and iPad, you can quickly get rid of the tabs you don’t need, and iDownloadBlog shows you how in this step-by-step tutorial.

In Safari for iPhone and iPad, you can search through open tabs if you’d like to find one or more specific webpages that you have open. You can also close a searched-for tab easily.

But did you know that you can quickly close all the matching tabs with a simple long-tap of an unassuming button? This is one of those little tricks that have been around for a while but remain hard to find unless you’re aware of their existence.

Follow along as we teach you how to close any searched-for tabs in mobile Safari at once.

Here we go.

How to close searched-for tabs in Safari

Follow the steps below to learn how to fast-close Safari tabs you searched for.

1) Launch Safari on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

2) Hit the Tabs button denoted by a pair of overlapping squares. On iPhone and iPod touch, it’s in the bottom-right corner in portrait mode and in the top-right corner in landscape. On iPad, the button can be found in the top-right corner in either orientation.

3) Now slide down across the tabs interface until a search box reveals itself at the top.

close searched-for safari tabs
Pull down on the tabs browser to reveal a search field at the top.

4) Next, type in your search. I have many open tabs, including a few Apple support articles that I no longer need. In order to show only those, I’m going to type “support” into the box.

Notice as you begin typing how the results immediately start to narrow down—tabs without the search word in their title instantly disappear, leaving only the ones that match the query. Don’t worry, your non-matching tabs are simply hidden from view rather than closed permanently.

4) Finally, tap and hold the Cancel button. Safari will pull up a menu at the screen bottom informing you how many searched-for tabs will be closed should you decide to continue.

close searched tabs in Safari
The trick is in holding down the Cancel button when searching for tabs in Safari.

5) Confirm the operation by tapping the option “Close x Tabs Matching [SEARCH WORD]”.

I would never know about this incredible trick if it weren’t for former Apple employee, developer and Twitter user “Maxwell”, as well as` The Loop’s Dave Mark who brought it to our attention.

And here it is in action.

A few things you should bear in mind…

Firstly, this only closes tabs on the device you’re currently using. If you have set up the iCloud Tabs feature to sync open tabs across devices, know that any matched tabs on one device like your iPhone won’t be also closed on your other devices, such as your Mac and iPad.

And secondly, this trick won’t work in macOS because although Safari for Mac supports searching tabs, long- or Option-clicking the button does nothing.

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