10 Long Press Tips to Reveal Hidden Functions in Safari on iPhone and iPad

On iPhone and iPad, a long press (also known as a press-and-hold) gesture will often initiate a different action in an app that isn't immediately obvious, such as revealing an icon's contextual menu. On recent iPhones, a long press will sometimes also offer haptic feedback in the form of a vibration, which Apple calls Haptic Touch.

Apple has made extensive use of the long press gesture and ‌Haptic Touch‌ in its apps, which means if you don't tend to long press screen elements, you could be unaware of some convenient shortcuts to everyday actions, or you could even be missing out on app functionality altogether.


This is particularly true for Safari, Apple's native mobile browser, which has several handy features that can be accessed with a long press. In this article, we've put together 10 of our favorite long press tips for Safari on iPhones and iPads running iOS 13.

Note that the default minimum period that a finger must press on the screen for the long gesture to be recognized is half a second. If you're having trouble performing a long press, open the Settings app, go to Accessibility -> Haptic Touch, and try selecting a Fast or Slow touch duration. There's also a handy interactive demo area for you to test each setting.

1. Bookmark Multiple Tabs in One Go

Make sure you have a few tabs open in Safari that you want to reference at a later time. Now, select one of those tabs, and in the main browsing window, long press the Bookmark icon (it looks like an open book).

safari tabs
A popup menu will appear on the screen that includes options to Add to Reading List and Add Bookmarks for X Tabs, X being the number of tabs open. Once you've tapped the latter option, you'll be asked to save the tabs in a new bookmarks folder. Alternately, you can choose an existing folder in which to save the tabs.

2. Bulk Copy Links in a Bookmarks Folder

Following on from the last tip, if you long press on a bookmarks folder in Safari, you'll see a Copy Contents option pop up in the contextual menu.

safari
Selecting this will copy a list of every website URL in that folder to your clipboard, allowing you to paste it elsewhere for easy sharing.

3. Fast Scroll Web Pages

A scroll bar appears on the right-hand side of the Safari window whenever you swipe to navigate a web page.

safari
If the content you're viewing is long, perform a long press on the scroll bar. The bar will swell slightly and you'll be able to drag it up and down and scroll at a much faster rate.

4. Close All Open Tabs

If the number of active tabs has gotten out of hand in your browser session, long press the Tabs icon in the bottom-right corner (top-right on ‌iPad‌) of the web page view to reveal the Close All Tabs option.

safari tabs
If you're in the vertical tabs view, you can reveal the same option by long pressing the Done button, which appears in the same location.

In iOS 13, you‌ can actually get Safari to close tabs on your behalf, based on when you last viewed them. Launch the Settings app and select Safari -> Close Tabs, and you'll find options to make the browser automatically close tabs that have not been viewed After One Day, After One Week, or After One Month.

5. Re-open Recently Closed Tabs

If you've accidentally closed a browser tab in Safari and want to open it back up, open up the Tabs view and long press on the "+" icon to get a look at all of the tabs that you've recently closed.

safari
It's worth remembering that this long press option exists, because if someone gets ahold of your phone and checks your browser, even if you've closed out a tab, it's still going to be accessible in Safari, unless you were using a private browser window or have cleared your browsing history.

6. Open All Bookmarks in a Folder in New Tabs

This option appears in the same contextual menu described in tip 2. Long press a bookmarks folder and you'll see an option to Open in New Tabs.

bookmarks open new tabs
Select the option, and Safari will open everything in that folder in separate tabs, ready for perusal.

7. Preview a Favorite Site or Hyperlink

If you want to take a peek at what a specific web page hyperlink has to offer before actually visiting the site, long press the link to get a preview of it. Note that you can also perform this action on the Favorites or Frequently Visited sites that appear in the start page of a new tab.

safari
If, say, you just want to copy a URL and would rather not have to wait for the preview to load every time you long press on one, simply tap Hide preview at the top-right corner of a link preview, and you won't get one again.

You can revert this functionality on the same long press screen at any time by selecting Tap to show preview.

8. Merge All Safari Windows

This one is exclusively for ‌iPad‌ users running iPadOS. If you have multiple browser windows open in the background, you can tidy things up by merging all of them, including their tabs, into the active browser window.

safari
Simply tap and hold the Tabs icon in the top-right corner of the screen and select Merge All Windows.

9. Download a Linked File

Now that now Safari has a Downloads Manager, you can download files directly from hyperlinks. Simply tap and hold a linked file, then select Download Linked File from the contextual menu. You can tap the Downloads Manager icon in the top-right corner of the address bar to check on its progress.

safari
This option works for web pages, too. If you long press the headline of this article, for example, you can download an HTML version of it.

10. Access the Tab Control Panel

Another one that's just for Safari on ‌iPad‌. Next time you have multiple tabs open, tap and hold one of those tabs to access the new tab control panel.

safari
From this panel, you'll see options to copy the URL of the tab to the clipboard, close all other tabs, and two entirely new options allowing you to Arrange Tabs By Title or Arrange Tabs By Website. Select one of the latter two options, and your open tabs will be arranged alphabetically.

Top Rated Comments

subjonas Avatar
19 months ago
I despise long press. I don’t mind if it’s occasional, but I find myself having to long press for so many things, and each time it feels so inefficient. I wish 3D Touch came to iPad.
But great list of functions. I didn’t know a few of those.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
19 months ago
To my mind, an interface that presents a lot of basic functionality up front and hides the more complex tasks behind a contextual menu is a good thing.

This way, navigation is easy for beginners, and more experienced users can look up how to perform specific tasks.

Hell, even if users don't look anything up, they can usually figure things out themselves by long pressing whatever they're trying to figure out.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
19 months ago
Seriously, how does that fit with "it just works"?

If you need to "discover" hidden functionality then it means your user interface is broken.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jimmy Bubbles Avatar
19 months ago
They took away some of my favorite ones that worked best with 3D Touch. I used to be able to press, then drag my finger down to the option I wanted. Now when I do that, it makes the image shrink and move, not allowing for that. Apple broke a beautiful, functional feature.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheSkywalker77 Avatar
19 months ago
Rip 3D Touch
2015-2019
Haptic Touch will never be a sufficient replacement.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gsmaniac Avatar
19 months ago
I never thought I’d miss 3D Touch. If you want to remove it from new devices, sure. But they shouldn’t have disabled it from older devices. Long Press just isn’t the same.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
files app ipados 15

iPadOS 15: Files App Gains NTFS Support, Progress Indicator, and More

Tuesday June 15, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
Apple in iPadOS 15 has added the ability to access NTFS-formatted media from within the Files app. The additional support for the Windows-related format, first discovered by YouTuber Steven Fjordstrøm, is read-only, so like on macOS you can't modify files stored on NTFS devices, but you can at least copy any data on them for working on elsewhere on your iPad. The Files app has also gotten a...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...
maxresdefault

Demo: Check Out AirPlay 2 on a Mac in macOS Monterey

Tuesday June 15, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
With macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced expanded AirPlay 2 support, so you can AirPlay content from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac to your main Mac. We thought we'd do a quick demo of this handy new feature in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. With AirPlay to Mac, you can extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since ...
apple new iphone case colors

Apple Releases New Sunflower, Cloud Blue and Electric Orange iPhone 12 Cases

Monday June 14, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today released silicone iPhone cases for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini in a series of new colors that include sunflower, cloud blue, and electric orange. Sunflower is a bright yellow shade, cloud blue is a soft, light blue, and electric orange is a bright orange that's darker than the kumquat color and more orange than pink citrus. The new cases are priced starting...
apple watch edition series 5 ceramic black prototype

Apple Planned Black Ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5

Wednesday June 16, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
Apple considered offering a black version of the ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5, according to newly-shared images of the prototype casing. The images, shared on Twitter by the prototype collector and leaker known as "Mr. White," show a prototype black ceramic Apple Watch casing, alongside the white ceramic version. The ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5 was never available in a...