On your iPhone or iPad, you can easily customize the Safari Start Page in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 (or higher). You can make the page blank (mostly), add a background image, or pick and choose what you want to see. Here’s how.

First, open Safari on your iPhone or iPad and open a new tab by tapping the tabs button (two overlapping rectangles), then tapping the plus (“+”) button.

In Safari on iPhone, tap the plus button to open a new tab.

You’ll see Safari’s “Start Page” by default. To edit what’s on the Start Page, scroll down if necessary and tap the “Edit” button.

On the Safari Start Page, tap "Edit."

When you tap “Edit,” a “Customize Start Page” window will appear. Use the switches beside the listed options to turn them on or off. Here’s what each option does.

  • Favorites: This displays items from your Favorites list (like bookmarks).
  • Frequently Visited: You’ll see a list of frequently visited websites.
  • Shared With You: This gives you a list of items shared with you from other people through the Messages app.
  • Privacy Report: This shows a report on the number of trackers Safari has blocked recently.
  • Siri Suggestions: This displays suggestions from Siri related to what’s in your history and bookmarks.
  • Reading List: This shows items from your Reading List.
  • iCloud Tabs: This shows Safari tabs that are synchronized across iCloud from your other devices.

Turn on any items you want to see on your Safari Start Page.

While also in the “Customize Start Page” window, you can use the “three lines” handle beside each item to tap and drag the Start Page items in the list. This will change the order of how the items will appear on the Start Page.

Use the three-line handles to change the order of the Start Page items.

And if you turn the switch beside “Background Image” into the “on” position, you can select a background picture that will display behind the content on your Start Page. Tap an image in the thumbnails or tap the plus (“+”) button to select a custom image from your photo library.

Select a Start Page background in Safari on iPhone or iPad.

If you want to make your Start Page as minimalist as possible, switch off every item on the “Customize Start Page” list. (Unfortunately, you’ll still see the “Edit” button.)

When you’re done, click the “X” button to close the Customize Start Page window. The changes you’ve made take effect immediately. Happy browsing!

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Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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