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Your iPhone automatically manages Safari tabs, and the number of tabs has no impact on the performance of the phone. Open tabs cannot do work or use resources in the background.

Among the things that can slow your iPhone down, a big pile of tabs in Safari isn’t one of them. Here’s why.

There are, in fact, things that can slow down your phone. A really old and worn battery can make a phone feel sluggish. Updating an older phone to a current release of iOS can really show you how long in the tooth the hardware has become. Stuffing your phone’s storage full of unused apps and undeleted blurry photos will do the trick, too.

But among the many legitimate things that will slow down a phone’s performance, you don’t need to worry that your massive collection of tabs in Safari is contributing to the crunch.

Safari tabs simply don’t slow the iPhone down. In fact, you can have 500 tabs open, and it has zero performance impact. And 500 more if you make a new group. And 500 more if you use private browsing. And 500 more if you make another group.

In fact, we’ve made group after group after group, maxed out at 500 tabs each, and frankly, we got tired of making the groups. Whether we had 50 tabs or 5,000 tabs in Safari for iPhone, there was simply no difference in performance.

Ultimately the experiment ended up being less about whether or not we could tank the phone’s performance with Safari tabs and more about whether or not we had the endurance to open the, seemingly, five million tabs it would take to do so.

If you dislike the clutter and it feels like your mental burden is lighter if the tabs in your phone’s browser are wiped away, by all means, feel free to tidy up. We have a bunch of great tab management tips to help you close them all, close them on a schedule, and more.

But in the same breath, if you want to live fast and free never closing a single tab (or app either, for that matter) you should do so happily because it will never slow your phone down.

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Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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