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Not everyone has a separate phone for work and play. This means you might be searching online for your work or school assignments throughout the day but then switch to browsing casually for your personal pleasure at night or on lunch. Whether you’re researching for a project or shopping online for new laptop accessories, or you prefer to have general and private browsing experiences, you might benefit from being able to separate your surfing. This is where Safari Profiles come in.

Safari Profiles are available for macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, and iPadOS 17. We already covered how to use Safari Profiles on macOS Sonoma, and here, we’ll walk you through how to set them up on your mobile devices. The process is the same for both iPhone and iPad, and we have screenshots here showing how to do it using an iPhone 14.

How to set up Safari Profiles on iOS and iPadOS 17

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Safari.
  3. Scroll down and select New Profile.
  4. Create a Name for the Profile.
  5. Select a fitting icon, like a graduation cap for a school profile or briefcase or hammer for work.
  6. Select a preferred color scheme for the profile.
  7. Once finished, tap Done.
  8. In the menu, you’ll now see Personal and Work Profile (or whatever name you gave to your secondary profile).
  9. To switch profiles while browsing, open Safari and select the Tabs icon from the bottom menu.
  10. Select the Profile icon at the bottom, center.
  11. Select Profile and switch to the other Profile you want to browse with.
  12. Browse to your preferred website. You’re now browsing using a different Profile, which will have its own unique Favorites, Bookmarks, History, and more.

Why would you use Safari Profiles?

There are many scenarios whereby Safari Profiles would be beneficial when browsing the web from the best iPhones or Macs. For one, you can adjust browser settings in each. So, you can block cookies and prevent pop-ups when you’re working, for example, or restrict access to certain sites if you let your kids use your phone (name a restricted Profile “Kid-safe” or something similar).

If your company has a strict set of rules for browsing while in the office, you can set up a profile that will ensure you don’t break them. Not every company, after all, provides its employees with work phones to use alongside their personal ones.

Using Safari Profiles is a great way to de-clutter as well. You might have several browser windows open for personal use but want a cleaner experience when you need to access something from work or school. This can also prevent you from getting distracted from a YouTube video you were playing on the train on the way to work. Or conversely, from a research report, you were reading at the office when you’re home at the end of the day and should be relaxing with personal time.

Safari Profiles can be especially useful for shared family tablets whereby multiple people, or even just a pair of siblings, use the same tablet. Each person can have their own unique browsing experience. You don’t have to worry that someone else will close the window of the article you hadn’t gotten around to reading yet, or the web-based application you were in the middle of using.