How to Close All Tabs in Safari on the iPhone or iPad

Long-press the Tab icon or delete your Safari cache

Woman holding an iPad.
Safari is the default web browser for the iPhone and iPad.

 Public Domain / Pexels

There's an easy way to close all of the tabs in the Safari browser on your iPhone or iPad without visiting each tab individually. While it is not a big deal to keep a few or even a dozen open tabs, the Safari browser occasionally develops performance problems if you open too many.

These instructions work for iOS 12, iOS 11, and iOS 10.

How to Close All Tabs in the Safari Browser

Use the Tab menu to close all your open taps simultaneously.

A screenshot of the iPhone with the tabs menu open

Tap and hold the Tab button, which looks like two stacked squares. When you tap it, the button opens a new window, but when you keep your finger pressed on it, the Tabs menu pops up.

The Tabs menu includes an option to close all of your open tabs, except for the page you're currently viewing.

Use this method to open a private tab to launch a private browsing session.

How to Close All Tabs Without Opening the Safari Browser

When you cannot open Safari to close all the open tabs on your iPhone or iPad, clear Safari's cache of website data. This approach is the sledgehammer way of closing tabs and should only be done when you cannot close them through the web browser. Clearing this data will erase all of the cookies stored on your device, which means you will need to log back into websites that ordinarily keep you logged in between visits. 

A screenshot of the iPhone and iPad settings for Safari

From within the iPhone or iPad's Settings app, browse to the Safari section and select Clear History and Website Data. Confirm your selection in the pop-up screen.