How to Search for Text in Safari With iPhone Find on Page

Searching for text on a webpage in Safari on the iPhone is a little tougher than using the keyboard shortcuts in a desktop web browser (control+F or command+F, if you're curious). That's mostly because Safari's Find on Page search feature is harder to find. But if you know where to look, Safari Find on Page can help you find just the text you're looking for.

This article includes instructions for iOS 4 through iOS 13. The exact steps you need to follow to use Find On Page vary slightly depending on your version of the iOS, but the concepts are basically the same.

Illustration of Safari on iPhone with a person holding a magnifying glass to the iPhone
 Lifewire / Tim Liedtke

How to Use Safari Find on Page in iOS 13

If you've got an iPhone or other iOS device running iOS 13, follow these steps to use Safari Find on Page:

  1. Begin by opening Safari and browsing to a website.

  2. Tap the action box at the bottom center of the screen (the box with the arrow coming out of it).

    Screenshot of Safari on iOS 13
  3. Swipe up on the pop-up sheet.

    Screenshot of Safari with share sheet open on iOS 13
  4. Tap Find on Page.

  5. In the search bar, type the text you want to find.

    • If the text you entered is on the page, the first use of it is highlighted.
    • Use the arrow keys above the keyboard to move forward and backward through every instance of your search term on the page.
    Screenshot of Safari Find on Page results on iOS 13
  6. Tap the X in the search bar to search for a new word or phrase.

  7. Tap Done when you're finished.

How to Use Safari Find on Page in iOS 9 - iOS 12

For an iPhone or other iOS device running iOS 9 through iOS 12, follow these steps:

  1. Open Safari and browse to a website.

  2. Tap the action box at the bottom center of the screen (the box with the arrow coming out of it).

  3. Swipe through the second row of icons. Tap Find on Page.

  4. Tap Find on Page.

    Three iOS screens showing Action button in Safari, Find on Page, and search field
  5. Type the text you want to find in the search bar.

  6. If the text you searched for is found, its first use is highlighted.

  7. Use the arrow keys next to the search box to move through every use of the search term on the page.

  8. Tap the X in the search bar to enter a new word or phrase.

    Three iOS screens showing search field (preview) in Safari, the X button, and a new search term (book)
  9. Tap Done when you're finished.

How to Use Safari Find on Page in iOS 7 and 8

The following steps work are the only way to use Safari's Find on Page feature on iOS 7 and 8:

  1. Begin by opening the Safari app and browsing to a website

  2. Once the site is loaded in Safari, tap the address bar at the top of the Safari window.

  3. In that address bar, type the text you want to search for on the page.

  4. When you do that, a number of things happen:

    • In the address bar, URLs may be suggested based on your browsing history.
    • Beneath that, the Top Hits section offers additional suggestions.
    • The Suggested Website is delivered by Apple based on your Safari settings (you can tweak these in Settings > Safari > Search).
    • After that are a set of suggested searches from Google (or your default search engine), followed by matching sites from your bookmarks and search history.
  5. But where's Find on Page? In most cases, it's hidden off the bottom of the screen, either by the onscreen keyboard or by the list of suggested results and searches. Swipe all the way to the end of the screen and you'll see a section titled On This Page. The number next to the header indicates how many times the text you searched for appears on this page.

  6. Tap Find to see all uses of your search word on the page.

  7. The arrow keys move you through the uses of the word on the page. The X icon lets you clear the current search and perform a new one.

  8. Tap Done when you're finished searching.

How to Use Safari Find on Page in iOS 4-6

In these earlier versions of the iOS, the process is a bit different:

  1. Use Safari to browse to a website.

  2. Tap the search bar in the top right-hand corner of the Safari window (if Google is your default search engine, the window will read Google until you tap it).

  3. Type in the text you're trying to find on the page.

  4. In the list of search results, you'll first see suggested search terms from Google. In a grouping below that, you'll see On This Page. Tap that to find the text you want on the page.

  5. You'll see the text you searched for highlighted on the page. Move between instances of the text you searched for with the Previous and Next buttons.