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

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

This article includes instructions for iOS versions 4-12. The exact steps you need to follow to use Find On Page vary slightly depending on your version of the iOS.

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

Using Find on Page in iOS 12

This will also work in iOS 9, 10, and 11.

  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).

  3. Swipe through the bottom row of icons until you see the magnifying glass for Find on Page.

  4. Tap Find on Page.

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

  6. If the text you entered is on the page, the first use of it is highlighted.

  7. Use the arrow keys above the keyboard to move forward and backward through every instance of your search term on the page.

  8. Tap the X in the search bar to search for 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.

Using Find on Page in iOS 7 and 8

While the steps above are the fastest option on iOS 9 and up, the following steps work, too. It's also the only way to use the feature on iOS 7 and 8.

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

  2. Once the site you want to search 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 next section, 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 beneath this header 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.

Using Find on Page in iOS 4-6

In 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.