How to move Safari’s search bar back to the top in iOS 15

You don't have to completely retrain your muscle memory.

Apple released iOS 15 on Sept. 20, 2021, adding new features such as Background Sounds, Live Text, and Focus Mode to all new iPhone models released since 2015. This update also moved Safari’s search bar to the bottom of the screen, eschewing longstanding tradition and thoroughly messing with everyone’s muscle memory.

Up until iOS 15, Safari’s search and address bar was located along the top of the internet browser, echoing a desktop configuration. This had been the way of the web since days of yore, and few of us thought to question it.

As such, iOS 15’s sudden relocation of Safari’s address bar to the bottom of the screen felt disorienting. Placing the search bar immediately on top of the keyboard may objectively make more sense in terms of ease of use and ergonomics. However, years of Apple placing it at the top of the phone’s screen have made the vast majority of users more comfortable with it there.

Fortunately, Apple offers the option to return the address bar to the top of your screen, so you don’t have to retrain your instincts if you don’t want to.

Here’s how to move Safari’s search bar back to the top of your screen in iOS 15.

  1. Open your iPhone’s Settings.
  2. Scroll down to “Safari” and tap it.
  3. Under “Tabs,” switch “Tab Bar” to “Single Tab.”

Alternatively, you can also move the address bar directly in Safari.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Go to any website. It doesn’t matter which one you choose.
  3. Tap the “ᴬA” in the left of the address bar. This will open a menu.
  4. From this menu, select “Show Top Address Bar.”

Either of these methods will revert Safari back to how it operated in iOS 14, returning the browser’s search bar to the top of your screen. You can also follow these steps to put the bar at the bottom — if and when you decide you’re finally ready to embrace change.

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