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How to undo the most controversial iPhone change in iOS 15

Published Sep 21st, 2021 4:42PM EDT
iOS 15 Safari bar
Image: Apple

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With iOS 15, Apple wasn’t as interested in introducing new features as it was in enhancing the existing ones. For example, once you install iOS 15, you might notice that your notifications are slightly smaller and rounder. You might also notice some changes to Photos, FaceTime, Messages, and Memoji. When it comes to iOS 15, iteration is the name of the game, but not every change is going over quite as well as others. One change that has been widely derided is the movement of the Safari app’s address bar to the bottom of the screen in iOS 15. The good news is that you can disable this change.

iOS 15 gave Safari a pointless makeover

If you open Safari after installing iOS 15, the first thing you will likely notice is the missing address bar. In order to make the mobile browser easier to use one-handed, Apple moved the bar to the bottom of the app. It was a bold move, but everyone seems to hate it. Every browser in existence has an address bar above the content. It’s incredibly disorienting to see it at the bottom of the page.

You might be one of the select few that appreciate the new bottom tab bar, as Apple calls it. If so, feel free to go on about your life. But if you are less than enthused about the bottom tab bar, you can get rid of it. Best of all, it only requires a single tap to do so.

How to undo Apple’s worst iOS 15 change

Here are the steps you need to take to restore the normal address bar in Safari on iOS 15:

  1. Open the Safari app on your iPhone
  2. Tap the “aA” icon on the left side of the bottom tab bar
  3. Then tap “Show Top Address Bar” at the top of the menu

The original address bar should immediately appear at the top of the page. Switching back is as easy as tapping “aA” again and tapping “Show Bottom Tab Bar” at the bottom of the menu.

If you prefer, you can also adjust the placement of the address bar by going to Settings > Safari and scrolling down to the Tabs section. From there, you can select “Tab Bar” for the bar at the bottom or “Single Tab” for the traditional design. Other additions to Safari in iOS 15 include new Tab Groups, a customizable start page, new privacy protections, the ability to pull down from the top of a page to refresh, and web extensions that can be found on the App Store.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.