[Update 3/14/2018] Searching the web on the Safari browser for iPhone and iPad is a pretty simple, intuitive process. On the other hand, searching for words or phrases on the actual page you’re viewing is much trickier. Here’s how to do it.


Before we get started, here’s an e-mail I received from Bill, a frustrated reader trying to search on a web page in the Safari browser for iOS:

A few years ago you had a tip about how to search on a page you were viewing in Safari. Well I use that feature and recently it seems to have disappeared from the latest updates. Am I missing where it is hidden? Thanks.

It turns out Bill was absolutely right. The old search form on Safari disappeared with the arrival of iOS 7 in 2013.

Finding the search box in the Safari browser for iOS

Back in earlier versions of iOS, Safari had a dedicated search box up at the top of the screen, just to the right of the main address bar. If you typed in a search term, you’d see a list of matches on the current page, just below the list of possible Google search matches. You could then tap the word to cycle through the highlighted “hits” on the actual web page.

Related: 7 ways to make the most of Safari for iPhone and iPad

That changed a bit with the arrival of iOS 7, however. Now, instead of separate address and search boxes, Safari boasts a “unified” address and search form at the top of the screen. To search on the current web page, you’ll need tap the main address bar and type in a search term.

Now, that might seem a bit counterintuitive, given that tapping on a URL is usually what you do when you want to jump to a new web site, but that’s how it works.

Where to find your “on this page” search results

What’s even more confusing is that if you search on a common word, your “on this page” search results may be buried way down at the bottom of the screen, well below Google search results and any matches from your Safari bookmarks and browsing history.

iOS 8 Safari on this page search results

If you search on a common word, your “on this page” search results may be buried way down at the bottom of the screen.

Indeed, if there are too many Google and bookmark/history matches, your search results for the current page may fall so far down the list that they’ll be hiding behind the keyboard. In that case, you’ll need to scroll down a bit until the keyboard disappears.

Once you finally track down your search results, just tap your search term to cycle through all the matches.

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