Safari’s search bar has always been at the top of the screen, even on iPhones. It’s been that way since Day 1, and no one found anything wrong with it.
Naturally, many people were miffed when Apple moved it to the bottom with 2021’s iOS 15 update. It applies to 2015 and newer models only, but it still covers the majority of iPhone users today.
If this recent change is messing up your rhythm, don’t worry. We’ll show you how to move the search bar to the top, where it has always been.
There are two different ways that you can do it, and we’ll outline both of them step by step.
What You Should Know Before Moving Search Bar Back To Top
Before we teach you how to move the Safari search bar to top, you should know one thing first. Not everything is bad with this update.
For one, moving the search bar to the bottom takes it closer to the keyboard. So when you’re typing the URL of the site you want to visit, the bar is within your field of view. You’d know right away if you had any typos or such.
Another advantage of the current setup is that you can swipe left or right to access another tab. At the same time, you can still view all open windows using the tab button at the lower right corner. Now that is convenient.
So while the change can be a bit disorienting for long-time iPhone users, it was not made out of whim. It would take some getting used to, but it might be worth your while.
Still, Apple must have anticipated that there would be some pushback on this “improvement.” That is why it left people a way out if they decided this change was not for them.
So if you’re dead set on moving the iOS 15 Safari search bar, we’ve got you covered. Just follow the simple steps below to restore the old user interface.
How to Move Search Bar to Top Directly in Safari
The first and easier method is to move the search bar from within Safari itself. Here’s how:
1. To start things off, launch the Safari browser. (NOTE: If you don’t have any open tabs yet, you’ll still see that the search bar is at the bottom. However, you’ll notice that it does not have the symbol AA, which is what we need).
3. Go to any website. It does not matter which one you open. You can even just click on one of the Favorites that are displayed at the top of the page. After doing this, you’ll find the symbol AA at the leftmost part of the search bar.
4. Tap on the AA symbol to display a menu containing different options. Then, tap the Show Top Address Bar option at the top of this selection.
5. Upon tapping, the menu will disappear, and you will be back on the site you visited. However, you’ll see that the search bar has already moved to the top of the page.
How To Move Safari Search Bar To Top in Settings
If you want to move the search bar and look at other Safari-related options, go to Settings instead. Here’s what you can do:
1. Launch the Settings app, then scroll down until you see Safari. It should be right below Phone, Messages, and FaceTime.
2. Next, tap on Safari to open a bunch of different settings options.
4. Scroll down a bit to the TABS section. Here, you’ll see two options: the Tab Bar and the Single Tab.
5. The Tab Bar puts the search bar at the top, while the Single Tab puts it at the bottom. Tap on the Single Tab.
6. After doing this, the search bar will be at the top the next time you open Safari.
How to Move Search Bar Back to the Bottom
After moving the search bar back to the top, what if you suddenly felt like giving the update another chance? Don’t fret, you could still revert to the iOS 15 layout, which is just as easy to do. Here’s what you can do:
From Within Safari
To get started, launch the Safari app and follow these steps:
1. Visit any website and look for the symbol AA. Tap on it to display the menu.
3. Next, tap the Show Bottom Tab Bar option at the bottom of the selection.
4. Immediately after you do this, the menu will disappear. You will also be back at the site you opened and see that the search bar is at the bottom again.
From the Settings
First, launch the Settings app by pressing on its icon and follow these steps:
1. Scroll down until you see Safari, and tap on it.
2. Next, scroll down to the TABS section and tap on Tab Bar.
3. The next time you open the Safari browser, you should see the search bar at the bottom.
Updates are supposed to make your life easier, and it applies to the Safari search bar too. However, for some people, “easier” means what they have been used to. It’s hard to undo the muscle memory that comes from years of looking at the top for the search bar.
The good thing is that you can switch from one configuration to another with just a few taps and swipes. We’ve outlined the steps on how to move search bar to top, so now, the ball is in your court.
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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.