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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile Apps

How to close all tabs in Safari, Chrome and Google on your iPhone

Find out where the close-all-tabs button is hiding in these iOS apps.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, it's time to start covering your tracks online lest you spoil a holiday surprise. If you are like me, then you shop or at least research potential gift ideas on your phone. And if you have kids like mine, then they are constantly borrowing your phone. To preserve the magic of the holidays, I suggest you keep a lid on your open tabs.

An open tab left in Safari, Chrome or the Google search app may reveal Santa's secrets if you aren't browsing privately. You can, of course, with enough swiping and tapping close all of your open tabs one by one. A faster way, however, is to close all at once -- if you know where to look.

Close all tabs in Safari

Safari hides the close-all-tabs option. To access it, tap the tabs button in the lower-right corner that opens up a carousel of all of your open tabs. Next, tap and hold the Done button until a menu slides up from the bottom edge with a buttons for open a new tab or Close X Tabs (with X being the number of tabs you currently have open).

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Matt Elliott/CNET

Close all tabs in Chrome

Chrome makes is a little easier than Safari to close all tabs. First, tap the tabs button in the upper-right corner that lists the number of your open tabs. Next, tap the triple-dot button in the upper-right corner and tap Close All Tabs from the menu.

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Matt Elliott/CNET

Close all tabs in Google search app

I really rack up the open tabs in the Google search app because it opens a new tab each time you tap to open a search result. To close all of the tabs, tap the tabs button to open the carousel of open tabs. (The tabs button sits in the in the upper-right corner of the the Google search home page, but it moves to the bottom-right corner when you are viewing a web page.) The Google search app hides the close-all-tabs option until you swipe to remove one of your open tabs from the carousel. After you swipe to delete a tab, a Clear All button appears in the upper-right corner.

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Matt Elliott/CNET

There is one more step to cover your holiday-shopping tracks in the Google search app. When you tap in the search bar to enter a query, it lists your recent searches. Below these suggestions is an option to View search history. Tap that and then you can tap to Clear All of your search history, leaving no trace of your shopping stops.

For more, learn how to shop on Amazon without ruining the holidays and why buying stuff on your phone still sucks.