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Use This iPhone Trick to Get Rid of Ads and Distractions in Safari

It's a commonly known iOS feature, but people don't use it enough.

An iPhone in someone's hand
Reader is one of the best features you can use if you read often in Safari.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Reading in Safari, whether it's a news article or a short story, can sometimes be challenging. Not only is the size of your iPhone screen relatively small, there are also distractions to deal with. Advertisements, banners and autoplaying videos, to name a few, are commonplace, and they all make it difficult to concentrate.

Read moreChange These Browser Settings Right Now to Boost Your Privacy

To help with your focus, Apple introduced Reader mode to Safari over a decade ago, to clear away the distractions. When enabled, Reader reorganizes a webpage so that you see only relevant text and images, and so it's easier to get through whatever you're reading.

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If you regularly read in your iPhone browser and don't use Reader, you really should. In this story we'll show you how to quickly enable the productivity feature in two ways, so that you can focus on reading what's most important to you.

Interested in learning more about your iPhone's underrated features? Check out these 9 hidden iOS 16 features we were surprised to findhow to make your keyboard vibrate and how to recover recently deleted text messages.

Turn on Reader mode in Safari with a single tap

In Safari, navigate to whatever it is you're reading, whether it's a trending news story or an in-depth feature. Now all you need to do is press down on the AA icon -- which sits to the left of the search bar at the top of the page -- for a second or so, and Reader will be enabled.

If Reader is not compatible with the page you're currently on, nothing will happen, except for a tiny bit of haptic feedback on your finger. This usually happens with search engine results (for example, Google) and home pages with multiple article links.

To turn off Read, press down on the AA icon once again.

The regular Reader setting in Safari

Turn on Reader with a single tap in Safari.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Automatically turn on Reader mode for your favorite websites

Turning Reader on with a single press is fast, but there's an even quicker way to get rid of distractions. With a few taps, you can enable Reader automatically for not only a single article but every compatible webpage on your favorite website.

For this to work, make your way to any page on the website you want to enable Reader for in Safari. Now, tap (don't long-press) the AA icon in the top left and then tap the Website Settings in the list that appears. A few website-specific settings will appear: Toggle Use Reader Automatically. Now, anytime you visit that website, Reader will automatically turn on after the web page finishes loading. 

If you want to turn off Reader, you can either tap AA > Hide Reader (Reader will reappear if you refresh the page) or toggle off the Use Reader Automatically setting to turn it off permanently.

The automatic Reader setting in Safari

You can also automatically enable Reader when you visit your favorite websites.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Apple has a ton of hidden tips and tricks that can help you get more out of your iPhone. If you're interested, check out this iPhone hack that makes editing text so much easier, as well as how to unlock this hidden iPhone feature to quickly ID songs.