If you frequently find yourself with dozens of open Safari tabs that are forgotten on your iPhone or iPad, it can be annoying to sort them out or manually close them later. Fortunately, Safari can automatically close tabs after a while. Here’s how to set it up.

First, open the settings. Scroll down until you see “Safari” and tap it.

Tap Safari Settings on iPhone

In Safari settings, swipe down until you see the “Tabs” section, and then tap “Close tabs”.

Tap Close Tabs in Safari settings on iPhone

On the “Close Tabs” screen, you have the option to set the lifetime of an open Safari browser tab. Once set, Safari will close tabs that have not been viewed during the set time period, and the options are “Manually”, “After a day”, “After a week”, or “After a month”. This setting also applies to private tabs.

Choose the option that best suits you and tap on it.

Select the tab lifespan option in Safari settings on iPhone

After that, exit the settings. It’s handy to know that even after Safari automatically closes your old tabs, you can still find them in the hidden “Open Recently Closed Tabs” hidden menu in Safari for iPhone and iPad. You can access it by holding down the “+” (plus) button on the tab management screen in Safari.

As a potential downside, Safari (from iOS and iPadOS 13) will also group recently closed private browsing tabs into the same “Recently Closed Tabs” area if they are closed automatically. If you want to completely hide recent browsing activity, it may be best to manually close private tabs yourself.