How to Turn Off Safe Search on iPhone in 2024 – An Expert Guide

As a small business entrepreneur, I often need to research sensitive topics that may be blocked by Safe Search filters. While Safe Search serves an important purpose in protecting minors, there are legitimate reasons for an adult user to disable it temporarily.

In this article, I will provide an in-depth guide on how to turn off Safe Search on your iPhone in 2024, along with tips for browsing safely with filters disabled.

What is Safe Search and Why Use It?

Safe Search is a filtering system used by search engines and browsers to block explicit, offensive, dangerous, or otherwise inappropriate content from search results and web pages.

When enabled, Safe Search can filter out:

  • Pornography and adult content
  • Graphic violence and disturbing imagery
  • Hate speech, cyberbullying, and offensive language
  • Webpages known to contain malware, phishing scams, or other security threats

According to Google, its Safe Search filters block about 99% of adult content that would otherwise show up in regular search results.

Safe Search protects children and teens from accidentally viewing inappropriate content online. It is enabled by default on iPhones and most major search engines.

Step-by-Step Guide to Disabling Safe Search on iPhone

While Safe Search has its benefits, there are legitimate reasons an adult user may want to disable filtering. As a small business owner, I sometimes need to research mature topics related to business law, healthcare, or other sensitive subjects.

Here is a step-by-step guide to turning off Safe Search on your iPhone:

Access Screen Time Settings

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap "Screen Time".

Screenshot of iPhone Settings

Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions

  1. Tap "Content & Privacy Restrictions".
  2. Toggle "Content & Privacy Restrictions" on if it is not already enabled.

Screenshot of Content & Privacy Settings

Choose Unrestricted Web Content Access

  1. Tap "Content Restrictions".
  2. Scroll down and tap "Web Content".
  3. Under "Limit Adult Websites", tap "Unrestricted Access".

Screenshot of Disabling Safe Search

That‘s it! This will disable Safe Search and remove filters for Safari and any other browsers on your iPhone.

Turn Off Safe Search in Search Engines

In addition to the system-wide setting, you can also disable Safe Search specifically for certain search engines:

  • Google: Tap your profile icon > Settings > Turn off SafeSearch
  • Bing: Tap settings icon > Preferences > Strict Off
  • Yahoo: Tap profile icon > Settings > Turn off SafeSearch
  • DuckDuckGo: Safe Search is turned off by default

Know the Risks Before Disabling Filters

Disabling Safe Search opens you up to unfiltered and unrestricted web content. Here are some of the risks to be aware of:

  • Adult content: Pornography, nudity, adult services, etc.
  • Violent/disturbing imagery: Graphic violence, hateful content, suicide promotion, etc.
  • Offensive language: Hate speech, racial slurs, cyberbullying, etc.
  • Malware/phishing sites: More potential threats without filters in place.

According to a 2019 study, when Safe Search was disabled, the first page of Google results contained pornographic material for 13% of sampled search queries.

So tread carefully when browsing without protections on your iPhone. Never disable Safe Search when children may access your device.

Legitimate Uses for Disabling Safe Search

As an adult small business owner, there are legitimate reasons I may need unfiltered access to sensitive material, such as:

  • Researching business regulations on topics like gambling, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, etc. to ensure I‘m legally compliant.
  • Accessing healthcare resources that may include graphic medical images or descriptions that get filtered as inappropriate content.
  • Evaluating online threats like phishing scams or cyberbullying to protect my business assets and employees.
  • Viewing art/creative works like photography exhibits that include nudity and adult themes.
  • Bypassing filters that block useful content, medical information, political speech, etc.

Best Practices for Safe Browsing

When disabling Safe Search for research, keep these tips in mind:

  • Only turn filters off temporarily as needed to get access to specific content.
  • Avoid dangerous or illegal websites that could harm you or your device.
  • Use the privacy mode in your browser to keep browsing history private.
  • Never disable Safe Search on a child‘s device or leave inappropriate content accessible.
  • Install antivirus software and enable firewalls to add extra protection.
  • Enable Safe Search again immediately after finishing your sensitive searches.

As a small business owner, I depend on tools like Safe Search to stay productive and avoid harmful content. But on occasion, I need the flexibility to access unfiltered results – with the proper precautions in place.


I hope this guide gave you a thorough overview of how to turn off Safe Search filters on your iPhone and provided helpful context around the risks and benefits. Stay safe out there browsing without the usual protections in place! As your small business advisor, I‘m happy to offer more tips on how to browse safely when you need access to sensitive material.