When you press the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch, you won’t find the Safari app in the app bubble or list of watchOS apps. This might make you think there’s no way to browse the web on your Apple Watch. But that isn’t the case.
Using the guide below, you can open web pages on your Apple Watch in a secret Safari browser that is actually built into watchOS.
How to Browse the Web With Safari on an Apple Watch
Even though there is no visible browser on Apple Watch, if you receive a link in Messages or Mail, you can tap to open it and use a watchOS version of Safari to browse the web.
Here’s how to open any specific web page on your Apple Watch:
Tip: To send the URL to yourself, open the iPhone Messages app, tap the compose button, and in the recipient section, type the phone number or email associated with iMessage. Type or paste the desired URL and hit send.
You can also type the URL directly in a message conversation with the full QWERTY keyboard on the Apple Watch Series 7. On other models, use dictation and say something like "apple.com."MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Please note that, if you use the scribble feature to enter the website address, it often registers "o" of the word "com" as "0" (zero). So, use the watch keyboard, dictation, or your iPhone to send the URL.
Important Points About Browsing the Web on an Apple Watch
The browsing experience on Apple Watch isn’t as feature-rich as on an iPhone, and you must keep these points in mind to make the most of it:
How to Clear the Browsing History on Apple Watch
The Apple Watch needs a companion iPhone to sync things like watch screenshots or voice memos you record. But your Apple Watch browsing history doesn’t sync and merge with the Safari history of your paired iPhone.
Here’s how to delete Apple Watch cookies, credentials, and other browsing data from the Apple Watch itself:
Why Doesn’t the Apple Watch Have a Normal Web Browser?
Apple doesn’t show the Safari icon on the Apple Watch. The main reasons for this are the tiny screen and its battery.
Compared to even the smallest popular smartphone, the biggest Apple Watch Series 7 has a tiny screen. Due to this, it isn’t very comfortable to type a URL and view web pages on it. Plus, due to other watchOS limitations, filling forms, uploading files, and other online interactions aren’t possible from a watchOS browser.
The Apple Watch also has a small battery that struggles to last a full day under the heavy use of existing apps and features. If a regular web browser was added, rendering feature-rich websites would drain the battery more quickly. And if watchOS tries to cut down the rich, battery-draining contents of a web page, it will offer a poor experience to users.
Related: How to Save and Extend Battery Life on Apple Watch
Third-Party Apple Watch Browsers
Major developers don’t have much interest or incentive in creating a browser for the tiny watch screen. That being said, if you truly need a web browser on your Apple Watch, you can check out µBrowser for $0.99. If you don’t wish to pay, Parrity is a free Apple Watch web browser you can give a shot.
Will Apple Add a Full Safari Browser to Future Versions of watchOS?
It’s hard to say. Apple doesn’t even let you listen to music on the watch’s internal speakers. You must connect it to AirPods or other Bluetooth earphones to play music added to the Apple Watch. All this is to extend the battery life and get you through the day. So, the chances of adding a full web browser where people can access sites like YouTube seems highly improbable.
But if battery technology reaches a point where it packs a lot of juice in a tiny form factor, we might get Safari on Apple Watch.
Related: The Most Promising Alternatives to Lithium-ion Batteries
Web Browsing on Apple Watch
Now you know the trick to visit a website on your Apple Watch. This isn’t useful for a lot of use cases, but suppose you’re leaving for a place where you can’t use your iPhone. In this situation, you can send the link to yourself on iMessage or email and then open it on your Apple Watch when needed.10 Apple Watch Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorAnkur Thakur(38 Articles Published)
Ankur has been an Apple user for more than seven years and focuses on iPhone how-tos, fixes, and tips. When not writing, he likes to watch The Office repeatedly. Ankur also loves tech videos, comedy and romantic movies, old songs, pizza, and chicken.MoreFrom Ankur Thakur
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