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Top 12 Ways to Fix Safari Not Working on iPhone and iPad
Apple’s ingenious web browser, Safari, was developed in 2003 and received many praises. However, Google responded with Chrome and many migrated to it as Safari had bugs . Although it has improved a lot over years, sometimes the web browser stops working. If you’re facing this issue, here’re twelve fixes for Safari not working on iPhone and iPad.
Following are some of the most common methods that have worked to troubleshoot Safari. We recommend you try every method, except the Reset iPhone option which should be used as a last resort. We have provided detailed steps for each method, but let us start with the basics.
Why Is Safari Not Working On iPhone and iPad
Safari might not work for a lot of reasons, but the most common issue is the app not being able to connect to the internet. This is probably because you are not connected to a good internet connection, or there are a few misconfigurations on your iPhone settings that are preventing Safari from doing so.
Fortunately, there are a few effective methods to fix the issue. As you start reading the next section of this article, you will find a detailed procedure to fix Safari on your device.
How to Fix Safari Not Working on iPhone and iPad
Below are twelve easy methods to fix Safari. Most of these will resolve the issue within a few steps only, and therefore will not consume a lot of time.
We also came across a lot of users across forums suggesting toggling a few features off/on to fix the issue. So, let us take a look at all of these methods in detail. We can start by simply trying to restart the device
1. Restart iPhone or iPad
Simply trying to restart your device will fix most issues, and it can probably fix Safari not working as well. Here’s how you can restart your iPhone or iPad.
Step 1: First, shut down your device.
- On iPhone X and above : Press and hold the volume down and the side button.
- On iPhone SE 2nd or 3rd gen, 7, and 8 series : Press and hold the side button.
- On iPhone SE 1st gen, 5s, 5c, or 5 : Hold the power button at the top.
- On iPad : Hold the power button at the top.
Step 2: Now, drag the power slider to turn off the device.
Step 3: Next, turn on your device by pressing and holding the power button on your iPhone.
If it’s a software issue, restarting the device should fix your Safari not working issue. If it doesn’t, try tweaking a few settings shown in the next few fixes and see if they help.
2. Turn off Safari Suggestions
We’re not entirely sure how this fixes the issue, but a lot of users reported that doing this restored the functionality of their browser. Here’s how you can turn off Safari Search Suggestions on iPhone or iPad.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and open Safari
Step 2: Toggle off ‘Search Engine Suggestions’.
That is how you can disable Search Engine Suggestions. If the issue persists, you need to check if Safari is limited by any Screen Time settings.
3. Edit Your Screen Time Settings
To provide digital well-being controls to the user, Apple has an option to set a limit to the duration of any app being used. If you’ve enabled Screen Time for Safari , it cannot be used once you exhaust the set limit. Here’s how you can remove the limit to ensure Safari works as usual on iPhone.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Screen Time.
Step 2: You need to select App Limits.
Step 3: Safari will show up in this list if there is a limit for it. Tap on it, and select Delete Limit.
This ensures that you do not have any limits set on using Safari. You now need to check if there is a network limit set on Safari.
4. Check Cellular Settings for Safari
If you have turned off cellular data access for Safari, and are trying to use Safari on mobile data, it won’t work. Therefore, you need to remove the restrictions. Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Cellular.
Step 2: Scroll down to find Safari. Turn on the toggle to give Safari access to cellular connectivity.
If the issue persists, perhaps it is time you now try and clear all browsing data from Safari.
5. Clear Safari History and Data
If you have been using Safari for a long time, it will accumulate a lot of website data. This can slow down Safari and affect the web browsing performance. Hence, it is a good practice to clear browsing history and cache from Safari every fortnight. Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Safari.
Step 2: Tap on ‘Clear History and Website Data’ and select ‘Clear History and Data’ to confirm. This will delete your browsing history, stored cache, cookies, and saved passwords.
6. Check Network Connectivity
As mentioned earlier, a major reason why Safari does not work on iPhone and iPad is due to a lack of connectivity. Here’s how you can ensure that you are connected to a good network on your device.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Wi-Fi.
Step 2: Now, check if the Wi-Fi network you are connected to has full strength, and does not show errors like ‘Not Connected to Internet’ or ‘Weak Security’.
If you are operating on mobile data, the connection needs to either be on 4G or 5G running on strong signal strength.
Step 2: Ensure the toggle is on for Cellular Data. Also, ensure that the network is connected to 4G/5G and has a good signal strength.
Step 3: If you can’t connect to a 4G or 5G network despite having a plan for the same, tap on ‘Cellular Data Options’.
Step 4: Now, tap on ‘Voice & Data’. Select 4G or 5G as your default network.
7. Turn Off Hide IP Address From Trackers
The ‘Hide IP Address From Trackers’ option ensures that your IP address is not provided to any browser trackers. To know more, you can read our article on trackers on Safari . However, this causes a few issues that might cause Safari to not work on iPhone and iPad.
Here’s how you can disable this feature.
Step 2: Tap on ‘Hide IP Address’.
Step 3: Select Off, if not already.
Another feature on Safari that might cause a few errors are extensions. Here’s you you can disable them to fix Safari not working on iPhone and iPad.
8. Check Safari Extensions
While Safari extensions on iPhone help expand functionality, not all extensions are stable and some might cause issues with your web browsing experience. Here’s how you can turn off an extension.
Note : The extension we are using to show you the steps is just an example. By no means we are stating that this extension is causing issues.
Step 2: Now, tap on Extensions.
Step 3: Now, select the extension, and toggle it off.
Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Advanced.
10. Disable VPN
VPN is a private network that hides your IP address while browsing the web. However, if you don’t connect to a VPN using a reliable service, you will face low speeds while browsing on Safari. Therefore, you can turn off the VPN connection.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and select General.
Step 2: Tap on ‘VPN & Device Management’ and ensure that the VPN status remains ‘Not Connected’.
If none of the above methods work, you can try some generic methods that help resolve most issues on iPhone and iPad, you can check if there is any software update for your iPhone.
11. Update Your iPhone and iPad
Apple ensures to fix issues faced by a lot of users through a software update. Therefore, it is best to remain on the latest version of iOS. Here’s how you can do the same.
Step 2: Tap on Software Update and select Download and Install. This will download and install the latest iOS update for your iPhone and iPad.
If this does not work either, you can probably try and reset your iPhone or iPad as a last resort.
12. Reset All Settings
Resetting your iPhone has a good probability of fixing any issue, and it goes the same for Safari not working as well. Here’s how you can Reset your iPhone.
Step 2: Tap on Transfer or Reset.
Step 3: Select Reset.
Step 4: Now, you can select Reset Network Settings to restore all original settings related to the network, i.e Wi-Fi settings, cellular Settings, saved passwords, etc.
If that does not work, you can select Reset All Settings. However, this will restore all your iPhone settings to default. This will not erase any of your data.
Step 5: If this does not work too, you can try to completely erase your iPhone and start afresh. You can tap on the ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ option on the reset page.
Now, follow the on-screen instructions to erase and reset your iPhone. However, since it wipes your phone, we suggest you take a full backup of your iPhone and iPad .
This, as mentioned earlier, should only be tried as a last resort as you’ll have to set up your iPhone or iPad as a new device.
Get Safari Working Again With these methods
That is all you need to know about trying to fix Safari not working on iPhone or iPad. We hope you found these methods helpful. Realistically speaking, it will most probably be an issue with your network connectivity, or from the website’s end. We hope your Safari is up and running soon.
Last updated on 28 March, 2023
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.
DID YOU KNOW
Supreeth is passionate about technology and dedicates himself to helping people figure it out. An engineer by education, his understanding of the inner workings of each device is what ensures he provides top-quality assistance, tips, and recommendations. When away from the desk, you will find him traveling, playing FIFA, or hunting for a good movie.
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Safari Not Working on iPhone? Here are 11 ways to fix it
- November 23, 2020
- How to , iPhone
Safari is the go-to web browser for many iPhone and iPad users. Although the latest iOS 14 allows you to change the default web browser and mail app on the iPhone , Safari remains the most favored web browser for a majority of iPhone users. This is because of its powerful built-in privacy features, enhanced system integration, less power consumption, and other useful features.
Having said it, it’s equally important to know that like any other app, Safari may also behave unexpectedly sometimes. Many iOS users have reported Safari not working issues on their iPhones. Sometimes, the Safari app becomes unresponsive, loads slowly, or shuts down unexpectedly.
If you too are facing trouble in accessing Safari on your iPhone, here’s our troubleshooting guide that will help you fix Safari not working, not opening a page, or crashing issues. You can follow this guide to fix Safari problems on any iPhone model, including the older
iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone XR to the latest iPhone 12, 12 Mini , 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max . Plus, if you’ve got an iPhone 7, 7 Plus , or any other older model, the mentioned steps will work for them too.
Before we start with the list of solutions, let’s get to know some possible reasons why Safari is not working on your iPhone.
Why is Safari not working on my iPhone?
Some of the most common reasons when Safari is unable to load a page, crashes unexpectedly, freezes randomly, or lags include:
- Poor network connection
- Incorrect network settings
- Software glitches
- Running an older version of iOS.
- Excessive data in the cache
Now, when we know the common reasons for Safari not responding or working properly on your iPhone, let’s get started with the list of solutions.
Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk, TechieTechTech will not be responsible if anything goes wrong with your device.
11 ways to fix Safari not working on iPhone
1. relaunch safari.
If Safari is not working properly after an iOS update or if the app is not loading a page on your iPhone, you must quit Safari, and launch it again. It could be a system issue or some minor app glitches that are causing trouble in the smooth functioning of the Safari web browser on your iPhone. Such issues can be generally fixed by re-launching the app. Also, if you’ve got an older model like
iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 Plus , it’s very common to face such issues with apps after you’ve updated iOS on your device. Re-launching the app is one of the easiest methods that can help you fix Safari not working problems on any iPhone.
Close Safari on iPhone X or later models – Go to the Home Screen, Swipe Up, and pause in the middle. Now, swipe up the Safari app preview to close it.
Close WhatsApp on iPhone 8 or earlier models – Press the Home button twice, and you’ll get the recently opened apps. Swipe up Safari to close it.
Once you’ve closed Safari, wait for a few seconds, and then open it again. This super-quick method has proven to be an effective solution in wiping off any minor bugs on your iPhone. It can help you fix Safari crashing on the iPhone issue too. So, make sure you do not skip this step.
2. Open too many Safari tabs?
It can be possible that you’ve opened too many tabs in the web browser, and this usually results in Safari crashing on your iPhone. When you’ve opened multiple tabs at once, the Safari app can run out of memory, which results in slow performance or unexpected shutdowns. If this happens to be your case, it’s extremely important to check the opened tabs in Safari. If you see multiple tabs, we recommend closing the tabs that you don’t need to release space.
Go to Safari, open the tab icon on the bottom-right corner, and click ‘X’ to close the tabs that you don’t need.
3. Reboot your iPhone
It sounds very basic, but rebooting your iPhone has proven to be an effective solution for many of the tech problems. It’s a life-saving tip for situations when Safari is not responding, not loading pages, or keeps crashing repeatedly on iPhone. It will refresh data and apps, and also release the extra memory that could be responsible for Safari working too slow on your iPhone. In short, a reboot can wipe off any minor software glitches that are interfering with your iPhone or the apps.
Reboot iPhone X or later:
- Press and hold either of the Volume keys and Side button until you see the power off slider.
- Drag the slider, and wait for 30 seconds, to allow your device to turn OFF completely.
- Now, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
Reboot iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 8, or earlier models
- Press and hold the Side button until you see the power off slider.
- Drag the slider, and wait for 30 seconds.
- To turn your iPhone ON, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
After your iPhone is booted up, open Safari, and check if it’s working properly.
If you’re still facing issues with the Safari app on your iPhone, try out other methods listed below.
Also read: How to fix iPhone camera not working issues
4. Update iOS
If you’ve tried rebooting your iPhone, but it hasn’t helped you in fixing Safari problems, it’s time to update iOS. The older version of iOS could be the underlying cause of Safari not loading, not opening a page, or other performance-related problems on your iPhone. To escape such issues, it’s a great idea to make sure that your iPhone is running the latest stable version of iOS . Updates are released with important bug fixes and security patches to ensure a smoother performance on your iPhone.
1. Head to Settings > General.
2. Tap on the Software Update .
3. If any update is available, install it.
If you notice that the internet is not working on your iPhone, and you’re unable to update iOS, you can move to step 6 or 7, depending upon whether you’re using Wi-Fi or Mobile data.
Also read: iOS 13 vs iOS 14
5. Disable Experimental Features
Apple has several Experimental features that are designed for developers to debug web experiences within their apps. As these features are experimental, they may work properly and can cause minor software issues too. A regular user might not be familiar with these features. Apple also allows you to enable or disable these features as per your needs. Therefore, it’s better to disable the features that you don’t need. If you’ve enabled Experimental Features on your iPhone, you can disable them to figure out if they were the ones responsible for Safari crashing on your iPhone.
Here are the steps to disable Experimental features on iPhone:
1. Head to Settings
2. Scroll down and tap Safari
3. Go to the bottom and tap Advanced > Experimental Features
4. Now, for all the features that are turned ON, try disabling them one by one, and check if Safari is working properly on your iPhone.
Start by disabling one feature, if it doesn’t make any difference, re-enable it, and disable the other one. Do this process for each feature. If you’re still stuck with the same issue, keep reading for more solutions.
Also read: How to fix WhatsApp not working issues on iPhone
6. Disable Search Engine Suggestions
Search Engine Suggestions feature in Safari will ask your selected search engine for suggestions based on what you’ve typed. This feature is designed to offer better suggestions based on your usage patterns. Some users may like the Search Engine Suggestions feature, but if Safari keeps on crashing, or if you’re unable to open Safari on your iPhone, you can try disabling this feature. Sometimes, Search Engine Suggestions can also slow down Safari’s performance.
Follow these steps to disable Search Engine Suggestions:
1. Go to Settings
2. Scroll down and choose Safari
3. Turn the slider OFF for Search Engine Suggestions
7. If you’re using a Wi-Fi network
If Safari is not working on your iPhone and you’re using a Wi-Fi network, there can be some issues with the Wi-Fi network and not your iPhone. To double-check, follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Toggle Wi-Fi
If you’re unable to access Safari on your iPhone, and you’re using a Wi-Fi network, just toggle the Wi-Fi switch to clear away any minor bugs that may be causing Wi-Fi issues on your device. If your iPhone can’t detect or connect to a Wi-Fi network, or your Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping, you may face issues with the Safari app. To fix these issues, toggle Wi-Fi on your iPhone.
Swipe down from the top-right of your screen to access the Control Center and tap the Wi-Fi icon . Wait for a few seconds ( around 5-10 seconds), then tap the icon again. Alternatively, you can go to
Settings > Wi-Fi
2. Re-connect to the Wi-Fi network
Sometimes, the connection parameters get changed on the wireless access point or the Wi-Fi network information gets corrupted on your iPhone. This can cause Wi-Fi issues on your device, which in turn, could leave you with Safari not working on Wi-Fi. To deal with such situations, you must delete the network information to refresh your device’s Wi-Fi connection. This will re-establish the connection between your iPhone and the Wi-Fi network. Plus, it also clears away the saved information on your phone that might be causing trouble with the authentication.
Make sure to remember the Wi-Fi password as you would have to enter that again to re-establish the connection to your Wi-Fi network.
1. Head to Settings > Wi-Fi
2. You get a list of all the Wi-Fi networks that you’ve added to your device.
3. Find the name of the Wi-Fi network you’re facing trouble with.
4. Tap the small info-icon.
5. Select Forget This Network
3. Restart Wi-Fi Router
Disconnect the Wi-Fi router and other networking equipment from the power source for at least 15-20 seconds. This will eliminate all the bugs in the network and give a fresh restart to the Wi-Fi router. In many cases, rebooting the Wi-Fi router can help fix the Wi-Fi issues on the iPhone and iPad, which ultimately resolves the issue of Safari not loading or unable to open page problems.
4. Use a different Wi-Fi network
If restarting the Wi-Fi router didn’t work for you, call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to fix the internet problem. Just for the time being, you can connect to a different Wi-Fi network or use a Wi-Fi hotspot from your family member’s or friend’s smartphone and check if you’re able to access Safari or not.
Also read: How to fix Wi-Fi not working issues on iPhone
8. If you’re using Mobile Data
Follow the steps mentioned to fix Safari not working on cellular data on your iPhone:
1. Check if you’ve turned ON Cellular Data for Safari
If you’re using mobile data to access Safari on your iPhone, make sure that you’ve allowed Safari to access data on your device. There can be instances when you’ve mistakenly disabled mobile data for Safari. If you’ve done so, Safari will only work when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and not on mobile data.
Head to Settings > Mobile Data , scroll down, and check if you’ve turned the slider ON next to Safari .
2. Toggle Mobile Data
This super-quick method works really well if you’re facing any internet-related issues on your device. It also helps fix Safari not loading issues on your iPhone. When you toggle mobile data, it will wipe off any minor network errors on your iPhone. It has helped me fix Safari not working issues on my iPhone 11 quite a few times, therefore, make sure that you try this method as well.
Follow either of the methods to toggle Mobile data on your iPhone.
1. Swipe down from the top-right of your screen to access the Control Center . Now, tap the Mobile Data icon . Wait for 5-10 seconds, then tap the icon again.
2. Go to Settings > Mobile Data and turn the slider OFF for Mobile Data. Wait for 5-10 seconds, then turn the slider ON.
3. Check your data plan .
It can be possible that Safari is not working on cellular data because you’ve run out of data. To be on the safer side, check your data plan on your mobile carrier’s official app or try to open WhatsApp, Instagram, or any other app on your iPhone. If
Instagram or WhatsApp is not working on your iPhone , there are high chances that you’ve run out of mobile data. In case you’re sure that you have sufficient data, it’s time to check for cellular network issues.
4. Check for Network issues
Network or Data issues could be an underlying cause for Safari not opening or working issues on your iPhone. To double-check, you can ask your family member or a friend who’s on the same network, and verify if he/she can use Safari or not. If they are also facing the same issues, there could be some network issues. In such a case, you can either wait for some time and then check if the issue has been fixed or switch to a Wi-Fi network (if available).
Also read: How to fix No Service error on any iPhone
5. Check if APN Settings are configured properly on your iPhone
APN (Access Point Network) defines the network path for all mobile-data connectivity. If you’ve checked everything and are still not able to use mobile data on your iPhone, then you must contact your service provider and verify if the APN settings are properly configured on your iPhone. It’s worth-knowing that the users who’re using an unlocked iPhone or a prepaid SIM card might need to adjust the APN settings for their SIM card. If this happens to be your case, don’t forget to contact your service provider and ask for the details.
6. Switch to a Wi-Fi network
If a Wi-Fi network is available, you can try switching to it, and check if Safari is working on your iPhone. If you’re still facing the same problem, follow the other methods to fix Safari not working, opening, or crashing issues on your iPhone.
9. Clear Cache, History, and Website data
When you don’t delete cache files for a long time, they can pile up, and cause problems on your web browser. If Safari is taking too long to load a page on your iPhone, or if it gets unresponsive, you must clear cache, history, and website data on your device. It will eliminate errors, make Safari run smoothly, and also improve the overall performance of your iPhone. It’s an effective solution in fixing many Safari-related issues on the iPhone.
Here’s how to clear History and Website data on your iPhone:
1. Head to Settings > Safari
2. Select Clear History and Website Data
3. Tap Clear History and Data
In case, you want to delete browsing history, cache, and website data for a specific period, follow these steps:
1. Go to Safari and tap the Bookmark icon
2. Tap the History tab (the Clock icon)
3. Tap Clear option available at the bottom-right corner
Safari will ask if you want to clear your history, data, and cache from the past hour, today, today & yesterday, or from your entire history.
Also read: How to fix Instagram not working, loading, or crashing issues .
10. Reset RAM on your iPhone
Many users have reported Safari crashing issues on iOS 13 and Safari screen freezing at random on their iPhones. If you are also facing this, it’s time to reset the RAM on your iPhone. Moreover, if Safari keeps reloading pages, unable to load new pages on your iPhone, or works extremely slow, resetting RAM will help you fix such issues too. When RAM gets full, you’ll face issues while accessing Safari and some other resource-intensive apps on your iPhone. This process does not quit any of your opened apps, it simply reloads them, and makes your iPhone perform significantly better.
Here’s how to reset RAM on iPhone 8 or later:
First, we need to enable Assistive Touch. For this, head to Settings> Accessibility > Touch > turn the slider On for Assistive Touch . Now, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Go to Settings > General
- Scroll down and tap Shut down
- You’ll see the slider to turn off the power along with the Cancel option.
- Tap the Assistive Touch button.
- Press and hold the Home button
- Now, your iPhone will be locked and you’ll be asked to enter the passcode.
7. Enter the passcode to unlock your iPhone, and you’re done.
Here’s how to reset RAM on iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and earlier models:
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button
- Once you see the “Slide to power off” option on the screen. Release the Sleep/wake button
- Now, press and hold the Home button.
- After a few seconds, your iPhone will return to the Home Screen. You’ve cleared your iPhone’s RAM successfully.
Alternatively, you can also force restart your iPhone to free up RAM. It’s useful in situations where the display of your iPhone has frozen.
To Force Restart iPhone 8 or later models, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Press the volume up button.
- Now, Press the volume down button.
- Press and hold the sleep/wake button.
- Keep holding until you see the Apple logo.
To Force Restart iPhone 7 and 7 Plus , press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume down buttons until you see the Apple logo.
To Force Restart iPhone 6s or earlier , hold the Sleep/Wake and Home button until you see the Apple logo.
That’s it. You’ve successfully reset RAM on your iPhone. Now, check if Safari is working properly on your iPhone or not.
11. Reset All Settings on your iPhone
If you’ve tried everything on the list and nothing has helped you fix Safari on your iPhone, you can resort to the last option of resetting all settings on your device.
When you update iOS, it can automatically override your iPhone’s settings, and this could result in some conflicts with the apps present on your iPhone. Therefore, if you notice that you started facing Safari-related issues on your iPhone after a recent iOS update, resetting all settings can help you get rid of such problems. Once you reset all settings on your iPhone, your device will load up the default settings. It’s worth mentioning that this method will not delete any media or files on your iPhone, it will simply clear all the website details and login information. Therefore, there’s no need to backup your data.
Follow the steps mentioned below to reset all settings on your iPhone:
1. Go to Settings > General
2. Scroll to the bottom and tap Reset
3. Tap Reset All Settings
4. Enter the passcode
5. Confirm to reset all settings on your iPhone.
With this, we’ve come to the end of our troubleshooting guide on how to fix Safari not working issues on your iPhone. We hope it has worked for you in fixing those frustrating Safari-related problems. Do let us know which trick worked for you in the comments section below.
Also, don’t forget to check our guides on how to fix Instagram and WhatsApp not working issues on iPhone.
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Top 11 Fixes for Safari Not Working on iPhone and iPad
Safari is the go-to browser for many Apple users because it comes pre-installed on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. However, it may also experience some performance hiccups from time to time. You might even find Safari not working on iPhones at all on the worst day. When this happens, web pages can be blank or the browser itself slows down and stops responding. Bugs and outdated software are usually behind this problem. But regardless of the causes, we are here to help.
In this article, we will break down everything that you can do to fix Safari when it’s not working as usual on iPhone and iPad.
Inside This Article
- Software Problems
- Network or Data Problems
- ISP Problems
- Closing Your Safari Tabs
- Restarting the App
- Clearing Your App’s Cache
- Clearing Your Phone’s RAM
- Using Wi-Fi or Data
- Using Internet Proxies or VPNs
- Restarting Your Phone
- Updating Your iOS Version
- Resetting Your Phone
- Contacting Apple Support
- Getting A New iPhone
Why Is Safari Not Working on iPhone or iPad?
Before we get to talking about how to fix Safari, we should first talk about the reasons why Safari is not working on iPhone or iPad. There are three different problems Safari users could face: (1) Safari crashing during and after startup, (2) Safari not starting up at all, or (3) unable to display some websites. These problems can be triggered by three things as well: (1) software problem, (2) a poor or bad network connection, or (3) ISP throttling or censorship .
Safari Not Working on iPhone Due to Software Problems
While Apple may be one of the companies with the most technologically advanced products, these do come with a few downsides. One of these is the constant need to update not just your iOS version but your apps to the current iOS version as well .
Due to its near-annual updates, every new version of iOS may introduce new bugs and problems previous versions did not have. Aside from that, there could also be conflicts between your installed apps and Safari, especially if you installed other web browsers like Avast Secure Browser and Brave Browser .
Safari Not Working on iPhone Due to Network or Data Problems
Another reason that may cause Safari not to work on iPhone and iPad is due to network problems. Whether you have weak data or a Wi-Fi signal, this may cause Safari to stop working or pause indefinitely. This is especially true for users who have multiple tabs open on their Safari app.
While it does only have a maximum tab limit of 500 tabs, just a few dozen or so of these tabs pulling your phone and internet capacity at once may be enough to crash the app. This sudden load on your system may cause the Safari app to crash or at least work slowly.
Safari Not Working on iPhone Due to ISP Problems
The last reason why your Safari app might not work is due to problems with your internet service provider or ISP. This problem is usually related to censorship or speed throttling and affects specific websites and services. Websites connected to the more “black” or “gray” parts of the internet, like illegal torrenting or video streaming sites, are the ones usually affected by these disruptions.
Best Fixes to Safari Not Working on iPhone or iPad
Now that we have gone over several reasons why Safari is not working on iPhone and iPad, let us move on to how to actually solve them! Before moving on to these fixes, we do have to warn you that two of these choices may cause you to lose your phone’s data. We will add specific warnings to the two choices as we discuss them.
Below is a list of fixes that get progressively harder to fix your Safari app. We suggest going through the fixes one by one until your problem gets fixed, or skip to the most relevant one if you believe that caused your app to malfunction.
1. Closing Your Safari Tabs
The first thing to try to fix Safari not working on your iPhone or iPad is to close any unnecessary tabs on Safari. This procedure helps reduce the load on your devices’ RAM and processor whenever you start up your Safari app. The more tabs you close, the faster and more stable Safari will be.
You can free up Safari’s memory and get it to load faster by doing the following:
1. Open Your Safari App. 2. Click the Tab icon on the lower right-hand corner. 3. Close any of the unwanted tabs by clicking “X” on the tab’s window. 4. Check to see if it stabilizes Safari by going to a website.
2. Restarting the App
If closing tabs did not help, you might need to restart the app. This step is the most common fix for users who have just updated their iOS version or their Safari app. Users who have older iPhones, especially those using iPhone 8s or older models, are more likely to face this issue compared to other users. There are two ways to restart or refresh your Safari app depending on what model of iPhone you are using.
For those using the iPhone X or later models, do the following:
1. Go to the home screen. 2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold your finger in the center of the screen to open the app switcher. 3. Find the Safari app and swipe it up to close it. 4. Wait a few seconds and open the Safari app through its icon. 5. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
For users with iPhone models 8 and older, do the following instead:
1. Press your home button twice in succession. 2. Wait for the app switcher to open and find the Safari app. 3. Swipe the app upwards to close it and wait a few seconds. 4. Restart Safari by clicking on its icon. 5. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
3. Clearing Your App’s Cache
Another way to let Safari work normally again is to clear up its entire cache on your phone. Every website usually leaves information on your phone. Everything from website cookies , your download history, log-in information, and your browsing history will be stored in your Safari apps’ cache. While some websites will not load due to the pretense of some cookies, too big of a cache can also cause Safari to have errors when starting up. Deleting this cache will not only make Safari run faster and stop it from crashing, but it will also clear up a good amount of your iPhone’s memory for other uses.
Do note that deleting this cache will also delete any saved passwords, usernames, logged-in data, and other important data from your Safari web browser. Before starting this step, we suggest backing up your iPhone’s data to an external hard drive to prevent any loss of information.
To clear your iOS devices’ Safari cache, do the following:
1. Go to your phone’s settings and search for the Safari app. 2. Click the app’s tab and search for “Clear History and Website Data.” 3. Select it and confirm your decision by clicking “Clear History and Data.” 4. Wait for the process to finish. 5. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
Also See: How to Clear Other Storage on iPhone
4. Clearing Your Phone’s RAM
If you still find Safari not working on iPhone even with the previous method, you may want to clear up the rest of your iPhone’s RAM. Safari and other resource-intensive apps may be struggling against each other for the limited RAM your phone has. To stop Safari from crashing or running slowly, resetting the RAM would allow Safari to take first dibs on the newly freed up RAM. To free up your iPhone’s RAM, just follow either of the appropriate guides:
For iPhone model 8 or later, do the following:
1. Enable Assistive Touch by going to the Accessibility tab in the Settings menu. 2. After enabling it, go back to the main Settings menu. 3. Find the “Shut Down” tab and select it. 4. Once the shutdown slider appears, click the Assistive Touch button. 5. Select and hold the Home button to lock your phone. 6. Enter your passcode and unlock your phone to refresh the RAM. 7. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
For iPhone model 7 or earlier, do the following:
1. Select and hold the Sleep/wake side button. 2. Release the button after the power-down slider appears. 3. Select and hold the Home button until your phone resets to the home screen. 4. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
5. Using Wi-Fi or Data
If Safari is still not working on your iPhone, you may have an internet connection issue instead of a software one. This may be due to a weak Wi-Fi signal or a bad cellphone data connection. To know whether you are connected to the internet through cellular data, just open up the iPhone control center. If the status bar on the upper left corner says “No Service” or “Searching,” this means that your iPhone is not connected or cannot connect to cellular data. In these cases, you may have a damaged or invalid sim card if you also cannot do calls or text messages.
If your cellular data service does connect and still fails to provide an adequate internet connection, your APN settings may not be properly set up. This problem is especially true for iOS users who have an unlocked phone or are using prepaid sim cards. To solve this, you need to contact your mobile service provider to ensure you have the correct APN settings.
Meanwhile, those that are connected to their Wi-Fi but are still receiving no internet or are having trouble connecting to their Wi-Fi may want to look at our article on how to fix iPhone’s Wi-Fi troubles instead.
6. Using Internet Proxies or VPNs
Yet another reason for Safari not working on iPhone or iPad is your network. As we said earlier, if your Safari works on most websites but fails to load select websites, this might be censorship or blocking by your ISP. There is only one reliable way to get past this problem, to use a VPN. VPNs anonymize your data and allow you access to previously ISP censored or restricted websites. We have a list of the best VPN services for both Android and iOS users available.
7. Restarting Your Phone
If Safari continues to crash or fail to load up, you may have to restart your phone. Restarting your phone not only closes the Safari app but also resets your phone’s RAM and your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection as well. To do this, follow these simple steps.
For iPhone model X or later, do the following:
1. Press one volume button and the side button until the power off slider shows up. 2. Use the slider to turn off your device and wait for at least 30 seconds. 3. Turn your phone back on by pressing and holding the side button. 4. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
For iPhone model 8 or earlier, do the following:
1. Press and hold the sleep/wake button till the power off slider shows up. 2. Use the slider to turn off your device and wait for at least 30 seconds. 3. Turn your phone back on by pressing and holding the side button. 4. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
8. Updating Your iOS Version
If Safari is still not working on your iPhone, you may need to update your iOS. Bugs and app incompatibility are some of the more common problems encountered by iPhone users who have outdated iOS firmware. It is generally advised to update your iOS version to the latest one available. As Safari is a native iOS app, updating your iOS version is also the same as how to update Safari. Before you do this, though, do know that updating your firmware has the risks of bricking or corrupting your phone. Back up and save important data from your phone before doing this procedure.
To check and install updates for iPhone, do the following:
1. Make sure your iPhone has at least 70% battery left. 2. Open the Settings menu and select “General.” 3. Find “Software Update” and select it. 4. Read through the iOS version’s information and select “Install Now” to install it. 5. Wait for the process to finish and your phone to restart. 6. Check to see if Safari is working properly.
9. Resetting Your Phone
If even updating your iOS version sees Safari not working on iPhone, you may need to factory reset your phone. This option is the most drastic one you could do to fix any software incompatibility or bugs on your iPhone. By factory resetting your phone, you will be wiping out any data you have on the device. Due to this, you should back up and save important files and documents before trying this procedure.
To factory reset your iPhone, do the following:
1. Go to the Settings menu and select the General tab. 2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose “Reset.” 3. Select “Erase All Content and Settings” and enter your passcode when prompted to continue. 4. Click “Erase” to confirm your choice. 5. Wait for the process to finish and your iPhone to reset. 6. Set up your iPhone and check to see if Safari is now working properly.
10. Contacting Apple Support
Should a factory reset of your device continue to leave Safari not working on your iPhone, you may need to bring it to a professional. Aside from contacting Apple Support through any of their 1-800 numbers, you could also bring your device in for a repair in-person to any of their branches nationwide. Do note that if the problems are too severe, you may end up spending almost as much money repairing your phone as buying a new one.
Also read: iPhone Turning On and Off
11. Getting a New iPhone
If the costs are too high with having your current iPhone repaired, you may want to look into buying a new iPhone instead. There are a lot of second-hand or fully refurbished iPhones available out there that are guaranteed not to burn a hole in your pocket.
There you have it, 11 good ways to fix Safari not working on iPhone. We hope at least one of these methods worked for you. If you liked this article and want to learn some more iPhone maintenance tips, our articles on what to do when your iPhone won’t turn on or what to do when Touch ID is not working may interest you.
If you want to learn a bit more about your iPhone’s features, though, you should look at our primer on iOS 14’s “Picture in Picture” and how to transfer files from iPhone to PC or Mac .
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