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.

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.
Restart iPhone
Source: Apple

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 1: Open the Settings app and select Cellular.

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 1: Open the Settings app and select Safari.

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 1: Open the Settings app and select Safari.

Step 2: Now, tap on Extensions.

Step 3: Now, select the extension, and toggle it off.

This is how you can turn off extensions to ensure they are not the means of any problem. However, sometimes disabled JavaScript can also affect Safari. Let’s understand this in detail in the next section.

9. Enable JavaScript

JavaScript is a crucial element in websites that enables interactive content. If you disable it, you won’t see any images, videos, or other media content on a website. Thus, it can prevent Safari from responding on iPhone. Here’s how you can turn JavaScript on.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Safari.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Advanced.

Step 3: Ensure to turn on the toggle for JavaScript.

That is how you enable JavaScript and ensure all kinds of websites work fine on Safari. If this does not work too, you need to check if your device is connected to a VPN network and if this prevents Safari to operate normally.

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 1: Open the Settings app and select General.

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 1: Open the Settings app and select General.

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

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