Although iPhones and iPads support other apps to reach the Web, Safari remains the most favored and frequently used browser for iOS users. Troubleshooting on Safari can be frustrating, especially if its issues prevent you from searching for a solution online. Here are a few common reasons why Safari may not be working on your iPhone and how to fix the problems.
Test Your Internet Connection
To begin with, ensure that the problem is with Safari and not with your internet connection. For this, open, say, a non-Apple app like Facebook or Chrome, and see whether the website or the feed loads. If it does, then Safari is at fault. Otherwise, your internet connection is at fault. If it’s the former, move on to the next step.
Turn on Mobile Data for the Safari App
If you’ve been exploring your iPhone’s data-saving features, which let you specify which apps have access to your phone’s mobile data, then there’s a chance that you turned off mobile data for the Safari app. That means Safari will work when you’re connected to Wi-Fi but not to mobile data. (Try running Safari over Wi-Fi to test this.)
If that’s the case, then to turn mobile data back on for Safari, go to “Settings -> Mobile Data,” and then in the “Mobile Data” list, make sure the slider next to Safari is in the green “On” position.
Disable Experimental Features
You may not know about this, but Safari for the iPhone has a whole load of experimental features that you can disable and enable as you please.
The problem with these, as the name suggests, is that they are indeed experimental and subsequently don’t all work properly. Disabling them one by one can fix Safari if it’s not working and help you discover which exact feature was causing the problem,
On your iPhone, go to “Settings -> Safari -> Advanced -> Experimental Features.”
If you have more than one feature enabled here, disable just one, then check to see if Safari works normally again. If it doesn’t, re-enable that feature (if you want it) and disable the next one. Keep repeating this procedure until Safari starts working again.
Change Your Network Settings
Try resetting your Wi-Fi connection and reconnecting to the network.
- Go to “Settings -> Wi-Fi” and turn it off, then turn it back on after a few seconds.
- If you’re using mobile data, go to “Settings -> Mobile Data” and turn “Mobile Data” off and back on after a few seconds.
- If neither option works, go to “Settings -> Wi-Fi,” connect to a different Wi-Fi network, and try loading the web page again.
If the problem persists, try restoring your network settings to their original configuration.
- Go to “Settings -> General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset” and choose “Reset Network Settings.”
Common Problems With Safari And How To Solve Them
By following the fixes we’ve mentioned above, you should be able to revive Safari and make it work normally again. However, there are some specific issues that commonly come up with Safari. Here’s how to solve them.
Problem: Safari Crashed and Won’t Open
If you’ve ever panicked after Safari closed unexpectedly and couldn’t get the app to start, you probably encountered a bug that affects Safari’s search engine suggestions. This issue can cause the app to crash, freeze, or fail to start altogether. Although the bug usually plagues devices running iOS 10, it can affect just about any iPhone or iPad.
How to Fix It: Disable Search Engine Suggestions
Go to “Settings” and choose “Safari” in your list of apps. Here, find “Search Engine Suggestions” and turn it off.
This feature offers suggestions for what you can search for as you type into Safari’s search bar. Disabling it gets rid of the problem for many users.
Problem: Safari Is Gray (and Won’t Open)
Sometimes when you update your iPhone’s iOS to a newer version, you may encounter a bug that turns some apps gray and prevent them from opening.This bug causes Safari to stop working and turns its icon gray when you switch to another app while Safari is running in the background.
How to Fix It: Update Your Software
To solve this problem, update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS. Apple includes important bug fixes in each software update, so it’s important to keep your iPhone or iPad up to date. iOS 11.1 fixed this bug for most users, so be sure to update to 11.1 or greater if you’re running an older version of iOS.
Go to “Settings -> General,” choose “Software Update,” and install the latest update.
Problem: Safari Is Slow
As powerful as your iPhone can be, it can get bogged down with all the extraneous information that it processes. If you notice that Safari takes longer to load pages or graphics, it may be time to do some housekeeping. Try clearing your browser history, website data, and cache to make Safari run more smoothly.
How to Fix It: Clear Your Data
To delete your cookies, cache, and browsing history, go to “Settings -> Safari,” choose “Clear History and Data,” and confirm that you want to go ahead. Safari will remember your AutoFill information if you choose this option.
To keep your browsing history but clear your cache and cookies, first go to “Settings -> Safari -> Advanced.”
There, choose “Website Data -> Remove All Website Data” and tap “Remove Now.” Note that Safari will not remember your AutoFill information if you choose this option.
To remove only a portion of your browsing history, cache, and cookies, start by opening Safari and tapping the Bookmark icon. Here, open your history and tap “Clear.” Now Safari will give you the option to clear your history, cookies, and browsing data from the past hour, the past day, the past 48 hours, or from your entire history. Pick the relevant option.
Problem: Safari Still Isn’t Working
Although it sounds cliche, turning your phone off and back on again can be the solution to any number of Safari-related issues.
How to Fix It: Restart Safari or Reboot Your Phone
If none of the previous fixes help solve your problem, try restarting the app or rebooting your phone.
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and press on the screen when your finger is near the center to open the multitasking view, and then swipe up on Safari to close it. This will reset Safari.
- To shut down your phone, press and hold the sleep/wake button until a slider appears. Slide to the right to power off your phone. For iPhone X and above, press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the slider appears. Then slide it to the right to power off your phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to fix "Safari can't find server" on iPhone?
The most probable and common reason behind the “Safari can’t find server” error is not with Safari but with your internet connection. Here are a few ways to fix it.
- Reset your wireless router.
- Turn mobile data off and turn it back on again.
- Clear Safari cache and data.
- Restart your iPhone.
How to reset Safari on iPhone?
To reset Safari on your iPhone, open the Settings app and scroll to the Safari settings. There, tap on “Clear History and Website Data” and the bottom of the page and follow up along with the pop-up on your screen to confirm the action. Once it’s complete, all your data and cookies will be wiped clean, and Safari will be as good as new.
Can you reinstall Safari on your iPhone?
Yes, just like any other app, you can uninstall Safari from your iPhone by holding down the Safari icon on the home screen and tapping “Remove app.” Then, visit the App Store, search for Safari, and reinstall it from there. Can’t find the Safari app to delete it? Here’s how to delete hidden apps.
Image credit: Flickr
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