How to Copy a Link in iOS Mail

Copying URLs on your iPhone or iPad is as easy as pressing down

When you find a link that you want to share in an email or text message, copy the link and paste it into the message. Or, when you're updating a calendar event and want to include a link in the notes section, find the link, copy it, and paste it into the calendar. There are many other reasons to copy the links you receive in an email. Here's how it's done.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 9 through iOS 12.

How to Copy a Link in the iOS Mail App

Copying a URL from the Mail app on an iPhone or iPad can be done with a single tap. There's also a hidden menu that can be accessed by tapping and holding the link.

  1. Open the Mail app and tap the email that contains the link you want to copy to open it. It can be from any email provider you access through the Mail app on your phone, including iCloud, Gmail, and others.

  2. Press lightly on the URL link in the email until a new menu shows up that contains several options, including Copy.

    If you hard-press the URL, you see a screen with different options. Tap on the body of the email to close that screen and try again to press lightly on the URL. Hard-press 3D Touch was available beginning with the iPhone 6S. It was removed in iPhone XR.

  3. Tap Copy. If you don't see it, scroll down through the menu (past Open and Add to Reading List). You don't receive a confirmation that you've copied the link, but the menu disappears.

    Email to tap, URL to tap, Copy button in iOS
  4. Go to the place you want to paste the link. This can be an email, message, note, calendar, or any other app that accepts the paste command. Tap in the text-entry area to position the cursor.

  5. Press on the screen in the text-entry area. When you see a bubble appear, lift your finger.

  6. Select Paste in the menu bar that appears to paste the URL.

    Text entry magnifier bubble, Paste button, pasted URL in iOS

If you know and trust the sender, it is safe to copy a URL from that person. However, don't copy a link from a stranger.

Tips on Copying Links on an iPhone or iPad

The copy and paste process is simple once you get the hang of the light press. Here are a few tips on how to handle situations you may encounter.

  • See the magnifying glass instead? If you highlight the text instead of seeing a menu, it's because you're not actually holding down on the link. It's possible that there really isn't a link there and it just looks like there is, or maybe you've tapped on the text right next to the link.
  • If you're looking through the link text and see that it looks really weird or super long, know that this is normal in some emails. For example, if you're copying the link from an email you received as part of an email list or subscription, they often tend to be long with dozens upon dozens of letters and numbers. If you trust the sender of the email, it's appropriate to trust the links they send, too.
  • Copying links in other apps often shows other options. For example, if you're using the Chrome app on your iPhone or iPad and want to copy the link that's stored within an image, you get options for copying the URL but also for saving the picture, opening the picture, opening the picture in a new tab or Incognito tab, and a few others.
  • In fact, the menu shown when tapping-and-holding on links in the Mail app can differ between emails. For example, a tweet in an email might have an option to Open in Twitter.