How to Solve Safari Crashes on the iPhone

A handful of tweaks may keep Safari from crashing on your iPhone

Kid screaming at cell phone

 Zing Images/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Built-in apps like Safari don't crash too often these days, but when they do, you want to fix it right away. If you’re having frequent web browser crashes on your iPhone, here are some steps you can take to solve the problem.

These troubleshooting steps work with all currently supported models of the iPhone. Version-specific instructions are noted where applicable.

Restart the iPhone

If Safari is crashing regularly, your first step should be to restart the iPhone. Just like a computer, the iPhone needs to be restarted every now and then to reset memory, clear temporary files, and generally restore things to a cleaner state. To restart the iPhone:

After the iPhone has restarted, visit the website that crashed Safari. Chances are, things will be better.

Update to the Latest Version of iOS

If a restart doesn’t fix the problem, verify that you're running the latest version of iOS, the iPhone's operating system. Each update to iOS adds new features and fixes all kind of bugs that could be causing crashes. There are two options for updating iOS:

If there is an update available, install it and see if that fixes the problem.

Clear Safari History and Website Data

If neither of those steps work, try clearing out the browsing data stored on your iPhone, including your browsing history and cookies placed on your iPhone by sites you visit. A "flush" also clears this data from all devices signed into your iCloud account. Losing this data may be a mild inconvenience if the cookies provide functionality on some websites, but it's better than having Safari crash. To clear this data, Tap Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data.

In the menu that pops up from the bottom of the screen, tap Clear History and Data.

Disable AutoFill

safari-settings-ios7.png
AutoFill is one of the best Safari settings, allowing the iPad to automatically fill in user names and passwords. Image © Apple, Inc.

If Safari is still crashing, disabling autofill is another option you should explore. Autofill takes the contact information from your address book and adds it to website forms so that you don't have to type your shipping or email address over and over. To disable autofill, tap Settings > Safari > Autofill.

Move the Use Contact Info slider to off/white to disable your address and phone from populating forms. Move the Names and Passwords slider to off/white to stop username/password pairs from automatic entry. Move the Credit Cards slider to off/white to keep your payment history off.

Disable iCloud Safari Syncing 

If none of the steps so far have fixed your crashing problem, the problem may not be with your iPhone itself. It may be iCloud. One iCloud feature syncs your Safari bookmarks between all Apple devices signed into the same iCloud account. That's useful, but it can also be the source of some Safari crashes on iPhone. To turn off iCloud Safari Syncing, tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud and move the Safari slider to off/white.

Turn Off JavaScript

If Safari is still crashing, the problem could be the website you're visiting. Many sites use a programming language called JavaScript to provide all kinds of features and animations. JavaScript is great, but when it's written badly, it can crash browsers. Try turning off JavaScript by visiting Settings > Safari > Advanced and moving the JavaScript slider to off/white.

Isolating the problem isn't the end here. You really need JavaScript to use modern websites, so I recommend turning it back on and not visiting the site that crashed (or disabling JavaScript before you visit it again).

Contact Apple

If everything nothing has worked and Safari is still crashing on your iPhone, your last option is to contact Apple to get technical support. Learn how to get tech support in this article.