How to Solve Safari Crashes on the iPhone

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The apps that come pre-installed on the iPhone are pretty dependable. That's what makes the times when Safari crashes so frustrating. To be using a website and then have it disappear because Safari crashed is super annoying.

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.

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:

  1. Press the hold button (on the top of some iPhones, on the right side of others).
    1. On the iPhone X, you'll also need to hold down the volume up button.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off slider appears, move it from left to right.
  3. Let the iPhone shut down.
  4. When the phone is off (the screen will go completely dark), press the hold button again.
  5. When the Apple logo appears, release the button and let the iPhone finish starting up.

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

Update to the Latest Version of the iOS

If a restart doesn’t fix the problem, make sure you're running the latest version of the iOS, the iPhone's operating system. Each update to the iOS adds new features and fixes all kind of bugs that could be causing crashes. There are two options for updating the 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. That includes your browsing history and cookies placed on your iPhone by sites you visit. It 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:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
  4. In the menu that pops up from the bottom of the screen, tap Clear History and Data.

Disable AutoFill

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:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. Tap AutoFill.
  4. Move the Use Contact Info slider to off/white.
  5. Move the Names and Passwords slider to off/white.
  6. Move the Credit Cards slider to off/white.

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:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap your name at the top of the screen (on older versions of the iOS, tap iCloud).
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. Move the Safari slider to off/white.
  5. In the menu that pops up, choose what to do with all previously synced Safari data, either Keep on My iPhone or Delete from My iPhone.

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 following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Move the JavaScript slider to off/white.
  5. Try visiting the site that crashed. If it doesn't crash, JavaScript was the problem.

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).

Disable Safari Suggestions

Another bug that could cause Safari to crash has to do with the feature that suggests websites to it. This bug has been fixed in more recent versions of the iOS, but on older versions, try this:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Safari
  3. Move the Safari Suggestions slider to off/white.

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.