Safari Crashes on iPhone and Mac? Here’s how to fix it

If you turned on your iPhone or Mac this morning only to find that Safari crashed before visiting a web page, you’re not alone. Here’s what’s going on and how to fix it.

The internet was in for a Safari-related buzz this morning, and for good reason – you’d be grumpy too if you woke up to see your web browser constantly crashing every time you tried to visit a web page.

It’s about the browser’s search suggestions – you know, those automatic search results that appear below the address bar when you start typing. You may have seen screenshots of Google results floating around the web:

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In Safari’s case, these search results are filtered through one of Apple’s servers. The Safari Suggestions API takes your address bar query, finds relevant search results, and lists them just below the box where you start typing; this is usually a quick way to get directly where you want to go without having to Google it first.

After reading a few hundred comments on Reddit’s /r/Apple subreddit, somewhere along the line this communication seems to have been broken – possibly because one of Apple’s servers is down, although this is conjecture at the moment.

It’s worth noting that although many users noticed the issue after updating their iPhone to the latest iOS update, this issue actually has nothing to do with software upgrades: it affects users across multiple platforms.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix you can activate without having to wait for Apple to fix any issues that are on their side. All you have to do is disable Safari’s automatic search suggestions. You can do this on both iOS and OS X simply by navigating the browser’s settings.

To fix the problem on iPhone, you need to go to your iPhone Settings app. Scroll down to the fifth group and look for the list that says Safari. Tap on it and you’ll find yourself in Safari’s personal settings screen.Finding Safari Preferences on iPhone Safari Preferences on iPhone

The top of the preferences is related to Safari’s search features, and you’ll find the right setting to change here. Look for the option that says “Safari Suggestions” (remember how we talked about the Safari Suggestions API earlier?) – you’ll see a toggle to its right. make sure it’s on closed. This means it should be gray instead of green.

After turning this off, restart Safari and start entering queries. You should see that the browser will no longer crash.

Safari on OS X works quite similarly, and so does the solution to recent crashes.


You can access Safari’s settings in two different ways – you can click on the Safari entry in the bar at the top of the screen, then find and click the Preferences menu item. See the little symbol on the right? Indicates that you can also access Safari Preferences with a keyboard shortcut. Just press the command and comma keys (⌘ + , ) at the same time; You will see the Preferences pane appear. As an aside, this works for pretty much any app on OS X; It is not limited to Safari.

Screenshot 2016-01-27 09.56.42

Once you have your preferences window on the screen, look for the magnifying glass in the row of icons and click on it. Below the icon it will say Search. This opens Safari’s OS X Search settings. The second set of options centers around Safari’s Smart Search Field, which everyone calls the address bar. Include Safari Suggestions? See option. This option’s checkbox unmarked. Then, restart your browser and you’re good to go.

You may or may not notice Safari’s smart suggestions, or rather the lack thereof, but they are useful. At some point the situation will resolve itself, so you should remember to turn Safari Suggestions back on this week.

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