iOS 9.3 Health News teaser 001

It seems that iOS 9.3 is causing unexpected behavior when tapping web links, as evidenced by Twitter and a growing thread on the Apple Support Communities forums. Hundreds of affected users are reporting that the latest iPhones, and some older devices, become unresponsive or crash after tapping or tapping-and-holding web links in both first and third-party apps such as Safari, Messages, Mail, Notes, Google Chrome and more. For others, tapping on links does nothing.

Other people claim they were plagued with the same issue on iOS 9.2 devices, with some users claiming they heard from an Apple Support representative that the company is aware of the issue and is working on a fix, which should be released soon.

Apple is yet to comment on the issue.

Here’s a video of how long-tapping a link to open in the background crashes Safari.

iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith suspects the issue might be caused by third-party apps. Specifically, he found that installing’s app on his system broke link handling across iOS.

And here’s’s app crashing due to the issue.

The pervasiveness of the issue suggests it can probably be traced to a bug in Apple’s WebKit rendering engine that Safari and every other iOS app which renders web content is required to use. A possible workaround involving disabling JavaScript in Settings → Safari > Advanced may help, but is limited to Safari as other apps remain affected.

According to Twitter, a partial fix for Google Chrome users includes tapping and holding a link in Chrome and opening it in a new tab.

Have you been affected by this problem and what, if any, workaround did you discover?

Source: Apple Support Communities

  • Rowan09

    Since I updated I can’t click on any links when I do a Google search on my iPad.

  • I have this on 3 devices, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6. Solved it with downgrade to 9.2.1 and set up as new device. Without restoring anything from backup.

    • Thiago Maciel

      That’s what I did too. I have an iPhone 5s that was on 9.3. After I updated a few apps, this issue started to affect me. I had to restore back to 9.2.1 and set up as new. It works now.

  • hkgsulphate

    Android users are laughing at you once again apple

    • Benedict

      Sorry, but true… They need to push a whole new system update now
      I really appreciate updating system apps via Play Store on Android in these scenarios…

    • Chris

      When did they stop? You appear to have forgotten that the majority of Android users still don’t have the latest operating system – while ~80% of iOS users are on some form of iOS 9.

      Until Android users are on their latest OS with their own respective bugs, this is just another minor hiccup for Apple.

      • Benedict

        Android users get system apps like this updated via Play Store! That’s why there are no bugs like this on devices which even run one of the oldest version of Android! Every Android device has at least 4 channels to get updates not only one through system updates. That’s why you can have the oldest Android still using up to date and secure software. You can’t represent this with your percentage calculation.

    • N&LH

      So Android does not have any issues ? at least when there is an issue in IOS then all IOS users get the update once is out, not like Android, it is pointless when google release an update because the majority won’t receive the software update

      • Mike

        One word. ROOT

      • Christopher Lim

        Then let some poor lad brick his phone due to a faulty flash. How nice, and also void your warranty in the process.

      • Mike

        That was me long time ago but there’s ways around if you brick your device and it rarely happens. I bricked my device because I use to do some much do my phone like installing different OS systems such as Windows 6.5, Windows 7, Android, MIUI, and etc. Since you will only be flashing roms it should be fine. Also every dev. says if its official or in beta.

      • hkgsulphate

        No. What I mean is this is not the Apple we used to know anymore

  • Benedict

    Seems like the 7 betas weren’t very efficient…

  • Toukale

    9.3 was in beta for what? 2-3 weeks. How come no one said anything then?

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      iOS 9.3 was in beta for well over a month and a half, if not more.

      • Toukale

        I know, but was referring to the last public beta they shipped. From my understanding, the final public beta is identical to the final release.

      • John

        Thats correct

    • John

      Because it wasn’t an issue. As soon as ios 9.3 was released to the public, the app devs updated their apps on the app stores (ie booking) which in turn caused the issue we are speaking about; I have been using all the ios 9.3 beta’s without issue then all of a sudden its released to the public and within a few hours my safari is broken due to Booking app which was updated automatically on my device

  • Ricardo Nieto

    Same problem here, Apple is getting worse and worse

  • I’m not sure if it’s 9.3 or my near 2 years old iPhone, but my battery has been terrible. Often my phone turns off at 40%.

    • Jose Rivera

      That sounds like a battery issue because i have a 1 year old iPhone 6 Plus and the battery on there is horrible. The previous owner for sure used the battery like no tomorrow… There is an app called iBackupBot that shows you how many charge cycles your iPhone has, and it’s current charge capacity. It comes in handy when trying to see how many times a battery has been charged to complete 100%…

  • What’s going on at Apple? This is arguably their worst firmware release till date.

    • How so? What else has gone wrong? This, as far as I’m aware, is the first reported bug.

      • techfreak23

        There is also an activation issue for some users right after they install the update. It usually comes down to idiots forgetting their Apple ID password but it’s still an issue because it locks them out of the phone after a simple update.

      • Chris

        Users forgetting their password isn’t a bug, it’s just stupidity for not writing it down or using a password manager.

        That said; this is the only major issue that has been reported since the release of iOS 9.3.

      • techfreak23

        True, but there was no reason for Apple to activation lock devices after a software update. Especially since you usually have to enter your passcode (if you have one set) before the update even begins.

      • Christopher Lim

        Actually, If I remember, it’s a little more complicated than that, it doesn’t necessarily require the user’s Apple ID, but rather the ID originally used to set up the device. Like a family member’s if he/she handed the device down to you and you just continued using the device with your own apple ID without making a restore. Sorry if I got that wrong.

      • M_Hawke

        This is the second release of 9.3. I can’t remember what the issue was, but they had to re-release it with a different rev ID or whatever that’s called. It was strange because I upgraded to 9.3 from 9.2. Then a couple of days later, iTunes was telling me that my iOS was out of date and an update to 9.3 was available. I looked and I was already updated to 9.3. Searched the ‘net and iDB and sure enough, they had release another flavor of 9.3 to solve a problem. If you look for it, that story is here on iDB and was only a few days ago.

  • Tommy

    Thank god I’m not alone! I was trying to book a room on booking and my phone keep crashing. I thought my 6s was dead. And at times, the entire phone shuts down and won’t start up until I plug in a charger.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    I’m not experiencing this issue on my 6S Plus running iOS 9.3. Nor did I experience this on my iPhone 6 which ran all public betas of iOS 9.3. JavaScript is enabled and I even did it with half a dozen private tabs open. Probably worth noting is that I use private browsing on Safari all the time.

  • Blip dude

    Nope. Have had the 9.3 beta since the first one on my iPad Air 2 and never had any issues. Leaving the 6S plus on 9.2 in case a Jailbreak would happen to get released on that firmware first.

  • KOZY_Gremlin_Gang

    Lol Apple has been slacking in every aspect this is the beginning of the end wit them unless they start innovating and giving people what they want instead of what they think people want

    • Christopher Lim

      This could be what some people want. Might not be what you want, but sure is mine, especially nightshift. Even the iPhone SE, I know a friend who would love that.

  • techfreak23

    I’ve been lucky enough to not have any of the issues 9.3 brought about. I also work for an Apple Authorized Service Provider so I wouldn’t have been in much trouble anyway.

  • N&LH

    I don’t have any issues

  • M_Hawke

    3D popping links in Safari did nothing or did something weird or crashed Safari for me. Completely shutting down my iPhone and restarting it and restarting Safari seems to have fixed it.

  • iPhoneWINS

    Viva la IOS 9.0.2 with jailbreak

  • John Smith

    This is why I don’t update to the newest version of IOS right away. I wait for a little while till I am sure it is very stable with minimal bugs.