How to fix Safari not working on iPhone after iOS 17 update

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
5 Min Read

Some users have reported that Safari doesn’t load websites or webpages after iOS 17 update. There could be many reasons for Safari not working on your iPhone after iOS 17 update. This is especially an issue when you rely heavily on Safari to browse the internet.

Fortunately, most iOS 17 Safari problems are minor and can be fixed within a few minutes without much technical knowledge. Just follow the steps below to fix Safari if it isn’t working properly on your iPhone after iOS 17 update.

Note: Information in this article applies to the iPhone 11 series, 12 series, 13, 14, and 15 series iPhones.

How to fix Safari not working on iPhone in iOS 17

1. Update Safari

Before you do anything, make sure that Safari is up-to-date. It is possible that a software update may fix your problem. Safari is part of iOS and included with iOS. This means when you update iOS, Safari will also be updated. This further means that you need to update iOS to install the latest Safari updates. Here is how:

  1. Go to Settings and tap on General.
  2. Tap on Software Update and install any available updates.

2. Close Safari and then reopen it

One of the ways you can fix minor app glitches on iOS is by force-quitting problematic apps.

So, if Safari is still not working for you, then you should force-quit and reopen the app. Here’s how:

  • iPhone XR, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15, go to your Home screen and swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If this is an iPhone SE (2nd or 3rd generation), double press the Home button.
  • This will reveal the app switcher which lists your most recently used apps.
  • Swipe left or right and find the Safari preview.
  • Swipe up on the Safari icon.
  • Then reopen Safari normally to see if your issue is resolved.

3. Internet connection issues?

It is possible that Safari is not working after iOS 17 update due to problems with internet connection. Lets first try to test that if you have a strong connection. Open the App Store app on your device, does the App Store app load without an issue? Then probably you have a connection. If not, you may try:

  • Turn on Airplane Mode and wait about 30 seconds and then turn it off (Settings > Airplane Mode).
  • Restart your modem and router by unplugging the power cord and wait about 1 minute and then plug them back in.
  • Try a different connection. If you are using a cellular connection, connect to a Wi-Fi network to see if your problem still occurs. If you are using a Wi-Fi connection, then try to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

4. Check for VPN and security software

Sometimes VPN can interfere with website loading on Safari. To disable VPN on your device, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings, then tap on General.
  2. Tap VPN & Device Management, then tap VPN.
  3. Look for any VPN that may be installed. If you have VPN software, you can disconnect it or contact the developer for more information about how the software could be affecting your network connections.
    • Also, look at Settings > General > Profiles. If this option doesn’t exist, you don’t have any profiles installed. If you see something here, it may have been installed by the system administrator for your company, and you should talk to them.

5. Restart your iPhone

You hear it all the time—turn your device off and on again. While this may sound like a cliche fix, restarting your iPhone has been known to clear your usable memory, which can speed up Safari.

If Safari is frozen or just a blank white screen, restarting your iPhone can also fix these problems. Here’s how:

  • iPhone XR, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15: Press the side button and the volume up button until the Power Off slider appears. Slide it, then wait 30 seconds. Press the side button until the Apple logo appears.
  • iPhone SE(2nd or 3rd gen): Press and hold the side button until the Power Off slider appears. Slide it, then wait 30 seconds. Press the side button until the Apple logo appears.

6. Turn off private relay

Private Relay works like a VPN and routes your Internet traffic through two separate relays to encrypt traffic and hide your IP address. If you have an iCloud Plus subscription, the setting is enabled by default. Private Relay can affect some websites. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Settings, then tap on your name at the top.
  2. Tap on iCloud, then if Private Relay is on, tap on Private Relay.
  3. Toggle the switch next to Private Relay to turn it off.
  4. Select Turn Off Until Tomorrow. If you find that this is the problem, you may want to turn it off completely.

7. Disable extensions

Safari extensions are useful tools, but some of them, and ad blockers, in particular, might prevent Safari from working properly. If you are using extensions, disable them and see if that fixes your problem. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. Tap Extensions.
  4. Turn off all of the extensions.

Now, force-quit Safari and open again. If Safari is now working, this means that one or more of your extensions are causing your problem. What you can do is to turn on extensions one by one until you find the problematic one. When you find it, you can update or delete the associated app to fix your problem. If Safari is not working still, you can now enable your extensions.

8. Clear out Safari data

Clearing Safari Website Data whis will remove history, cookies and other data. The history will be cleared from all of your devices signed into iCloud.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and then go into Safari.
  2. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
  3. Choose your time frame. You can choose all history.
  4. Tap Clear History.

9. Check that JavaScript is enabled

JavaScript is on by default on most iOS devices. However, if you’re having issues with Safari, it’s likely that JavaScript is off. Sometimes, one might turn JavsScript off as some websites might not support it.

If you’ve turned JavaScript off or want to check if it’s off and turn it back on, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings and tap on Safari.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Advanced.
  3. If JavaScript is off, toggle the switch to turn it on.

10. Turn off Safari experimental features

The experimental features of Safari give you access to upcoming web tools, ideas about web element changes, new browser initiatives, behavior adjustments, and other under-test development features by the Apple development team.

Sometimes, you’ll find activating these features beneficial to enhance the web app experience on Safari. However, if you don’t possess a clear idea of which experimental features of Safari are beneficial, you shouldn’t toy with this section of the Safari web browser application. Here’s how to check and disable Safari experimental features on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. scroll down and tap Advanced.
  4. Tap Experimental Features. And toggle off everything here. If this does not resolve your problem, you can turn them on again.

11. Reset Network Settings

You can Reset Network Settings if nothing else has fixed your iOS 17 Safari problems. Resetting network settings can solve a variety of connection problems, however, you will need to set up all of your Wi-Fi networks again. Copy down your Wi-Fi networks and their passwords, then Reset Network Settings by following the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings, then tap General.
  2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone, then Reset.
  3. Tap Reset Network Settings, then follow onscreen instructions.

12. Contact Apple Support

If none of the above has solved your iOS 17 Safari issues, you may want to contact Apple Support for more help.

By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
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