Your iPhone's web browser will crash if you search for these words
Just don't do it.
Several users report that they can repeatedly make Safari crash on their iPhone and iPad just by typing a few letters into the address bar.
The issue appears to affect iOS 16 and iPadOS 15, with one video showing someone typing "wal" into the Safari address bar and having the app instantly crash. They don't even get as far as entering the rest of "walmart" or tapping the button to search.
Strange goings on
MacRumors (opens in new tab) reports that people are experiencing the issue when typing a range of things, including "tar," "bes," "old," "wel," and others. In addition, the issue presents itself when they try to search for or visit the site of companies like Starbucks, Best Buy, and Walmart, for example.
@AppleSupport hello, I have a very strange issue with my new iPhone 14 and my mothers new iPhone 14. When we start to type Walmart “Wal” into the search engine the phones instantly close safari. See video below.. please help? pic.twitter.com/P5mq1ahaihNovember 14, 2022
Users report that the issue can happen on both Wi-Fi and cellular connections and can be repeated at will, making it easier to show to Apple when asking for support.
Unfortunately, no support has been forthcoming, and there isn't a pattern for which versions of iOS are affected. However, even the latest iOS 16.2 beta appears to be involved, suggesting that this isn't an issue related to the version of iOS or Safari.
Instead, it seems most likely that this is a server-side issue which should also mean that Apple will be able to fix it fairly quickly. It will also mean that no software updates will be required, too.
Since Safari is arguably the best iPhone web browser available, and it comes pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad that ships, this is one bug that Apple would do well to get fixed ASAP.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.