How to Preview a Link’s URL in Safari for iPhone & iPad Before Opening It

Feb 20, 2014 - Leave a Comment

Preview a URL in Safari for iOS before clicking it How many times have you been reading an article on the web when you tapped on a link that sent you somewhere you weren’t expecting? Maybe it was to an article that wasn’t anticipated, or maybe it was to another website entirely. Sometimes we just want to know where we’ll be going before going there, right? Pretty normal, and from desktop web browsers on the Mac and PC, users can just use the mouse cursor to hover over a link to see where it will take you. But in the iOS world of tapping and touching, there is no ‘hover’, only a definitive tap onto the screens of our iPads and iPhones, which in this context means off you to the link before you knew what it was.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way, and there is a rather simple way to preview a link before conclusively tapping on it from Safari in iOS, and it works great on the iPhone and iPad. Try it out yourself with a few steps:

  1. From Safari in iOS, open any webpage with a link (like this page on osxdaily.com or nyt.com, whatever)
  2. Tap and hold on any link until an actions screen appears with multiple options
  3. Look at the top of the pop-up box to see the link URL

Super simple, right? You can tap on the “Cancel” button to close the box, or choose Open or “Open in New Page” (or into a background window if you configured Safari that way) to create a new Safari tab with the previewed URL in question.

Preview a Link URL in Safari for iOS

Previewing Complete Long URL’s in iOS Safari

What if the Link URL you want to preview is particularly long and gets truncated or cut off? For iPhone and iPod touch users, the simplest solution is to simply rotate the device sideways into Horizontal mode and then use the tap-and-hold trick again. Since the horizontal orientation offers wider screen real estate, more of the links URL will be visible.

Preview a long full URL from Safari on the iPhone

Remember, you can toggle Orientation Lock quickly through Control Center with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

The horizontal trick works on the iPad too, but because the iPad screen is much larger in general you’ll find it’s often not necessary. Instead, the tap-and-hold-to-view-URL trick will show even long URLs without much of an issue.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

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