Workarounds for Safari Not Opening t.co Short Links from Twitter
Many users have notice that Safari on the Mac (and some on iOS) has trouble opening t.co short links coming from Twitter, both in the Twitter app and for Twitter on the web (by the way, you should follow us there). While not all Mac OS X and iOS users experience this issue, those who do find it frustrating as any t.co link will either refuse to load, time out as the blue progress bar stops moving, or throw a “Safari Can’t Open the Page” error message, claiming the server or page isn’t responding.
Rather than give up on opening the t.co links, there are a few workarounds that will allow you to view them anyway in Safari for OS X and iOS.
By the way, this same set of workarounds applies to loading many other short links as well, though we’re focusing on the Twitter specific shortened t.co links here since those can be reliably problematic for some users.
Workaround #1: Reload the t.co URL a Few Times
The simplest workaround is simply to reload the t.co short link several times until the link eventually responds and loads as expected. Typically this takes multiple attempts, and I’ve gotten into the routine of hitting Command+L followed by Return in four to five quick successions to get the t.co short link to finally load from Twitter into Safari. Tedious, sure, but it works.
Workaround #2: Remove the “https” from the URL
For whatever reason, removing the https:// prefix and using simply http:// often will allow the t.co short link to work in Safari.
It’s helpful to have the full URL shown in the Safari address bar if you’re going to use this trick.
Workaround #3: Remove Cache & History
Clearing cache and history usually works to get the t.co links to load in Safari.
On the Mac, clearing history is easy, just pull down the “Safari” menu and choose “Clear History”.
Meanwhile on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, clearing history and cache is done with the iOS Settings app.
I’m not a big fan of this approach because it tends to only work to load t.co links for about a day, and also because clearing history in Safari on the Mac also clears it on your connected Macs and iOS devices, which is not always desirable.
Workaround #4: Use Chrome or Firefox
Yup, using a different web browser works to open the t.co short links from Twitter just fine. For Mac users, changing the default web browser to an alternative is one option, otherwise just get in the habit of opening Twitter links in Chrome or Firefox.
Why would a link work in Chrome and Firefox but not Safari? Who knows for certain, but it does, suggesting there may be an issue with how Safari handles some specific short links.
This is widely reported on Apple forums and Twitter support and is certainly not a new issue, though with more people using Twitter it’s likely encountered more now than when it first started appearing four years ago… because it hasn’t been remedied in four years it’s hard to imagine it getting priority now, so it’s likely best to just use a workaround if you encounter the t.co loading errors in Safari.
Know of another solution? Let us know in the comments.