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

Feb 20, 2014 - 4 Comments

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.

How to Preview the URL of a Link in Safari on iPhone & iPad

Try out previewing a link yourself with these few steps:

  1. From Safari in iOS, open any webpage with a link (like this page on or, 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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  1. No Bame says:

    The FBI is has all of your fraudulent activity in my account as well as others in Apple & all devices you have fraudulently hacked , shared, Linked, Keep up your evil work because You have been identified as well as every single person in your Federal Law Breaking Activity think not I say dont stop Ive seen your report as well as a very long list of people such as you

  2. Tom says:

    How do I turn it OFF?
    I upgraded to ipadOS and the Safari Preview is constantly in the way. So irritating. Hate it!

  3. Rick Cottingham says:

    I tried the tap and hold on an IPhone 7, version 11.4.1 to see the underlying link.
    No joy.
    It goes to the link every time.
    Is there some nuance that I am missing here ?

    • Don says:

      Some websites suppress it on some links. On iOS 12.3, it gets suppressed a LOT more often than on 12.1, which is why I didn’t take the upgrade on my iPad. My iPhone is new, so I didn’t have the choice there. Apple is increasingly taking Microsoft’s “you don’t have a choice” philosophy.

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