How to Preview a Link URL in Safari for iPhone & iPad Before Opening 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:
- From Safari in iOS, open any webpage with a link (like this page on osxdaily.com or nyt.com, whatever)
- Tap and hold on any link until an actions screen appears with multiple options
- 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.
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.
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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How do I turn it OFF?
I upgraded to ipadOS and the Safari Preview is constantly in the way. So irritating. Hate it!
I tried the tap and hold on an IPhone 7, version 11.4.1 to see the underlying link.
It goes to the link every time.
Is there some nuance that I am missing here ?
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.