iOS 9.3.1 Fixes Link Crashing Bug, Available to Download Now [IPSW Links]

Mar 31, 2016 - 37 Comments

iOS 9.3.1

Apple has released iOS 9.3.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, the new version directly addresses the problem where tapped links would crash or freeze Safari, Messages, Mail, and other apps on iOS devices. This update is particularly important to install if you have been experiencing the URL crashing problem as it fixes the bug and stops tapping links from crashing the device, though users who haven’t been impacted by the bug may find it less urgent to update.

The iOS 9.3.1 build arrives as 13E238 and if downloaded as a delta update it is quite small, arriving at roughly 35MB, making it a quick install.

Updating to iOS 9.3.1

The easiest way to update to iOS 9.3.1 is through the OTA mechanism on the iPhone, IPad, or iPod touch. Be sure to back up the device before beginning.

Note: Do not tap the security information link in the update screen, that will crash the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until this bug fix release has been installed.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to “General” and then to “Software Update”
  2. When iOS 9.3.1 appears, tap on “Download and Install”
  3. Agree to the terms & conditions and install the iOS update as usual

iOS 9.3.1 update install

Another option is to update to iOS 9.3.1 through iTunes using a Mac or Windows PC. This necessitates connecting the device to a computer, launching iTunes, and choosing the “Update” button within iTunes.

iOS 9.3.1 IPSW Firmware Download Links

Direct download links to iOS 9.3.1 in IPSW firmware format are available from Apple servers below, using IPSW to update is generally considered advanced but is not too complicated.

iOS 9.3.1 Release Notes

The brief release notes attached to iOS 9.3.1 state the update “Fixes an issue that caused apps to be unresponsive after tapping on links in Safari and other apps”.

To be perfectly clear, installing iOS 9.3.1 completely fixes the link crashing bug, so if you have Safari crashing or freezing when links are clicked, or if other strange URL behavior is noted, install this update to fix the problem. Because the update fixes the problem, it voids the need to follow this set of relatively complicated set of steps that can fix the URL crashing issue. This means you can also re-enable Javascript if you turned it off as a troubleshooting step with the prior iOS update version. If you did not have any problems with the iOS 9.3 update, you still may want to update to iOS 9.3.1 to be current anyway, but it’s likely less pressing compared to users who are unable to access Safari, Mail, Messages, and other apps without them crashing.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, News


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Janice says:

    On my iphone 4 I tried to install the software update 9.3.1
    Got a message that it had to remove some apps to make room, but they would be reinstalled after the update.
    Said yes.
    Then got a message that the installed failed.
    Now I have 5 apps that say “waiting”.
    Been waiting an hour.
    Where do I go from here?

  2. Luis C. says:

    Calendar does store events when I enter them on my iPhone 6s, but my iPad Mini stores them and works perfectly. They both have the iOS 9.3.1 update. Need help urgently!! I use the iPhone calendar everyday!!

  3. Kari says:

    I normally never leave comments, but I just wanted to thank you so much. I thought I bricked my iPad last night and spent an exhausting night (and morning) trying everything under the sun, but thanks to this firmware share and someone on Apple forums posting step by step instructions, I have a fully working iPad again. Thank you!


    Calendar not syncing iMAC – OS X 10.11.4 – with –

    New Apple 9.7‑inch iPad Pro with IOS 9.3.1 (13E238) –

  5. Patsy McHargue says:

    I downloaded 9.3.1 13E238 2 days ago on my iPad Air wifi & keep getting the activation required message. I activate & can use it for a while but then it will require activation again. I have done the recovery mode method twice through iTunes on my computer but it is still happening.

  6. Ian Stanley says:

    Avoid the 9.3.1 fix at all costs

    It has rendered my calendar useless on both iPhone and iPad Air 2

    I have been unable to edit calendar appointments since the update was installed

    • Sandy Burnett says:

      Calendar problems here too. I add an event on iPad and does show on iPad calendar: however, it does show on iPhone 5 calendar.

    • Peggy Roth says:

      Ever since I “updated” to 9.3.1, I can’t add diddly to my iPhone calendar. I thought I was adding a whole new series of appointments, and nothing showed up. I turned my iPhone off and back on; still nothing. Major pain.

  7. Sonya says:

    I am unable to download the new update 9.3.1. It keeps stating that there was an error uploading. Anyone able to help,

  8. Rob says:

    STILL not able to complete an iCloud backup (auto or manual) with my iPhone 5s. Same symptom as others – spins for a while saying “About 4 minutes remaining”, then it stops saying the last backup could not be completed. How do you break backup? More important: how do you break backup and not fix it?!?

  9. Phred says:

    Copy and Paste are still not functional. Funny how the problem has been with us since ios 5!

  10. Daniela says:

    I have iPhone 6 and iPad Pro. Both experiencing problems after I upgraded to 9.3. Upgraded to 9.3.1 last night via the devices. Both work fine, no more broken links and freezing apps. \0/
    Thank you for keeping us posted.

  11. John says:

    I remember years ago when Apple released updates there was usually a long period of time between them as the updates had been thoroughly tested and were stable. I now sometimes think they just release to irritate users. How many times have they released new or revised features only to not have them work incorrectly when there was nothing wrong with the old feature. Photos and iPhoto is a perfect example. Microsoft has done the same thing with Office. In an attempt to make the Windows and Mac versions similar, the Mac version has lost some features or had functionality reduced.

  12. Danica D says:

    I updated my phone with this latest update. It worked perfectly fine for a couple of hours. The crashing and everything. But I experienced it again. It’s kinda frustrating already. I’m actually looking for a 9.2.1 ipsw.

  13. Alice Kovler says:

    Since I had my iPhone updated to the 9.3.1 at the apple store, I haven’t been able to use my phone! Voices just break up.

    Any easy ideas?

  14. Scofield says:

    Hi, after updating the 9.3.1 this morning, the update did not solve the issue of my crashing. Still having the same problem, what went wrong ?? Please advise.

    • Katbel says:

      Have you updated using iTunes? It’s always better than doing the update directly from the iPhone or iPad , in case you used the last one

  15. ERROL dellit says:

    I tried all the published solutions and nothing worked. As a last resort did a complete restore and starting off as new phone worked. Bit of a pain but back up was good and I at least got rid of a lot of photos and junk that I had accumulated. Not game to try and install 9.3.1 just yet.

  16. Lynn says:

    9.3.1 was the version that locked out my husband hubs out of his iPad 2. Nice to know that Apple can produce one update to fix problems for some but creates more for others. This also has been my experience about 50% of the time with new “fixes.” It fixes one problem but creates another one. Is it too much to ask to get one “fix” right before creating the need for another?

  17. Dolly says:

    Not available either on iTunes or my phone as of 8:30 p.m. PDT

  18. Kay says:

    Thank you SO much for letting us know. I have to say, I found the best info on this whole fiasco here on osXdaily. I’m glad I signed up for your email updates. You kept me informed daily on what was up with this. I was relieved to see the email today from you saying there a now a fix. Links not working was driving me crazy!

  19. Ron Hinds says:

    Yep, works great.
    Nice job folks and speedy too.
    I wonder how long it would take one of those android machines to make a similar correction… couple weeks, a month?

  20. Martin T. says:

    I was still having the same problem after updating to ios 9.3.1 from itunes as I had with updating ios 9.3 (itunes and cable symbol). I updated using using IPSW and it worked! Many thanks!

  21. Philip Allery says:

    My old iPad is just whiring away on the download
    It does not seem to want to download
    I hope it does so because it is so annoying without the search engine links

  22. Chris T. says:

    Just updated to 9.3.1 and I’m still seeing broken links inside of any application installed on my 5S. Doesn’t matter if I use Chrome, Safari, hit a link in Facebook, the web page just loads and eventually times out.

    Upgraded from 9.2.1 where everything was working like normal.

  23. KK says:

    Hallelujah, finally its fixed !

  24. katbel says:

    Great: links with 9.3.1 work again in Mail , Safari and messages! Thanks for providing the direct links .
    It was impossible to download the update from iTunes. I guess because too many users were doing it at the same time.
    From what I read the issue was affecting mostly the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and iPad Pro where 3d touch is in use
    I have an iPad Air2 that didn’t have any issue while my iPhone 6s had the problem

    • Paul says:

      You’re welcome, glad you have everything working again!

      Let us know if you find any issues with iOS 9.3.1, so far it seems trouble-free

    • Luis says:

      I have an iphone 6s and did not have the unresponsive links problem. I heard it was related to some 3rd party apps, not 3D touch. I also own an Ipad Air (1st gen, no touch ID) and didn’t have the problem there either, nor did I have the activation problem, despite that the iPad Air was included in the list of devices for which a second build of iOS 9.3 was released on march 28th to correct it. I didn’t have to install that update and don’t think I need 9.3.1 either. I guess I was lucky

      • Katbel says:

        I guess you were lucky ! I had on both devices , -deleted on the iPhone- and did affect the iPhone 6s but not the iPadair2 that is still on 9.3 with booking and will not get the update since I read others had problems after the update..sic
        If it works why changing it?

  25. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Apple had to race against the April Fools iOS release?

    Hope it works for those crashing.

    • Paul says:

      iOS 9.3.1 hangs on “Verifying Update” for a while longer than usual, then it reboots onto the  Apple logo where you will see a very slow moving progress bar.

      That is normal behavior, just let it sit tight. It will update.

      Always backup before updating your iPhone and iPad!

  26. BuffyzDead says:

    at 27 MB,
    this is a handful of lines, of code

    Did not experience the bug before (and don’t know anyone in my circles who did)

    and post the update, the bug is still NOT there

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