Can’t load certain pages in Safari? Apple’s default web browser is usually a reliable app whether you’re on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. But some users are getting stuck when Safari says it cannot open a page because the address is invalid.
This might happen for every page you visit or it might only affect particular sites, such as YouTube or Facebook. Either way, it’s easy to fix with a few simple troubleshooting steps. We’ll explain exactly what you need to do below.
- 1 Step 1. Test your Internet connection
- 2 Step 2. Refresh the page in Safari
- 3 Step 3. Load the mobile version of a site
- 4 Step 4. Quit Safari and try again
- 5 Step 5. Restart your device
- 6 Step 6. Update to the latest software
- 7 Step 7. Clear your website data from Safari
- 8 Step 8. Change the DNS your device uses
- 9 Open pages faster by speeding up Safari
- Get a desktop-like browsing experience in the new iPadOS version of Safari
- How to fix when Safari gets redirected to Bing on your MacBook
- Safari not working? How to troubleshoot your Safari problems
- How can I make Safari faster on my iPhone, iPad, or Mac?
Step 1. Test your Internet connection
The most common reason people can’t load a web page in Safari is that their Internet connection dropped out. Perhaps you ran out of cellular data or maybe there’s a problem with your Wi-Fi network.
Try to open a few different web pages in Safari on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If any of them load, you know your Internet connection isn’t to blame.
If Safari says the address is invalid for every page you visit, try loading something on a different device or in a different browser instead.
You might discover that nothing loads at all. In which case, there’s probably an issue with your Internet connection. Restart your Wi-Fi router or contact your Internet service provider for help fixing it.
Step 2. Refresh the page in Safari
It’s easy to make a mistake when typing a web address by hand. In fact, it’s so easy that sometimes the links you click on other websites were mistyped by whoever created them.
Take a moment to double-check the web address at the top of Safari. Look out for misspellings or bad punctuation. And make sure you don’t use .com if it should be .org or something else.
When you’re certain the web address is spelled correctly, tap or click the Refresh button in Safari to try loading it again. This is the circular arrow to the right of the address in Safari.
On a Mac, press Option + Cmd + R to try loading that website again without using your saved cache. If this works, follow the instructions below to clear your website data from Safari because you may have a faulty cache.
Step 3. Load the mobile version of a site
Most websites dynamically change how they look on smaller screens, so you can still use them on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It’s possible Safari cannot open a page because it’s trying to load the wrong version for your device.
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch go to Settings > Safari > Request Desktop Website. Choose to turn off the option to Request Desktop Website for all websites. Or if it’s already turned off, try turning it on.
On a Mac, resize your Safari window to change how websites appear. Make sure it’s big enough to view the desktop versions of sites.
Step 4. Quit Safari and try again
Safari might think the address is invalid because the browser is experiencing problems in the background. This happens occasionally with any app. To fix it, quit Safari then open it and try to load the same page again.
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen (or double-click the Home button) to view all your open apps. Slide Safari off the top of the screen to close it.
Make sure you return to the Home screen before you open Safari again, otherwise your device won’t actually close the app.
On a Mac, go to Safari > Quit Safari from the menu bar. Or press Cmd + Q while Safari is your active app. If Safari is unresponsive, press Option + Cmd + Escape to force it to quit instead.
Step 5. Restart your device
If you haven’t already, you should turn your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac off and on before trying to load Safari again. It’s a good idea to quit Safari again before you turn off your device.
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch press and hold the Sleep/Wake button with either Volume button, then slide to power off.
On a Mac, open the Apple menu and select Shut Down, then confirm you want to shut down the Mac.
Wait at least 30 seconds before pressing the Sleep/Wake or Power button to restart your device, re-open Safari, and try loading different pages again.
Step 6. Update to the latest software
Whether you last updated your device a year ago or a week ago, you should check again now for new releases from Apple. If Safari is playing up because of a software bug, Apple should be working hard to release a fix for it.
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch go to Settings > General > Software Update. Download and install any available updates for your device.
On a Mac, open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Software Update. Again, make sure you download and install the latest updates.
Step 7. Clear your website data from Safari
Safari saves all kinds of data from different websites to improve your browsing experience. With so much data, it’s easy for files to become corrupt, which might cause other problems with Safari as well.
You can clear your website data from Safari to try and fix it. When you do this, it deletes your browsing history and empties the cache for websites you’ve visited. But don’t worry, it doesn’t affect your bookmarks or saved passwords.
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch go to Settings > Safari. Scroll down and tap the option to Clear History and Website Data, then confirm you want to clear it in the pop-up menu.
On a Mac, open Safari and go to History > Clear History from the menu bar. Then go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy. Open the Manage Website Data window and choose to Remove All data.
Step 8. Change the DNS your device uses
You can think of your Domain Name System (DNS) as the address book your device uses to find particular websites on the Internet. If Safari cannot open a page because the address is invalid, there might be a problem with your DNS.
You can easily change your device’s default DNS in the settings. There are lots of alternative DNS servers you can use. We recommend Google Public DNS, but you can follow the instructions below to use other DNS servers as well.
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch go to Settings > Wi-Fi. Tap the i button next to your Wi-Fi network then select Configure DNS. Enter the DNS servers of your choice (find the Google Public DNS servers below).
On a Mac, open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Network. Select your Wi-Fi network from the sidebar then go to Advanced > DNS. Enter the DNS servers of your choice (find the Google Public DNS servers below).
For Google Public DNS, add these servers:
Open pages faster by speeding up Safari
As long as Safari can open pages, it’s a fairly good browser. That said, you might find Safari is slow to open pages even if it doesn’t think the address is invalid anymore.
Issues with speed are probably the biggest complaint against Safari. It tends to slow down the more you use it. Luckily, there are lots of steps you can take to make Safari faster, and they only take a few minutes to complete.
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.