Disabling website previews in Safari prevents potentially dangerous sites from loading content, which can help make you safer online.
Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac lets you preview a link without leaving your current page, just to see what’s behind it. Although enabled by default, this feature may affect security. The preview loads as if you clicked on the article, which could trigger a dangerous website.
Follow the procedure on how to stop the Safari browser from loading website previews on your Apple devices. With this option disabled, you will be able to display the URL of links instead, to verify that they are safe before loading them.
How to Disable Safari Previews on an iPhone or iPad
To preview a website in Safari for iOS or iPadOS, long-press a link to load a preview and open the context menu. From there, you can tap the preview to follow the link and leave your current page.
Disabling website previews will ensure that a potentially dangerous destination will only load if you specifically click on it. To do this, touch and hold a URL to preview it, then select Hide preview in the upper right corner. (This option is easy to overlook because it doesn’t look like a standard button at all.)
This will hide website previews for all future links on this device. Touching and holding a link will now display the actual URL instead of the preview. To turn the preview back on, choose Tap to preview in the upper left corner of the menu. Toggle website previews is one of the many tips and tricks to improve Safari.
How to Disable Safari Previews on a Mac
If your Mac trackpad supports Force Touch, force-click a link in Safari to preview it without leaving your current page. You can even scroll through web content in the preview like you would in a normal Safari window! If your Mac doesn’t support it, you can preview the links using the Find Data Detectors shortcut, which is usually tied to a three-finger tap.
Unfortunately, disabling website previews requires disabling this shortcut. Launch System PreferencesChoose Touchpadand select the Point and click tongue. Uncheck the box next to Find Data Detectors.
If you want to view a link’s URL without previewing it, you can Control-click a link and choose Copy link in the menu to copy the URL to the clipboard. From there, paste the link to Safari’s or Spotlight’s address bar to view it. Alternatively, just hover over a link in Safari and the destination URL appears at the bottom of the window (you may need to enable the status bar feature by choosing Show status bar from Safari See menu).
Why website previews are bad for security
The security implications of website previews should not be overlooked. Seeing where a link takes you without leaving the current context saves you time, but it also introduces a dangerous new attack vector. And with that in mind, I highly recommend that you increase your web browsing security by disabling website previews in Safari. As always, you’ll have to figure out for yourself if losing this feature is a worthwhile trade-off.