Disabling Link Previews in iOS 13+

The changes to iOS 13+ have brought several great features. Safari’s new Link Preview feature can cause you send information when previewing a link. This feature is exposed in iOS built-in applications including Message and Mail. However, this could expose a potential risk to users.

What are the risks?

In the case when you are dealing with determining a hyperlink is legitimate or not, viewing a link is a common method. Link Preview will create a small browser session on screen in order to display the page contents. This can be an issue in an example where the link contains information used to identify delivery to an address.

As an example, we have a link you aren’t sure about if you should click. Common sense at this point means you should just delete the email. Let us assume you trust the sender enough to want to check what the link is pointing to. You would normally just tap and hold on the link, however with link preview it will browse to the page.



How do you turn off Link Previews in Safari?

Sadly it is not made available through Safari settings, you have to use a link to disable the behavior. 

  1. Open Safari
  2. Use a favorite on your Safari home screen or go to a safe website.
  3. Tap and hold on the hyperlink until the link preview window appears.
  4. Depending on what version of iOS you are using, the screen will look different.
If you are using iOS 13.2+ (pictures demonstrated from iPad)
  1. At the top right of the preview window, you will see “Hide preview”.
  2. Selecting the Hide preview option will then change the preview pane to only display the related URL selected.

If you are using iOS 13.0-13.1.* (demonstrated from iPhone)
  1. Scrolling to the bottom of options and you will see “Hide Link Previews”
  2. Just as in the iOS 13.2+ change, the preview window only displays the URL of the selected hyperlink.


Interested in learning more about the other udpates? Check out the guide available here.

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