The problem appears to happen whenever someone tries to enter in a search term in the address bar, thus pulling up Apple's Search Suggestions feature.
Search Suggestions works by talking to massive servers at Apple, it appears as though a number of devices around the world are struggling to contact that server and as a result the browser just crashes.
Frustrated users have taken to Twitter to highlight the problem:
Why is my bloody safari not working?😢— Dan Èllis (@xellisdan) January 27, 2016
Seems like a lot of people are having trouble with Safari, anyone know the reason why?— James Carter (@jman7020) January 27, 2016
Is anybody else having issues with Safari on their iPhone? Mine won't load/let me do anything. As soon as I try to type anything, it closes.— Rita Skeeter (@MindyReininger) January 27, 2016
How To Fix The Safari Crash Bug:
Don't panic though, there's an easy fix:
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down and tap on Safari
- Turn off the box that says 'Safari Suggestions'
These three steps will effectively remove the connection between Safari and Apple's servers letting you use the browser without the feature inevitably crashing the browser.
It's important to note that not everyone appears to be affected by the problem so it may be that you're able to use the browser just fine.
Others have reported that a potential fix could come in the form of using Apple's Private Browsing feature. This disables Search Suggestions by default and saves you having to go into Settings to disable it manually.
There's been no official word from Apple on the bug but it's likely that they're already working on a fix.
Only yesterday a website bug was found for Safari which meant that if any user entered a specific URL it would crash not just Safari but the iPhone as well.
Apple's most recent software update iOS 9.2.1 actually focused on another bug that had existed since 2013. The vulnerability allowed a hacker to create a fake WiFi login page which could then collect personal information entered by the user.
The small but vital update closed this loophole along with a number of others highlighted by Google's bug-hunting team.