My wife went to a site that tries to load a PDF that crashes Safari for iPad. After trying to load Safari again, it tries to open up all of the tabs again including the one that is crashing Safari. While its loading the tab it locks everything up so I can't switch tabs. How do I break this endless cycle? How can I close this tab or have Safari not try to reopen this tab? Is it possible to do this without losing the history?

5 Answers 5

  • Force-quit Safari (double-tap the home button, then tap and hold on the Safari icon until it shakes, then tap the red minus sign).

  • Go to Settings > Safari.

  • Tap Clear History.

This should clear out all open tabs.

  • Thanks. That's what I was afraid I would have to do, but I really didn't want to clear out the history. Fortunately, I stumbled upon another way of doing this that lets me have my cake and eat it too. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 14:07
  • 1
    @JasonThompson There is no mention in your original question that you wanted to preserve your history.
    – Bryan Luby
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 14:15
  • Thanks for mentioning that. I wasn't sure if clearing the history was the only option so I didn't preemptively discount that option. In any case, I updated my question so that others wanting to do the same without losing their history can find this question more easily. Thanks for the feedback. Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 18:29

I struggled through this last night and stumbled upon a solution. Go to Settings > Safari. Turn on private browsing. It will ask you if you want to close all tabs before turning on private browsing. Touch 'yes'. Next turn private browsing back off. Voila! The browser works again!


I know this question is nearly 5 years old, but in case someone else comes along with the same question... I've had this happen to me a few times, here's what you do.

Completely close Safari (i.e. after hitting the Home button, double-press the Home button to close it completely and remove it from memory). Then go into Settings and turn on Airplane Mode.

Now enter Safari, it will probably complain that it can't load the webpage either because it has no internet connection or because Airplane Mode is on. Since Safari has no internet connection, it can't load the tabs, including whatever code is blocking you from closing tabs, and including the code that's crashing Safari.

Now you can close the troublesome tab. All that's left is to turn Airplane Mode off again, and presto, the troublesome tab is gone while the tabs you want are still safe.

  • Good one. I would have just had him clear his history and website data. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 21:35

If you know what site froze Safari, go to Settings Safari Advanced, press Edit and scroll down till you find the site, then delete its data. If the site is YouTube or some similar "big" site, it will be easy to find. This worked for me.


Safari stopped being stuck when I began to recharge my iPad. And there was no need to reset anything, or to wipe the History. No open tabs were lost either.

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