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Apple fixes the bug causing Safari to crash on Mac and iOS devices

This hasn’t been a great week for users of Apple’s Safari browser. First there was a link to a prank website that crashes the browser being passed around, and more recently the browser began crashing for a different, entirely unrelated reason.

Some users were finding that Safari crashed every time they tried to enter a search, no matter whether they’re using it on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. A Reddit thread posted this morning has already grown to more than 150 comments, with users noting the crash was happening across different hardware and OS versions.

Updated on 01/27/2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added news of Apple offering a fix for the Safari issue. 

Apple now seems to have fixed the Safari crash bug that affected many users, and according to BBC Newsthe problem may have arisen from Apple’s data centers, instead of the Safari app itself. The fix may take some time to reach all affected iOS users. But if you’re still waiting for the fix, you can go to your Safari settings and hit “Clear history and website data,” and the browser should go back to working like normal.

The bug appeared to be related to Safari Suggestions. When users start to enter text, it is sent to Apple servers in order to retrieve information to autocomplete searches, and this seems to be what caused Safari to crash. If you’re still having issues, avoiding Safari Suggestions is another way around the bug.

Related: Prank website causes Safari to crash and forces iPhones and iPads to reboot

There are two ways to do this. The first is to browse in Private Browsing mode, which causes Safari Suggestions not to be used. Of course, this has its downsides, especially if you frequently visit sites that require you to log in, since you’ll need to log in again every time you return to the site.

A second fix takes slightly more effort, but only slightly: Turn off Safari Suggestions altogether. To do this, simply head to Settings and toggle the Safari Suggestions option off.

Not everyone was affected by the bug, and 9to5 Mac points out that certain data needs to have been cached for the bug to affect you.