iOS 9.3 Links not Working: How to Fix
Recently, we reported on how iOS 9.3 was still suffering from severe software bugs, even after seven publicly conducted beta tests. The firmware update has users complain that their links are not working properly in the Safari web browser as of the iOS 9.3 update. The broken link problem frustrates a large amount of users and was caused by a faulty update of the Booking.com travel planning app. Apparently, an overload in Apple’s “Universal Links” core system in iOS was the result of Booking.com integrating a large URL list file in the update. Any user who ran this problematic version of the app on iOS 9.3 is now suffering from the problem. The latest version of the app is fixed, but updating doesn’t solve the problem for already affected users. There is a workaround, however. Here’s how to fix the “links not working” problem on iOS 9.3 as caused by the Booking.com app until Apple releases an update for the issue.
Prerequisites: You’ll need a computer running iTunes, be it a Mac or a Windows PC. You will also need a USB charging/sync cable.
How to fix the broken link problem on iOS 9.3
If you are currently affected by dead links or broken links in Safari as of iOS 9.3, simply uninstalling the Booking.com application containing the problematic code will not solve your problem. There is also the possibility that you are affected from simply using the preinstalled Mail app or Messages app, which both cannot be uninstalled of course.
The following workaround should help to fix crashes in iOS 9.3 that are caused by tapping links in a web browser.
1. First of all, we will need to uninstall the Booking.com app from your iPhone, if it is still installed. Press and hold the Booking.com app icon on your Home Screen and tap the tiny “X” at the corner of the icon to uninstall the app.
2. Now swipe up from the bottom of your screen to bring up the Control Center, then tap the Airplane Mode icon to turn off all wireless connectivity.
3. Connect your iPhone to a PC or Mac running iTunes using the aforementioned USB cable.
4. Reboot your iPhone (How to reboot an iPhone)
5. On the PC/Mac: If you are unable to find the Booking.com app in the app section of the iTunes application on your computer, download the app to your computer, via the iTunes Store.
6. Make sure you keep Airplane Mode enabled on the iPhone.
7. Back on the PC/Mac: Sync the Booking.com app to your iPhone by selecting the device in iTunes, clicking Apps in the sidebar and searching for the freshly downloaded Booking.com app. Then click Install. You can finish up by clicking Sync in the bottom right corner.
8. After the installation of the Booking.com app on the iPhone has gone through, open it on the iPhone by tapping the corresponding app icon.
9. Double-press the iPhone’s Home Button to get to the App Switcher.
Close the Safari app and the Booking.com app by swiping up on their previews.
10. You can now delete the Booking.com app once more, as we’ve already done in the very first step.
11. Disable Airplane Mode to let your iPhone access the internet again.
If you had experienced problems with clicking/tapping on links in the Safari browser on iOS 9.3, these issues should now be resolved. Some users have reported success after several tries with this method, so feel free to try again if the first attempt doesn’t appear to help. It appears as if a certain timing is helpful so that all of the affected caches are deleted appropriately.