How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Apple has shifted its focus from 3D Touch to Haptic Touch, making link previewing possible on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or iPadOS. However, I often find this functionality annoying. This led me to explore ways to disable link previews on iOS 13 and iPadOS.

How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

The ability to peek into links using native apps like Safari, Mail, and Notes is convenient when I want to save time by not opening webpages unnecessarily.

However, the large preview pane can be a hindrance when I want to open a link in a new tab, copy it to my clipboard, or perform other actions associated with the 3D/Haptic Touch gesture.

Additionally, activating link previews prevents me from seeing the full URLs. This means I can’t verify if a previewed link is legitimate or potentially malicious. Users of the Mail app should be cautious.

Furthermore, previewing links also uses up bandwidth. If you have a limited mobile data plan, frequent peeking into links could exceed your data limits.

Turning off link previews is easy if you know where to look.

Turning Off Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Start by previewing a link in any native iOS or iPadOS app that supports the functionality, like Safari, Mail, Messages, or Notes. When the link preview appears, tap the Hide Preview label in the upper-right corner of the preview pane. It may be small and difficult to spot, especially in dark mode.

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How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOSHow to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

That’s it. The preview pane will disappear, and you will see the actual URL and context menu. iOS 13 and iPadOS will remember your preference and hide previews when you perform a 3D/Haptic Touch gesture on any subsequent link. Link previews will also be disabled in all other native iOS and iPadOS apps, so you won’t have to disable this functionality in each app individually.

How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Note: Older versions of iOS 13 and iPadOS had the option to disable link previews as a context menu item. Re-enabling link previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS is easy. Perform a 3D Touch or Haptic Touch gesture on any link in Safari, Notes, Mail, etc. Then, tap the “Tap to Show Preview” option at the top of the link URL box, and you are back in business. The setting will apply to other apps automatically.

In addition to native iOS 13 and iPadOS apps, you may also find the ability to preview links in certain third-party apps. However, these apps may not let you disable link previews. This was the case with Firefox for iOS at the time of writing this post. If you come across such an app, you must wait for the update that provides built-in means to disable the functionality.

Bonus Tip – Reduce 3D Touch/Haptic Touch Sensitivity

Sometimes, the 3D Touch or Haptic Touch gesture can activate even when you tap on a link to open it. This can be very annoying. To prevent this from happening, you can adjust the sensitivity of 3D Touch or Haptic Touch.

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To do this, go to iPhone/iPad Settings > Accessibility > Touch > 3D & Haptic Touch (or Haptic Touch). On the next screen, you can manage the sensitivity of 3D Touch and Haptic Touch on your device. If your device only supports Haptic Touch, you will only see sensitivity controls for Haptic Touch.

Adjust the slider underneath 3D Touch Sensitivity to Medium or Firm to prevent accidental 3D Touch gestures caused by light presses on the screen.

How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

If you use Haptic Touch (or have a device that only supports Haptic Touch), choose Slow under Touch Duration. This will make it necessary to press and hold an item slightly longer for Haptic Touch gestures to work.

How to Disable Link Previews in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Keep in mind that these changes to 3D Touch/Haptic Touch will apply throughout iOS 13 and iPadOS, not just to the link preview/link context menu gesture.

Quit Snooping Around

Link previews can be a major distraction when accessing context menu items. They pose a privacy and security risk. Turn off link previews if you get tired of them. You can easily turn the functionality back on if needed.

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