15 Ways to Fix Safari Translation Not Working on iPhone and iPad

By Dave Johnson - Executive Editor
5 Min Read

Follow these simple troubleshooting steps to fix Safari web page translation feature if it isn’t working properly on your iPhone or iPad.

Safari now comes with a translation feature baked into the browser, making it easier than ever to translate a web page on iPhone and iPad.

Once enabled, text is translated in-line on the webpage that you’re viewing. It’s a handy tool if you want to read websites that are written in different languages, and it’s available right in the address bar in Safari. However, Safari is not immune to issues. Recently, several users have reported that Safari translation is not working on their iPhone or iPad. If you also find Safari unable to translate web pages, we’ll show you how to fix it.

Best Tips to Fix Safari Translation Not Working on iPhone and iPad

Here’s how you can fix Safari if it’s not translating web pages on iPhone and iPad.

1. What are the Requirements for Using Safari Translation?

You can use Apple’s native web page translation feature inside Safari on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac running iOS 14 or later, iPadOS 14 or later, or macOS Big Sur or later.

2. Safari Translation Supported Languages

If you don’t see the language for translation in Safari, make sure the language is supported. Safari web page translation supported languages include:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

3. Right Way to Enable and Use Safari Translation

  1. Launch Safari on your iPhone or iPad, then visit a webpage that’s in a language you’d like to translate and watch for the address bar to indicate that a translation is available.
  2. Tap the aA button in the far-left of the address bar, then select Translate to [Language] in the dropdown menu. If you don’t see the option, the webpage either isn’t compatible with Safari’s translation feature or the language isn’t supported.
  3. The first time you do this, Apple will ask your permission to process your request. Tap Enable Translation.
  4. To view the original non-translated webpage, select View Original in the address bar options panel. You also have the option to Report Translation Issue if you see one.

4. Add more language to Safari translation

Apple says that "the availability of translations and the number of languages that can be translated may vary by country or region."

With that in mind, you can have more options for Safari translation by adding that language to your system’s language settings.

Go to Settings > General > Language & Region > Add Language and select a language. Now, you can choose to set this new language as your primary system language for all menus, settings, and everything. However, if you only need to use it for translation, tap **Use English **(or your current system language). This will add the new language to your iPhone but still keep English as the primary system language.

Now go to Safari, and it should automatically refresh your open web pages. After that, follow the above steps, and you will see Translate Website instead of Translate to English. Tap Translate Website and pick a language.

5. Close Safari and then reopen it

Closing and reopening Safari can fix minor software bugs preventing the app from translating web pages.

If your iPhone has a Home button, double-press it to open the app switcher. If your iPhone doesn’t have a Home button, swipe up from the bottom to the center of the screen. Hold your finger in the center of the screen until the app switcher opens.

Then, swipe Safari up and off the top of the screen. You’ll know Safari is closed when it no longer appears in the app switcher.

Open Safari again to see if it can translate web pages. If it’s not, move onto the next step!

6. Update your iPhone

Apple frequently releases updates to fix existing bugs and introduce new features. Ensure that your iPhone has the latest version of iOS. Since Safari is part of iOS, updating will also update Safari if there are updates to Safari. You can check for updates by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update, follow the instructions and update your iPhone. Simply tap the Update Now button and follow the steps. After updating, open Safari and check if you can use the translate feature.

7. Restart your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can fix a variety of small software issues, including one that may be preventing Safari translation from working.

  • iPhone X and later: Press the side button and the volume up button until the Power Off slider appears. Slide it, then wait 30 seconds. Press the side button until the Apple logo appears.
  • iPhone 6S, 7, 8 or SE(2nd or 3rd gen): Press and hold the side button until the Power Off slider appears. Slide it, then wait 30 seconds. Press the side button until the Apple logo appears.

8. Clear website data and cache

If your issue continues, delete website data in Safari to try to fix this problem. Following the steps below will erase history, cookies, cache and other web data. You should also note that when you do this, the data will also be erased from your other devices signed into the same iCloud account.

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Safari.
  2. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
  3. Tap Clear History to confirm.

9. Clear All Website Data

On many occasions, I have managed to fix issues related to Safari by clearing all website data.

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.
  2. Go to Safari and scroll all the way to down and tap Advanced.
  3. Tap Website Data.
  4. Tap Remove All Website Data.

10. Disable Safari Extensions

Your Safari extensions may cause this problem because one of your extensions may be causing a conflict. Turn off your Safari extensions to see if they are the problem.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Safari.
  3. Tap Extensions.
  4. Turn off all of the extensions.

Now, force-quit Safari and open again. If Safari is now working, this means that one or more of your extensions are causing your problem. What you can do is to turn on extensions one by one until you find the problematic one. When you find it, you can update or delete the associated app to fix your problem. If Safari is not working still, you can now enable your extensions.

11. Check that JavaScript is enabled

Should Safari translation continue to misbehave, check that JavaScript is enabled.

  1. Open Settings and tap on Safari.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Advanced.
  3. If JavaScript is off, toggle the switch to turn it on.

12. Disable/Enable Translation

If you still can’t translate in Safari, try turning it off and on.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap the aA button in the far-left of the address bar, and deselect “Translate to [your language]”.
  3. Now, force quit Safari (swipe up from the Home Bar to bring up the App Switcher -> swipe up Safari).
  4. Next, launch Safari -> Tap the aA button in the far-left of the address bar, then select Translate to [Language] in the dropdown menu. If you don’t see the option, the webpage either isn’t compatible with Safari’s translation feature or the language isn’t supported.

13. Check for VPN and security software

Sometimes VPN can interfere with Safari functionality.

  • Open Settings, then tap on General.
  • Tap on VPN & Device Management, then tap VPN.
  • Look for any VPN that may be installed. If you have VPN software, you can delete it or contact the developer for more information about how the software could be affecting Safari web page translation feature.
  • Also, look at Settings > General > Profiles. If this option doesn’t exist, you don’t have any profiles installed. If you see something here, it may have been installed by the system administrator for your company, and you should talk to them.

14. Check if restrictions are turned on on your iPhone or iPad

It is possible you’ve turned on restrictions on your iPhone. Make sure that Web Content is not restricted. Here is how you can check this:

  • Go to Settings -> Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  • Tap Content Restrictions, then Web Content.
  • Ensure that the “Unrestricted” option is not selected.

15. Reset All Settings

If you are still having this issue, reset all settings and then try again.

To reset all Settings on your iPhone or iPad, head to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone (iPad) > Reset > Reset all Settings.

Safari Translation: Working again

You’ve fixed the problem and Safari translation is working again. Now you can get back to translating your favorite websites! Make sure to share this article on social media, or leave a comment down below if you have any other questions about your iPhone.

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By Dave Johnson Executive Editor
Dave Johnson is the editor-in-chief at GeeksChalk where he oversees all of site’s evergreen content to ensure it’s up to date with the latest information. Hailing from New Jersey in the US, he has over seven years of experience in the tech journalism space and holds a degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Dave can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.
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