iphone <meta - How to disable phone number linking in Mobile Safari?

name="format-detection" content="telephone=no"> (21)

A trick I use that works on more than just Mobile Safari is to use HTML escape codes and a little mark-up in the phone number. This makes it more difficult for the browser to "identify" a phone number, i.e.

Phone: 1-8&#48;&#48;<span>-</span>62&#48;<span>-</span>38&#48;3

Safari on iPhone automatically creates links for strings of digits that appear to the telephone numbers. I am writing a web page containing an IP address, and Safari is turning that into a phone number link. Is it possible to disable this behavior for a whole page or an element on a page?

This answer trumps everything as of 6-13-2012:

<a href="#" style="color: #666666; 
                   text-decoration: none;
                   pointer-events: none;">
  Boca Raton, FL 33487

Change the color to whatever matches your text, text decoration removes the underline, pointer events stops it from being viewed like a link in a browser (pointer doesn't change to a hand)

This is perfect for HTML emails on ios and browser.

You could try encoding them as HTML entities:

&#48; = 0
&#57; = 9

This seems to be the right thing to do, according to the Safari HTML Reference:

<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">

If you disable this but still want telephone links, you can still use the "tel" URI scheme.

Here is the relevant page at Apple's Developer Library.

I was really confused by this for a while but finally figured it out. We made updates to our site and had some numbers converting to a link and some weren't. Turns out that numbers won't be converted to a link if they're in a <fieldset>. Obviously not the right solution for most circumstances, but in some it will be the right one.

I had an ABN (Australian Business Number) that iPad Safari insisted on turning into a phone number link. None of the suggestions helped. My solution was to put img tags between the numbers.

ABN 98<img class="PreventSafariFromTurningIntoLink" /> 009<img /> 675<img /> 709

The class exists only to document what the img tags are for.

Works on iPad 1 (4.3.1) and iPad 2 (4.3.3).

I too have this problem: Safari and other mobile browsers transform the VAT IDs into phone numbers. So I want a clean method to avoid it on a single element, not the whole page (or site).
I'm sharing a possible solution I found, it is suboptimal but still it is pretty viable: I put, inside the number I don't want to become a tel: link, the &#8288; HTML entity which is the Word-Joiner invisible character. I tried to stay more semantic (well, at least a sort of) by putting this char in some meaning spot, e.g. for the VAT ID I chose to put it between the different groups of digit according to its format so for an Italian VAT I wrote: 0613605&#8288;048&#8288;8 which renders in 0613605⁠048⁠8 and it is not transformed in a telephone number.

I have tested this myself and found that it works although it is certainly not an elegant solution. Inserting an empty span in the phone number will prevent the data detectors from turning it into a link.

(604) 555<span></span> -4321

Same problem in Sencha Touch app solved with meta tag (<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">) in index.html of app.

To disable phone number detection on part of a page, wrap the affected text in an anchor tag with href="#". If you do this, mobile Safari and UIWebView should leave it alone.

<a href="#"> 1234567 </a>

Another option is to replace the hyphens in your phone number by the character (U+2011 'Unicode Non-Breaking Hyphen')

I was having the same problem. I found a property on the UIWebView that allows you to turn off the data detectors.

self.webView.dataDetectorTypes = UIDataDetectorTypeNone;

My experience is the same as some others mentioned. The meta tag...

<meta name = "format-detection" content = "telephone=no">

...works when the website is running in Mobile Safari (i.e., with chrome) but stops working when run as a webapp (i.e., is saved to home screen and runs without chrome).

My less-than-ideal solution is to insert the values into input fields...

<input type="text" readonly="readonly" style="border:none;" value="3105551212">

It's less than ideal because, despite the border being set to none, iOS renders a multi-pixel gray bar above the field. But, it's better than seeing the number as a link.

You can also use the <a> label with javascript: void(0) as href value.

Example as follow:
<a href="javascript: void(0)">+44 456 77 89 87</a>

Break the number down into separate blocks of text

301 <div style="display:inline-block">441</div> 3909

I had the same problem, but on an iPad web app.

Unfortunately, neither...

 <meta name = "format-detection" content = "telephone=no">

nor ...

&#48; = 0
&#57; = 9

... worked.

But, here's three ugly hacks:

  • replacing the number "0" with the letter "O"
  • replacing the number "1" with the letter "l"
  • insert a meaningless span: e.g., 555.5<span>5</span>5.5555

Depending on the font you use, the first two are barely noticeable. The latter obviously involves superfluous code, but is invisible to the user.

Kludgy hacks for sure, and probably not viable if you're generating your code dynamically from data, or if you can't pollute your data this way.

But, sufficient in a pinch.

I use a zero-width joiner &zwj;

Just put that somewhere in the phone number and it works for me. Tested in BrowserStack (and Litmus for emails).

Another solution would be to use an image of the IP number

To disable the phone parsing appearance for specific elements, this CSS seems to do the trick:

.element { pointer-events: none; }
.element > a { text-decoration:none; color:inherit; }

The first rule disables the click, the second takes care of the styling.

Add this, I think it is what you're looking for:

<meta name = "format-detection" content = "telephone=no">

openURL(:) was deprecated in iOS 10.0, instead you should use the following instance method on UIApplication: open(:options:completionHandler:)

Example using Swift
This will open "https://apple.com" in Safari.

if let url = URL(string: "https://apple.com") {
    if UIApplication.shared.canOpenURL(url) {
        UIApplication.shared.open(url, options: [:], completionHandler: nil)


iphone safari mobile-safari