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All Devices ios 13.x URL sharing/copy/paste problem - incorrectly prefixing with link text

jtara

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2009
1,979
526
I've encountered a strange problem lately not sure exactly when it started, I think a fairly recent iOS update. (Not the most recent last week.)

I often share URLs from various apps (mostly news apps) with friends. I typically use iMessage or Signal, but really doesn't matter, as the same problem occurs even when using Safari. It doesn't happen in EVERY app, I think just some. Best is to give an example:

- Reading news in CNN app, and I want to share an article

- I use the "upload" or "share" icon in top menu bar (box with arrow pointing up) to: share via iMessage, Signal, Safari, or even just Copy and then Paste somewhere. (I used Notes for this example)

- The URL is improperly prefixed by the title of the article

Real example from today, the story title is:

"The bizarre story of a man who tried to murder a 600-year-old tree"

(Boy, was it hard to find a non-controversial article as an example. e.g. one not about Trump, protests, or Covid-19...)

So, I copy, and paste into Notes and I get:

The bizarre story of a man who tried to murder a 600-year-old tree

If I'm pasting into Notes, or an email, OK, this is fine... It adds the URL text part which is useful in that scenario.

It is less than useful when opening Safari, sending an iMessage, or Signal message!

When opening in Safari, Safari will wind-up doing a search, and so SOMETIMES will find the article via search. (But sometimes won't because Google hasn't been updated yet, say if it's breaking news).

Workarounds:

- Search, as I mentioned above (not great)
- Remove the extraneous prefixed text (easier said than done, with new editing gestures that I have yet to figure out...) (also not great)
- Add To Reading List actually works as it should (still not great, I have to read via Safari reading list, copy/paste from the Safari URL bar)

Surely, others have noticed this?

Previously (maybe a month ago?) I had URLs messed up (but benignly) in a different way, there was a query parameter (suffix after a ?) on the URLs with something like "from=ui.pasteboard". Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly what was there previously, because I didn't copy any of the URLs as it was just mildly annoying, and did no harm. But this is no longer happening. An annoying behavior has been replaced by a much more annoying behavior.

How do I fix this? Is there some new setting that I need to change? Is it possible I have some third-party app that is intercepting the pasteboard and doing these strange things?

I do have another problem that COULD be somehow related: I seem to have some ad blocker installed that removes many (but not all) ads from apps (but NOT Safari!). Some ads get through, some don't (white space) and some (on CNN in particular) play the sound that goes with an ad, but doesn't show the video. I've previously had a couple of ad blockers installed, but have removed them. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble, because it often messes with the page layout. I just removed Firefox Focus, but actually didn't have it's Safari ad blocking enabled in Safari settings. I honestly don't remember which ad blocker I had installed previously, it was years ago, one of the first ones. (Probably the first one, I don't remember it was so long ago, it was some nonprofit or university project?) But I think that's a completely separate problem, particularly because ads are NOT blocked on my iPhone, but ARE on my iPad. The copy/paste problem occurs on both.)

Both devices are on iOS 13.6.1. The problem has been with me since at least 13.6, maybe version before that.

I wonder if Apple made some changes that many developers (but practically all the major news apps? Doesn't make sense...) haven't caught up with?
 
Last edited:

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,975
2,836
East of the sun, west of the moon
I tried to reproduce what you're describing for the link paste by doing these steps on my iPad Pro 13.6.1:

1 - opened Safari and went to cnn.com
2 - found the 600 year old tree story
3 - opened the share sheet and selected Copy
4 - opened Notes, created a new Note, tapped in an open area and selected Paste

Only the link was pasted, not the title.

If I tap on Messages in the share sheet, or copy and paste into Messages, it displays a small Safari link bubble that shows the title. I think that's normal behavior.

1598836576476.png
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 23, 2009
1,979
526
Only the link was pasted, not the title.

If I tap on Messages in the share sheet, or copy and paste into Messages, it displays a small Safari link bubble that shows the title. I think that's normal behavior.

Thank you for doing the experiment!

Yes, that is the expected behavior, and what I had until recently. And I DO still get the expected behavior with SOME apps. (I will make a note the next time...)

Something is messed up with MY device(s)/account then.

BTW, I was wrong about the other issue (missing ads) being only on my iPad. It's on my iPhone as well.

Would you mind one more experiment? Can you share to Safari, and examine the link in the URL bar? Does it have the from=ui.pasteview stuff at the end?

I'm guessing there must be some app that is messing with the pasteboard.
 

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,975
2,836
East of the sun, west of the moon
Thank you for doing the experiment!

Yes, that is the expected behavior, and what I had until recently. And I DO still get the expected behavior with SOME apps. (I will make a note the next time...)

Something is messed up with MY device(s)/account then.

BTW, I was wrong about the other issue (missing ads) being only on my iPad. It's on my iPhone as well.

Would you mind one more experiment? Can you share to Safari, and examine the link in the URL bar? Does it have the from=ui.pasteview stuff at the end?

I'm guessing there must be some app that is messing with the pasteboard.
I'm happy to help you out, but I don't have a share to Safari option. I copied the link from Messages and pasted it into a Note, and the only extension is .html.
 
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