WKWebView not loading local files under iOS 8


Ios Problem Overview

For previous iOS 8 betas, load a local web app (in Bundle) and it works fine for both UIWebView and WKWebView, and I even ported a web game using the new WKWebView API.

var url = NSURL(fileURLWithPath:NSBundle.mainBundle().pathForResource("car", ofType:"html"))

webView = WKWebView(frame:view.frame)


But in beta 4, I just got a blank white screen (UIWebView still work), looks like nothing is loaded or executed. I saw an error in the log:

Could not create a sandbox extension for /

Any help to guide me to the right direction? Thanks!

Ios Solutions

Solution 1 - Ios

They finally solved the bug! Now we can use -[WKWebView loadFileURL:allowingReadAccessToURL:]. Apparently the fix was worth some seconds in WWDC 2015 video 504 Introducing Safari View Controller


For iOS8 ~ iOS10 (Swift 3)

As Dan Fabulish's answer states this is a bug of WKWebView which apparently is not being solved any time soon and as he said there is a work-around :)

I am answering just because I wanted to show the work-around here. IMO code shown in https://github.com/shazron/WKWebViewFIleUrlTest is full of unrelated details most people are probably not interested in.

The work-around is 20 lines of code, error handling and comments included, no need of a server :)

func fileURLForBuggyWKWebView8(fileURL: URL) throws -> URL {
    // Some safety checks
    if !fileURL.isFileURL {
        throw NSError(
            domain: "BuggyWKWebViewDomain",
            code: 1001,
            userInfo: [NSLocalizedDescriptionKey: NSLocalizedString("URL must be a file URL.", comment:"")])
    try! fileURL.checkResourceIsReachable()
    // Create "/temp/www" directory
    let fm = FileManager.default
    let tmpDirURL = URL(fileURLWithPath: NSTemporaryDirectory()).appendingPathComponent("www")
    try! fm.createDirectory(at: tmpDirURL, withIntermediateDirectories: true, attributes: nil)
    // Now copy given file to the temp directory
    let dstURL = tmpDirURL.appendingPathComponent(fileURL.lastPathComponent)
    let _ = try? fm.removeItem(at: dstURL)
    try! fm.copyItem(at: fileURL, to: dstURL)
    // Files in "/temp/www" load flawlesly :)
    return dstURL

And can be used as:

override func viewDidLoad() {
    var fileURL = URL(fileURLWithPath: Bundle.main.path(forResource:"file", ofType: "pdf")!)
    if #available(iOS 9.0, *) {
        // iOS9 and above. One year later things are OK.
        webView.loadFileURL(fileURL, allowingReadAccessTo: fileURL)
    } else {
        // iOS8. Things can (sometimes) be workaround-ed
        //   Brave people can do just this
        //   fileURL = try! pathForBuggyWKWebView8(fileURL: fileURL)
        //   webView.load(URLRequest(url: fileURL))
        do {
            fileURL = try fileURLForBuggyWKWebView8(fileURL: fileURL)
            webView.load(URLRequest(url: fileURL))
        } catch let error as NSError {
            print("Error: " + error.debugDescription)

Solution 2 - Ios

WKWebView can't load content from file: URLs via its loadRequest: method. http://www.openradar.me/18039024

You can load content via loadHTMLString:, but if your baseURL is a file: URL, then it still won't work.

iOS 9 has a new API that will do what you want, [WKWebView loadFileURL:allowingReadAccessToURL:].

There is a workaround for iOS 8, demonstrated by shazron in Objective-C here https://github.com/shazron/WKWebViewFIleUrlTest to copy files into /tmp/www and load them from there.

If you're working in Swift, you could try nachos4d's sample instead. (It's also much shorter than shazron's sample, so if you're having trouble with shazron's code, give that a try instead.)

Solution 3 - Ios

An example of how to use [WKWebView loadFileURL:allowingReadAccessToURL:] on iOS 9.

When you are moving the web folder to a project, select "Create folder references"

enter image description here

Then use code that is something like this(Swift 2):

if let filePath = NSBundle.mainBundle().resourcePath?.stringByAppendingString("/WebApp/index.html"){
  let url = NSURL(fileURLWithPath: filePath)
  if let webAppPath = NSBundle.mainBundle().resourcePath?.stringByAppendingString("/WebApp") {
    let webAppUrl = NSURL(fileURLWithPath: webAppPath, isDirectory: true)
    webView.loadFileURL(url, allowingReadAccessToURL: webAppUrl)

In the html file use filepaths like this

<link href="bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">

not like this

<link href="/bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">

An example of directory that is moved to a xcode project.

enter image description here

Solution 4 - Ios

Temporary workaround: I'm using GCDWebServer, as suggested by GuidoMB.

I first find the path of my bundled "www/" folder (which contains an "index.html"):

NSString *docRoot = [[NSBundle mainBundle] pathForResource:@"index" ofType:@"html" inDirectory:@"www"].stringByDeletingLastPathComponent;

... then start it up like so:

_webServer = [[GCDWebServer alloc] init];
[_webServer addGETHandlerForBasePath:@"/" directoryPath:docRoot indexFilename:@"index.html" cacheAge:3600 allowRangeRequests:YES];
[_webServer startWithPort:port bonjourName:nil];

To stop it:

[_webServer stop];
_webServer = nil;

Performance appears fine, even on an iPad 2.

I did notice a crash after the app goes into the background, so I stop it on applicationDidEnterBackground: and applicationWillTerminate:; I start/restart it on application:didFinishLaunching... and applicationWillEnterForeground:.

Solution 5 - Ios

[configuration.preferences setValue:@"TRUE" forKey:@"allowFileAccessFromFileURLs"];

This solved the problem for me iOS 8.0+ dev.apple.com

also this seems to worked just fine too...

NSString* FILE_PATH = [[[NSBundle mainBundle] resourcePath]
    loadFileURL: [NSURL fileURLWithPath:FILE_PATH]
    allowingReadAccessToURL: [NSURL fileURLWithPath:FILE_PATH]

Solution 6 - Ios

Besides solutions mentioned by Dan Fabulich, XWebView is another workaround. [WKWebView loadFileURL:allowingReadAccessToURL:] is implemented through extension.

Solution 7 - Ios

I cannot comment yet, so I am posting this as a separate answer.

This is an objective-c version of nacho4d's solution. The best workaround I've seen so far.

- (NSString *)pathForWKWebViewSandboxBugWithOriginalPath:(NSString *)filePath
    NSFileManager *manager = [NSFileManager defaultManager];
    NSString *tempPath = [NSTemporaryDirectory() stringByAppendingPathComponent:@"www"];
    NSError *error = nil;
    if (![manager createDirectoryAtPath:tempPath withIntermediateDirectories:YES attributes:nil error:&error]) {
        NSLog(@"Could not create www directory. Error: %@", error);
        return nil;
    NSString *destPath = [tempPath stringByAppendingPathComponent:filePath.lastPathComponent];
    if (![manager fileExistsAtPath:destPath]) {
        if (![manager copyItemAtPath:filePath toPath:destPath error:&error]) {
            NSLog(@"Couldn't copy file to /tmp/www. Error: %@", error);

            return nil;
    return destPath;

Solution 8 - Ios

In the case that you are trying to display a local image in the middle of a larger HTML string like: <img src="file://...">, it still does not appear on device so I loaded the image file into NSData and was able to display it by replacing the src string with the data itself. Sample code to help build the HTML string to load into WKWebView, where result is what will replace what's inside the quotes of src="":


let pathURL = NSURL.fileURLWithPath(attachmentFilePath)
guard let path = pathURL.path else {
    return // throw error
guard let data = NSFileManager.defaultManager().contentsAtPath(path) else {
    return // throw error

let image = UIImage.init(data: data)
let base64String = data.base64EncodedStringWithOptions(.Encoding64CharacterLineLength)
result += "data:image/" + attachmentType + "base64," + base64String

var widthHeightString = "\""
if let image = image {
    widthHeightString += " width=\"\(image.size.width)\" height=\"\(image.size.height)\""

result += widthHeightString


NSURL *pathURL = [NSURL fileURLWithPath:attachmentFilePath];
NSString *path = [pathURL path];
NSData *data = [[NSFileManager defaultManager] contentsAtPath:path];
UIImage *image = [UIImage imageWithData:data];
NSString *base64String = [data base64EncodedStringWithOptions:0];
[result appendString:@"data:image/"];
[result appendString:attachmentType]; // jpg, gif etc.
[result appendString:@";base64,"];
[result appendString:base64String];
NSString *widthHeightString = @"\"";
if (image) {
    widthHeightString = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"\" width=\"%f\" height=\"%f\"", image.size.width, image.size.height];
[result appendString:widthHeightString];

Solution 9 - Ios

I'm using the below. Has some extra stuff I'm working on but you can see where I've commented out the loadRequest and am substituting loadHTMLString call. Hope this helps until they fix the bug.

import UIKit
import WebKit

class ViewController: UIViewController, WKScriptMessageHandler {
    var theWebView: WKWebView?
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        var path = NSBundle.mainBundle().pathForResource("index", ofType: "html", inDirectory:"www" )
        var url = NSURL(fileURLWithPath:path)
        var request = NSURLRequest(URL:url)
        var theConfiguration = WKWebViewConfiguration()
        theConfiguration.userContentController.addScriptMessageHandler(self, name: "interOp")
        theWebView = WKWebView(frame:self.view.frame, configuration: theConfiguration)
        let text2 = String.stringWithContentsOfFile(path, encoding: NSUTF8StringEncoding, error: nil)
        theWebView!.loadHTMLString(text2, baseURL: nil)
    func appWillEnterForeground() {
    func appDidEnterBackground() {

    override func didReceiveMemoryWarning() {
        // Dispose of any resources that can be recreated.

    func userContentController(userContentController: WKUserContentController!, didReceiveScriptMessage message: WKScriptMessage!){
        println("got message: \(message.body)")

Solution 10 - Ios

For who must workaround this issue under iOS8:

If your page is not complicated, you might choose to make the page as a Single Page Application.

In other words, to embed all the resources into the html file.

To do:

  1. copy your js/css file's content into

Solution 11 - Ios

In the same line of GCDWebServer, I am using SImpleHttpServer (http://www.andyjamesdavies.com/blog/javascript/simple-http-server-on-mac-os-x-in-seconds) and then loadRequest with the localhost url. With this approach you do not have to add any library, but the website files won't be in the bundle so It will not be deliverable. Because of that, this would be more appropriate for Debug cases.

Solution 12 - Ios

I’ve managed to use PHP’s web server on OS X. Copying to the temporary/www directory did not work for me. The Python SimpleHTTPServer complained about wanting to read MIME types, probably a sandboxing issue.

Here’s a server using php -S:

let portNumber = 8080
let task = NSTask()
task.launchPath = "/usr/bin/php"
task.arguments = ["-S", "localhost:\(portNumber)", "-t", directoryURL.path!]
// Hide the output from the PHP server
task.standardOutput = NSPipe()
task.standardError = NSPipe()


Solution 13 - Ios

@nacho4d solution is good. I want to change it a little but I don't know how to change it in your post. So I put it here I hope you don't mind. thanks.

In case you have a www folder there are many other files such as png, css, js etc. Then you have to copy all files to tmp/www folder. for example, you have a www folder like this: enter image description here

then in Swift 2.0:

override func viewDidLoad() {

    let path = NSBundle.mainBundle().resourcePath! + "/www";
    var fileURL = NSURL(fileURLWithPath: path)
    if #available(iOS 9.0, *) {
        let path = NSBundle.mainBundle().pathForResource("index", ofType: "html", inDirectory: "www")
        let url = NSURL(fileURLWithPath: path!)
        self.webView!.loadRequest(NSURLRequest(URL: url))
    } else {
        do {
            fileURL = try fileURLForBuggyWKWebView8(fileURL)
            let url = NSURL(fileURLWithPath: fileURL.path! + "/index.html")
            self.webView!.loadRequest( NSURLRequest(URL: url))
        } catch let error as NSError {
            print("Error: \(error.debugDescription)")

the function fileURLForBuggyWKWebView8 is copied from @nacho4d:

func fileURLForBuggyWKWebView8(fileURL: NSURL) throws -> NSURL {
    // Some safety checks
    var error:NSError? = nil;
    if (!fileURL.fileURL || !fileURL.checkResourceIsReachableAndReturnError(&error)) {
        throw error ?? NSError(
            domain: "BuggyWKWebViewDomain",
            code: 1001,
            userInfo: [NSLocalizedDescriptionKey: NSLocalizedString("URL must be a file URL.", comment:"")])
    // Create "/temp/www" directory
    let fm = NSFileManager.defaultManager()
    let tmpDirURL = NSURL.fileURLWithPath(NSTemporaryDirectory())
    try! fm.createDirectoryAtURL(tmpDirURL, withIntermediateDirectories: true, attributes: nil)
    // Now copy given file to the temp directory
    let dstURL = tmpDirURL.URLByAppendingPathComponent(fileURL.lastPathComponent!)
    let _ = try? fm.removeItemAtURL(dstURL)
    try! fm.copyItemAtURL(fileURL, toURL: dstURL)
    // Files in "/temp/www" load flawlesly :)
    return dstURL

Solution 14 - Ios

Try using

[webView loadHTMLString:htmlFileContent baseURL:baseURL];

Seems it's still working. Yet.


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Content TypeOriginal AuthorOriginal Content on Stackoverflow
QuestionLim Thye CheanView Question on Stackoverflow
Solution 1 - Iosnacho4dView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 2 - IosDan FabulichView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 3 - IosMarkus T.View Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 4 - IosEthanBView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 5 - IosnullqubeView Answer on Stackoverflow
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Solution 9 - IosDustin NielsonView Answer on Stackoverflow
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