How to Restart a Frozen iPhone

How to Restart a Frozen iPhone

In case your phone has just crashed, here are some things you can do to get it going again, as well as some suggestions for avoiding future malfunctions.

A lot of people who own iPhones have been here before. Your iPhone just froze in the middle of a social media feed, a video, or a text. Without a doubt, it's annoying, and all you want to do is get it working again. A quick restart can often restore normal operation on an iPhone.

Restarting an iPhone doesn't require any special skills or knowledge, and anyone can do it after a little practice. How to restart a frozen iPhone, and what caused the freeze, is detailed below. Then, learn what to do if your iPhone is disabled, how to perform a factory reset, how to extend the life of your iPhone's battery, and how to gain access to your iPhone if you've forgotten your password.

How to force restart your iPhone

According to uBreakiFix Training and Development Manager Joshua Sutton, "if your iPhone is completely unresponsive (frozen) and you cannot power it off normally, try forcing it to restart." A "forced restart" is performed differently "depending on the iPhone model you are attempting to restart." If you own one of the iPhone models listed below, Sutton suggests doing so:

restart your iPhone

For iPhone with Face ID (X and up), iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, Sutton recommends:

  1. Press and quickly release the volume up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button.
  4. Release the button when the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, Sutton recommends:

  1. Press and hold both the volume down button and the Sleep/Wake button.
  2. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), or older models, Sutton recommends:

  1. Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button.
  2. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

What causes your iPhone to freeze?

When an iPhone freezes, the cause isn't always immediately apparent. "There are a wide variety of reasons why an iPhone might freeze or become unresponsive, and they are typically the same as what causes a computer to freeze," explains Sutton. "At the end of the day," the speaker says, "these are essentially miniaturized mobile computers." Did you know that some iPhones, just like computers, can get viruses?

Sutton says that iPhones freeze due to four main reasons:

  • Low available storage space
  • Infrequent iPhone reboots
  • Uninstalled updates
  • Problematic or “buggy” apps

Sutton suggests putting some photos in the cloud and getting rid of unused apps if you're down to 10–15 percent free space. More tips to help you free up space on your iPhone are provided below.

If you have a habit of leaving your iPhone on, it's probably time to (securely) turn it off. Indeed, this is the recommended interval between iPhone restarts. In addition to making sure an app is legitimate and works properly before downloading it to your iPhone, Sutton suggests checking for iOS updates regularly. Here's how to put apps in hiding on an iPhone if you want a less cluttered home screen.

What happens if the iPhone doesn’t restart?

If restarting your iPhone doesn’t fix the problem, or if the phone doesn’t restart at all, don’t panic. “If a forced restart does not resolve the issue and the device freezes again upon booting, then you may need to completely restore iOS,” Sutton says. He recommends going to your local repair technician. “If a complete iOS restore does not resolve the issue, or an iPhone iOS restore continuously fails, then you may be experiencing an issue that requires hardware repair.” Here are some warning signs it’s time for a new cell phone.

What iPhone users should know about a frozen iPhone

In the event that your iPhone freezes, you may lose all of your data, so be careful. Sutton recommends always having an iCloud backup enabled and checking in on a regular basis to make sure backups are indeed happening. "Although a frozen iPhone is usually a simple problem to fix, there are some instances in which no conventional means of data recovery will be successful (iCloud backups, iPhone data recovery software, etc). Although it's not always impossible, recovering data in these situations can be a major hassle and a significant financial investment. Here are some of the worst habits you have with your iPhone that even Apple employees would never recommend.


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