Kit Guide: how to fix a frozen iPhone

There are a few ways to fix an iPhone that's crashed or frozen - here's what you can do.

Restart your iPhone

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To restart an iPhone, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for 2-4 seconds, until you see 'slide to power off'. On anything newer than an iPhone 6, the Sleep/Wake button is on the right hand side. On iPhone 5s or earlier, it's on the top of the phone.

When the message appears, slide the power button left to right across the screen. The phone should then turn off. When the screen is completely blank, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again for 2-4 seconds, until you see an Apple logo.

If the Sleep/Wake button isn't working, try a 'soft reset'.

Soft reset your iPhone

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If your iPhone's frozen and isn't responding when you press anything, a soft reset will force it to restart. Here's how to do it.

 
 
 
 
iphone power button
1.

On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button, and the Volume down button for 10-15 seconds.

2.

When you see the Apple logo, let go of buttons, and the phone should turn itself back on.

3.

On an iPhone 6s or earlier, press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button for 10-15 seconds. When an Apple logo appears, let go of the buttons, and the phone should turn itself back on.

If this didn't work, you might need to update to a newer version of iOS, the next section will show you how to do it.

Update to a newer version of iOS

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Updating your iPhone can fix a number of software issues and faults. There are two ways to update your iPhone - through the phone itself, or using iTunes.

Updating via the iPhone Settings

1.

From the Home screen, tap the Settings icon.

2.

Tap General > then tap Software Update.

3.

The phone will check for updates. If there's one available, tap Install to download and update your iOS software.

Updating via iTunes

1.

Download the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website to your computer.

2.

Open iTunes on your computer.

3.

Connect your phone to the computer using a USB cable.

4.

If there are updates available, you'll see a message. Click Download and Update.

5.

If you don't get a pop-up, you can manually check for updates by clicking the iPhone icon in the top left corner, then clicking Check for Updates.

Restore your iPhone to Factory settings

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Restoring your iPhone will wipe all data from the phone, and reset the software to its factory settings.

Before restoring your iPhone, it's a good idea to back it up - either to iCloud, or to a computer using iTunes.

  • To backup to iCloud, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup > Backup now.
  • To backup to your computer, follow the guide to backing up an iPhone.

There are three ways to restore the iPhone - through the phone's settings, via iCloud, or using iTunes.

 

Restore via the iPhone Settings

This fix will only work if you're able to get into your phone's settings.

1.

From the Home screen, go to Settings General Reset.

2.

Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

3.

If it asks, type your Passcode.

4.

You might be asked to turn off Find My iPhone, if you are, tap Turn Off then type in your Apple ID password.

5.

Confirm you want to wipe the phone by tapping Erase iPhone at the bottom of the screen.

Restore via iTunes

If your iPhone won't let you into the Settings menu, here's how to restore it through iTunes. 

1.

Download the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website to your computer.

2.

Open up iTunes on your computer.

3.

Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.

4.

Click the iPhone icon in the top left corner of iTunes (if you can't see your phone in iTunes, try the recovery mode fix below).

5.

Click Restore iPhone.

6.

You might be asked to turn 'Find My iPhone' off. If you see this message, go to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone > Turn off. Then confirm your password.

iTunes will download the latest iOS version for your phone, and when it's downloaded, it'll install it.

Restore via Recovery mode in iTunes

You should only use this fix if you can't see your iPhone in iTunes, or if the above fix fails for any reason.

1.

Download the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website to your computer.

2.

Open iTunes on your computer.

3.

Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.

4.

Depending on your iPhone model, press the following buttons:

  1. iPhone 7, or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Volume down button until you see the iTunes logo. If an Apple logo appears, ignore it and continue to hold the buttons until you see the iTunes logo.
  2. iPhone 6s or earlier: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button until you see the iTunes logo. If you see an Apple logo, ignore it, and carry on holding the buttons until you see the iTunes logo.
5.

You'll then get a pop up in iTunes telling you it's 'detected an iPhone in recovery mode'. Click the Restore button.

iTunes will download and install the latest version of iOS to your phone.

 

Wipe the phone via iCloud

Try this fix if you can't get into your phone, or if you can't restore it through iTunes. You'll need to know your Apple ID and password.

1.

Using a computer, go to www.icloud.com.

2.

Sign in with your Apple ID and password.

3.

Click Find My iPhone.

4.

Click All Devices at the top, then choose your phone.

5.

On the menu that appears in the top right, click Erase iPhone.

6.

Confirm by clicking Erase.

Hopefully that's you sorted, but if you need more help, you can get in touch with a Team Knowhow Expert here.

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