How to Fix a Frozen iPhone

If your iPhone freezes, don't panic. There are a few things you can do to fix your frozen iPhone and restore it back to health.

Everybody freeze

You probably know the feeling of scrolling through social media posts or watching videos and then seeing your iPhone freeze. Why does this happen and what do you do? There are a lot of hidden iPhone hacks you may not know about, but sometimes, it’s good to learn more. Read on to learn what to do when your iPhone freezes.

What causes your iPhone to freeze?

Before knowing how to fix an iPhone when it freezes, it’s important to know why it freezes in the first place. “There are many possible reasons why an iPhone may freeze or become unresponsive, and they are generally the same as what causes a computer to freeze,” Joshua Sutton, uBreakiFix Training and Development Manager, tells Reader’s Digest. “After all, these are at their core scaled-down mobile computers.” Similar to computers, did you know that some iPhones can get viruses, too?

Sutton says that iPhones freeze due to four main reasons: low available storage space, infrequent iPhone reboots, uninstalled updates, and problematic or “buggy” apps. If you only have 10 percent to 15 percent of storage space available, Sutton recommends storing some photos on the Cloud and deleting apps you no longer use. Here are 10 hacks to free up storage space on your iPhone.

If you leave your iPhone always on, it may be time to (safely) turn it off. In fact, this is how often you should restart your iPhone. Sutton recommends checking iOS updates regularly and you should always make sure an app is legitimate and operating properly before downloading it onto your iPhone. If you’re looking for a more clutter-free home screen, here’s how to hide apps on an iPhone.

How to fix your iPhone if it’s frozen

“If your iPhone is completely unresponsive (frozen) and you cannot power it off normally, then you can try forcing it to restart,” Sutton says. “This process varies depending on the model of iPhone you are attempting a forced restart [on].” Sutton recommends the below steps for the specific iPhone models:

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 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 12 warning signs it’s time for a new cell phone.

What iPhone users should know

Smart iPhone users should know that data loss is a possible result of a freezing iPhone. “Make sure you always have an iCloud backup enabled and check regularly to make sure that backups are occurring,” says Sutton. “While a freezing iPhone is often an easily addressed issue, there are some situations where you cannot retrieve data through conventional means (iCloud backups, iPhone data recovery software, etc). Data recovery in these situations, while not impossible in most cases, can be a costly ordeal.” Next, here are the 15 things you’re doing to your iPhone that Apple experts wouldn’t.


  • Joshua Sutton, uBreakiFix Training and Development Manager
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Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: