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How to fix an iPhone that freeze or isn’t responding

The bad thing about absolutely any device is that it can get a black screen or freeze. In such a situation, many people start to panic and already check prices to buy a new iPhone. However, everything is not as bad as it may seem at first glance and it can be fixed, and in a fairly simple way.

As a rule, a frozen or black screen is caused by a glitch in the software code, so the best way to get rid of the problem is to force-restart your iPhone. In most cases, that’s all it takes to fix the problem, so that should be enough.

However, chances are that you’ll have to take more drastic action to fix the problem, so let’s figure out what’s going on.

How to force-restart your iPhone

This is the most basic thing you can do if you encounter a frozen screen on your iPhone. Force-restart will not delete any data or change any settings.

However, keep in mind that the way to force-restart depends on the model of your iPhone. The ways to force-restart your iPhone are

How to force-restart iPhone 12, iPhone XR, iPhone SE (2nd gen), iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone X and iPhone 8

Here’s what you should do to force-restart any of these iPhones:

  • Press and then release the volume-up button
  • Press and then release the volume-down button
  • Press and hold the power (side) button
  • When the Apple logo appears, release the power button
How to force-restart iPhone / Image credit: Apple

How to force-restart iPhone 7

Here’s what you should do to force-restart iPhone 7:

Press and hold the volume-down button and the power button simultaneously. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

How to force restart iPhone 7 / Image credit: Apple

How to force-restart iPhone 6S, iPhone SE (1st gen) and all previous iPhone models

Here’s what you should do to force-restart these iPhone models:

Press and hold for at least 5-10 secs power and home buttons at the same time.

How to force-restart iPhone 6S and all previous iPhone models / Image credit: Apple

If that doesn’t work, you may need to contact Apple Support. However, before you contact Apple Support, there are two other things you can do: charge your iPhone and re-install iOS.

This may also help you to fix the problem.

Why you may need to charge your iPhone if it’s frozen or irresponsive?

This may sound strange, but the problem may be caused by a glitch in the information the iPhone receives from the battery. In that case, the iPhone may perceive itself as completely drained and hang up because of it.

Just plug your iPhone into an adapter for at least 30 minutes and that’s what might help fix the problem. Once the iPhone is charged, it might either reboot itself or just start responding to your commands, or you might need to force-restart it.

However, if this didn’t solve the problem, it could mean that there was some fatal glitch in iOS. In that case, you need to reinstall iOS.

How to re-install iOS on your iPhone

In case if nothing of the above helps, the last thing you can try before reaching Apple Support is to reinstall iOS. I recommend trying this before you will reach Apple Support because you will be suggested to try this way in any case.

Here’s what you should do in order to reinstall iOS on your iPhone:

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac, PC, laptop or MacBook
  • Open Finder (for OS Catalina (10.15) or later) or iTunes (in case you’re using a PC with Windows OS or with earlier versions of macOS)
  • Put your iPhone in Recovery mode:
    • For iPhone 12, iPhone, XR, iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone SE (2nd gen):
      • Press and release the volume-up button
      • Press and release the volume-down button
      • Press and hold the side button
      • Hold the side button until you see the recovery mode screen with a lightning connector and iTunes or MacBook logo
    • For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus:
      • Press and hold both the volume-down button and Sleep/Wake button simultaneously
      • Hold the volume-down button until you see the recovery mode screen with lightning connector and iTunes or MacBook logo
    • For iPhone 6S and all earlier models:
      • Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and Home button simultaneously
      • Hold the Home button until you see the recovery mode screen with iTunes or MacBook logo
  • You will see two options: Update or Restore:
    • Update will reinstall the iOS on your iPhone and will save all your data
    • Restore will install the last backup of your iPhone’s iOS and will erase all data that aren’t in this backup
  • Choose Update
  • If reinstalling don’t help, you will need to choose Restore.
  • Exit the recovery mode on your iPhone:
    • Disconnect your iPhone from the USB cable
    • Hold the power and volume-down button until the iPhone turns off
    • Hold the power button to turn your iPhone on

Reach Apple Support if nothing helps

If none of the above helped, the problem is most likely with the hardware, so you will have to contact Apple Support to solve the problem. Here are the Apple Support numbers you can use for different countries:

  • Apple Support for the US number: 1-800-275-2273
  • Apple Support for Canada (both French and English) number: 1-800-263-3394
  • Apple Support for the UK number: 0800 107 6285
  • Apple Support for India number: 000800 1009009
  • Apple Support for Australia number: (61) 1-300-321-456
  • Apple Support for New Zeeland number: 0800 1 27753

This article was written by Hai-Marie Newman and was reviewed by Vladislav Sheridan, a Managing Editor at Splaitor, according to Splaitor’s Quality and Fact-Checking Policy.

Featured image credit: Unsplash

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