How to restart your iPhone: Fix your frozen or unresponsive iPhone

One reliable piece of wisdom for fixing technical difficulties with computers, smartphones and most other devices is to turn it off and on again – also known as rebooting. This applies to your Apple smartphone as well. If you are experiencing issues with your iPhone it is a good idea to try rebooting it.

Restarting your phone might fix the issue, for example when your iPhone freezes and goes unresponsive. The way to restart your iPhone depends on the model, so we’ll go through the different ways you can try getting back to using your phone.

Force restart: How to force a restart on your Apple iPhone

Say you have encountered an issue with your iPhone and just turning it off and on the regular way doesn’t work. In that case, you need to do something that’s called a forced restart or hard restart

The buttons to press in order to carry out a forced or hard restart depend on the model of your iPhone. We’ll go through the three different options next.

Force restart iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 8 and new iPhones without the home button

  1. Press and release the volume up button.
  2. Press and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button.
  4. Wait for the Apple logo to appear and release the side button.
  5. Wait for your iPhone to restart.
  6. Done!

Force restart iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

  1. Press and hold the power button and the volume down button at the same time.
  2. Wait for the Apple logo to appear and release both buttons.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to restart.
  4. Done!

Force restart older iPhones with the home button

  1. Press and hold the power button and the home button at the same time.
  2. Wait for the Apple logo to appear and release both buttons.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to restart.
  4. Done!

What to do if your iPhone still does not respond?

So you tried forcing a restart on your iPhone but it still does not work or gets stuck when turning it on. There is one thing you can try to fix this issue.

  1. First, start by connecting your iPhone to a computer with a USB cable.
  2. Open Finder if you are using a Mac with macOS Catalina or a newer version OR open iTunes if you are using a Mac with an operating system older than Catalina or a Windows computer:
  3. Find your iPhone on Finder or iTunes.
  4. Repeat the process for force restarting your iPhone as described in the previous section. This time, instead of seeing the Apple logo, the recovery mode screen will appear.
  5. Wait until your computer displays a prompt to update your iPhone and press “Update”. Your phone’s iOS will now be updated or reinstalled.
  6. If the process takes more than 15 minutes, repeat step 4 to re-enter recovery mode.
  7. Wait for the process to end.
  8. Done!

Summary: How to restart iPhone

You should now have some tools to tackle challenging situations and technical difficulties with your iPhone. Make sure to keep a backup of your iPhone in case something happens and your phone freezes or becomes unresponsive. In a worse case scenario, your iPhone might be beyond repair or could require a factory reset. Not having a backup could cause you to lose everything on your iPhone.


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