How to fix an iPhone XS Max that suddenly keeps crashing or shutting down unexpectedly [Troubleshooting Guide]

Random crashes and restarts — these are two of the most annoying device symptoms anyone could encounter. These symptoms are usually attributed to software problems like system crashes or errant files and apps. In some cases, a phone would suddenly crash or shutdown unexpectedly due to hardware damage. Hardware-related symptoms usually occur after the phone was dropped or exposed to liquid. And this is when your phone needs service.

Tackled in this post is a relevant issue on the new iPhone XS Max that’s suddenly crashing or shutting down unexpectedly. But before rushing into a service center, you can try performing these suggested workarounds to rule out software issues from the underlying causes. Read further for more detailed solutions.

For owners who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Clear all background apps then reboot the phone.

This workaround ends all running or suspended apps on your iPhone XS Max. Every time you open an application, it stays running in the background unless you close it, hence they’re tagged as background apps. These apps are beneficial when it comes to multitasking or reloading of same apps. However, keeping more apps suspended or running in the background can also cause troubles especially when they crashed. To make sure this isn’t what causing your iPhone XS Max to suddenly act up, follow these steps to end or clear all background apps:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Swipe right or left to navigate through the apps preview.
  3. Then swipe up on each app preview to close them individually.

After clearing all background applications, reboot your iPhone XS Max to dump cache and any corrupted temporary data from the internal memory. You may go for a soft reset or force restart depending on the responsiveness of your phone. If it’s still responding and able to run for a few minutes or so, then a soft reset would be possible. To soft reset your iPhone XS Max, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone boots up.

If your iPhone abruptly crashes or shuts down like stuck on boot loops, then performing a force restart is necessary. Here’s how to force restart your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

Both these restarts won’t delete any of your saved data on the phone memory, so no need to worry of data loss.

Wait until your phone boots up and then try to see if the symptoms are gone.

Second solution: Install pending app updates.

Apps that are out-of-date can also affect the iOS operations and eventually trigger the same symptoms. Like iOS, most apps are maintained through updates thus keeping apps updated is also recommended. If you haven’t set your apps to auto-update, then there’s a tendency that some of your apps are no longer able to meet with the minimum system requirements based on the current iOS version your iPhone is running on. And this is when manually installing pending app updates would be needed. So here’s what you should try doing next:

  1. Tap App Store from your Home screen. Doing so will launch the App Store main screen.
  2. Scroll down to and then tap the Updates section. A list of apps with pending updates then shows up.
  3. Tap the Update button to update the app, to install individual updates.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the upper-right side of the screen to simultaneously install all pending updates, if multiple app updates are pending.

Wait until all apps are finished installing and then reboot/soft reset your iPhone XS Max to clear cache from the memory and to refresh the operating system.

Third solution: Update phone software to the latest iOS version available.

An update notification should show up when a new iOS version is available. Before downloading the new update, back up all your important files for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen prompts to Download and Install new update on your iPhone XS Max, wirelessly.

Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone when the update installation is complete. Doing so will ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented.

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

An update notification should show up when a new iOS version is available. Before you download the update, back up all your important files for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen prompts to Download and Install new update on your iPhone XS Max, wirelessly.

Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone when the update installation is complete. Doing so will ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on the phone.

Customized settings that aren’t configured correctly can also cause conflicts to certain functions and iOS operations. If the symptoms started after modifying some settings or changing options on your device, then there may be some incorrect values applied. In that case, reverting the settings back to the previous configuration will likely solve the problem. Or you can just restore the default or original values by performing all settings reset on your iPhone XS Max with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset All Settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

Unlike a factory reset, this reset only clears out all customized settings, hence it doesn’t affect any saved data on the internal memory. After the reset, your phone should reboot by itself. Just wait until it boots up again and then see if the symptoms are gone. You may have to manually reconnect to your Wi-Fi network to use the Internet on your iPhone again.

Fifth solution: Restore the phone in iTunes.

If none of the aforementioned solutions is able to fix the problem and your iPhone XS Max is still misbehaving, then you may have to consider performing system resets and restore. This may be necessary if your device is enduring fatal system errors or complex system data corruption. But also note that resorting to these methods will likewise lead to data loss. Should you wish to proceed, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes beforehand. Then follow these steps to perform a standard iOS restore on your iPhone XS Max through iTunes.

  1. Open iTunes on your computer. You can use either a Mac or Windows computer with compatible operating system with that of your iPhone XS Max. Also be sure to use the latest version of iTunes software to avoid system conflict.
  2. Connect your iPhone XS Max to your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  3. If prompted to Trust this Computer on your phone, follow the onscreen instructions to proceed.
  4. Select your iPhone XS when it shows up in iTunes.
  5. Then, navigate to the Summary section on the left side of the iTunes screen.
  6. Click the Restore [iPhone name] button to instigate iOS reset.
  7. If prompted, click the Restore button again to confirm.
  8. Follow the rest of the onscreen commands to complete the system reset and then reboot your iPhone when done.

If this method still failed to offer positive results, then you may still opt to continue troubleshooting and perform more advanced iOS restore methods like a recovery mode or DFU mode restore. For more detailed walkthroughs on these advanced restore procedures, feel free to visit this site’s Troubleshooting Page for iPhone XS Max, then navigate to the Tutorials section.

Other options

  • Delete bad apps. If your iPhone XS Max started to crash or shutdown randomly after installing a new app, then that could be the culprit. In that case, try deleting or uninstalling the suspected application and then see how your phone behaves without it. Usually, you will know if the problem is isolated to or triggered by an app if the symptoms only occur when loading or using a certain app.
  • Service/iPhone repair. The chance of your iPhone acquiring some sort of physical or liquid damage is higher if none of the prior workarounds is able to solve the problem and that your device is still misbehaving. To rule this out, take a trip to the nearest Apple-authorized service center in your area and ask an iPhone technician to examine your device. If necessary, call your carrier and ask more help how to use your iPhone warranty.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS Max smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS Max. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.