How to Fix a Frozen iPhone


A frozen iPhone can disrupt your daily life, making you unable to make calls, send messages or use your favorite apps. If you wonder, “Why is my iPhone frozen?” and how to fix it, this guide will walk you through the possible reasons and the troubleshooting methods to get your iPhone up and running again.

Why is my iPhone frozen?

There are several reasons why your iPhone may be freezing or unresponsive, including:

  • Your iPhone needs to be restarted.
  • Your battery is low.
  • Your iPhone is running out of storage space.
  • Certain apps are incompatible with your software.
  • Your operating system is outdated.

Troubleshooting Methods

1. Force Restart Your iPhone

A force restart can help clear out errors that may be causing your iPhone to freeze or black screen without erasing your apps or data.

How to force restart an iPhone 8 or later

  1. Quickly press and release the volume up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the volume down button, then press and hold the side button.
  3. When the Apple logo appears, release the side button.

How to force restart an iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus

You need to press and hold the volume down and the side button until the Apple logo appears. Then, release the buttons.

How to force restart an iPhone 6s or earlier

Press and hold the Home and side button (or the Home and top button) until the Apple logo appears, then release the buttons.

2. Charge Your iPhone

If your iPhone is frozen and the battery is low, charging it may solve the problem. Plug your device into a power outlet using a Lightning charging cable and Apple power adapter for at least an hour.

3. Free Up Storage Space

If your iPhone has been freezing due to insufficient storage space, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
  2. Follow the onscreen recommendations to free up space, like offloading unused apps or optimizing photos.
  3. You can also delete specific apps and their data to create more storage.

4. Delete Problematic Apps

If certain apps are causing your iPhone to freeze, remove them by following these steps:

  1. On the Home Screen, press and hold the app you want to delete.
  2. A menu with a list of options will appear. Select Remove App > Delete App, then tap Delete to confirm.

5. Update Your Operating System

An outdated operating system may cause your iPhone to freeze. To update it, follow these steps:

How to update an iPhone on your computer

Using iTunes (for macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier or PC):
  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  3. Click on the iPhone icon in the upper-left corner.
  4. Click Summary, then click Check for Update.
  5. Click Update.
Using Finder (for macOS Catalina 10.15 or later):
  1. Open Finder.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  3. Click on your device under Locations in the left column.
  4. Click General or Settings, then click Check for Update.
  5. Click Download and Update.

6. Factory Reset Your iPhone

If updating your operating system doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to factory reset your phone. Be sure to back up your device first.

Additional Methods and Solutions

Force Quitting Apps

If a specific app is causing your iPhone to freeze, force quitting it may resolve the issue:

How to force quit apps on iPhones with Face ID:

Swipe up from the bottom edge and stop near the middle of the screen, then swipe up on the app to close it.

How to force quit apps on iPhones with the Home button:

Double-click the Home button to show the App Switcher, then swipe up on the app to close it.

Restarting Your Device

Restarting your iPhone can help fix a frozen screen. Press and hold the required buttons for your specific iPhone model until the power off slider appears. Wait 30 seconds after turning off your device before turning it back on.

Draining the Battery Intentionally

Allow your iPhone’s battery to drain completely and wait for it to shut down automatically. After waiting at least 30 seconds, plug your device back into power and let it recharge before turning it back on.

Fixing a Frozen iPhone with Recovery Mode

Entering Recovery Mode allows you to restore your iPhone from an iCloud or iTunes backup without deleting any apps or settings. Connect your phone to a computer and open Finder (macOS) or iTunes (Windows), then follow the steps provided for entering Recovery Mode based on your specific iPhone model.

Final Thoughts and Advice

To prevent issues like slow performance and freezing, keep your iOS updated, clear unnecessary storage, and ensure at least one gigabyte of free space is available.

If none of these solutions work, contact Apple Support or visit a Genius Bar if there’s one nearby.

By following these troubleshooting methods, you should be able to fix your frozen iPhone and get it back to working order in no time.


  1. How often should I restart my iPhone to prevent freezing issues?

    Restarting your iPhone once every week or two can help keep it running smoothly and prevent potential freezing issues. Regularly updating your device and clearing unneeded storage also contribute to maintaining optimal performance.

  2. Does force restarting an iPhone cause any harm or data loss?

    Force restarting an iPhone is a safe method of troubleshooting that does not result in data loss. It clears any minor errors or issues causing the device to freeze without affecting your apps, personal information, or settings.

  3. Can a frozen iPhone be a sign of a hardware issue?

    Although a frozen iPhone is often caused by software-related issues, such as an outdated operating system or problematic apps, there’s a possibility that hardware problems could be the root cause. If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting methods listed in the article and the issue persists, it’s recommended to contact Apple Support for further assistance.

  4. What should I do if my iPhone keeps freezing only while using a certain app?

    If your iPhone freezes while using a specific app, try force quitting and reopening the app. If the problem persists, delete the app and redownload it from the App Store. Additionally, ensure your device’s operating system and the app are up-to-date.

  5. Will restoring my iPhone via Recovery Mode delete any important data on my phone?

    Restoring your iPhone through Recovery Mode without erasing all data is possible by choosing the “Update” option when prompted in iTunes or Finder instead of “Restore.” This will reinstall the latest version of iOS without deleting apps or settings on your phone. However, it’s always best practice to regularly back up your device so you don’t risk losing important information during troubleshooting.

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