How to fix an iPhone SE that freezes during boot up and gets stuck on black screen? [Troubleshooting Guide]

A problem on being stuck on boot up, black screen or Apple logo usually occurs due to major system crashes. This can be regarded as a serious issue considering that that underlying cause is within the iPhone system. That being said, there is a chance that the device can become totally dysfunctional if not remedied. But don’t worry just yet. There are still a few things you can work on to get the problem fixed and get your previous iPhone back to life. This is what this post tackles on. Read on to find out what to do when your iPhone SE keeps freezing during boot up and gets stuck on a black screen.

Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better. 

What causes your iPhone SE to get stuck?

Considered as the primary cause of iPhone problems on being stuck on boot up screen, black screen, red screen, or Apple logo, is an ill-functioning software. It can be a minor or complex software issue on the iPhone system. Among the common reasons behind iPhone problems like this are corrupted system file, complex bugs, memory issues, and worst, bad hardware.

The main issue is most likely within the operating system or it could be isolated in an application. Installing a corrupted update or other contents with broken segments, malware, and bugs can also cause a similar issue to instigate on your device. Even major updates to iOS can be a potential trigger. Insufficient memory can also cause a device to perform oddly like often freezes or becomes unresponsive. In iOS devices, the problem on being stuck is also tied to unsuccessful jailbreaking. In some rare cases, it turned out that a faulty hardware is to blame. This is often the case if your iPhone got previously wet or dropped as there’s a higher chance for it to obtain liquid or physical damage to any of its critical components. But generally, it is more likely a major software issue that you are facing. That being said, you still can do something on your end in an attempt to get your iPhone fixed and get back up and running smoothly again. Keep reading to find out the possible solutions you can try on then.

Potential solutions and helpful workarounds

As much as possible, try to verify and confirm that the problem you are dealing with is software-related rather than the hardware. Doing so will save you time and effort in troubleshooting. Even so, it wouldn’t hurt to try fixing the problem on your end by any means possible before opting for repair. So here are your options.

First solution: Force restart

Given that your iPhone SE is stuck, performing the usual reboot or soft reset is most likely not applicable. In this case, you can do the alternative reboot which is a force restart. As the name implies, this method will trigger your device to forcibly reboot. There is no need to fear of losing critical data as it won’t affect any of your personal information stored on the iPhone.  All it does is to rectify any software glitch that might have prevented the iPhone from carrying out its bootup routine and gets stuck instead.

  • To force restart your iPhone SE, press and hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds. Then release both buttons when the Apple logo shows up on the display.

You may need to press the buttons a little longer because there is a tendency that the device couldn’t load the operating system in a normal pace given that some segments had crashed. But then again, a force reboot can help rectify whatever is glitching in the iPhone system.


Second solution: Factory reset or master reset your iPhone SE

If performing a force restart doesn’t give a positive outcome and the issue persists, then at this point you should consider performing a factory reset. This is the only way for you to try to revive and access iOS. Since your device is malfunctioning, a factory reset through Settings is definitely not an option, since it’s not possible. As alternative solution, you can use iTunes on a computer instead. You can use either a Windows or Mac computer for as long as it’s operating is up to date and it has the latest version of iTunes software installed. That being said, get your computer ready and proceed with a factory reset in iTunes with these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone SE to your computer using the supplied USB connector or Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer then wait for it to recognize your iPhone SE.
  3. If prompted, enter the device passcode or tap the option to Trust This Computer on your iPhone.
  4. Select your iPhone from the list of devices in iTunes then proceed to the next step. If your device doesn’t show in the list, check and ensure that both ends of the cable are properly secured. If you’re getting an unknown error then take note of the error message then deal with it first. Or you can use a different computer (if available) instead.
  5. Navigate to the Summary section, then click Restore [device].
  6. Click Restore again to confirm.
  7. At this point, iTunes will start erasing your device and installs the latest iOS version for your iPhone SE.

Wait until the reset is complete and your iPhone restarts. By then you can proceed with the initial setup.

Third solution: Perform a recovery mode restore

If the problem persists after a factory reset, then it implies a more serious issue that requires advanced solutions. As your next option and possible solution, you can attempt to restore iOS in recovery mode. Again you will need to use iTunes in carrying out the process. So get your computer and iPhone SE ready then follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone SE to the computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on the computer and wait for it to recognize your iPhone.
  3. When your iPhone is recognized, force it to restart by pressing and holding the Power button and the Home button simultaneously until the screen turns black. When the Apple logo appears, do not release the buttons.
  4. Keep holding down the Power and Home buttons until the Recovery Mode screen or Connect to iTunes message appears.
  5. If prompted with an iTunes alert message saying that “There is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored” select the option to Restore. iTunes will then download the software for your iPhone.
  6. Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS restore process in Recovery Mode and once it’s done, you can set up your device as new.

Try to see if that fixes the problem on your iPhone SE. If your device is no longer stuck during boot up, then it denotes that the problem has been resolved. Otherwise, you need to dig deeper and perform a deeper type or system restore.

Last resort: Perform a DFU Mode restore on your iPhone SE

Usually a recovery mode restore can take care of these kinds of problem but there are times when the primary cause is just too tough to withstand the restore. As your next option and probably the last resort for you to try on your end is a DFU mode restore. Again, you will need to use a computer and iTunes in performing this iOS restore on your iPhone SE.

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update mode. It is considered as the deepest type of iPhone restore. It works by erasing and reloading every bit of a code that controls both the software and hardware structure of your iPhone, thus it has more chance of being able to fix major errors including those that are triggered by some bugs that have penetrated the iPhone’s system functions and processes. But you have to note though that a DFU mode also brings some risks especially when unsuccessful. Some users who have resorted to a DFU mode restore ended up having a totally useless device as it got bricked because the restore was not successfully completed. To evade from having the same fate, only perform this restore if you are certain that your iPhone is not damaged. Liquid damage on the iPhone is one of the main reasons why a DFU mode could not be completed. You might be able to instigate the restore process but most likely couldn’t get it finished as some liquid-damaged components may fail to respond or carry out their task.

Now that you know that risk, it would be up to you to decide whether or not to proceed with a DFU mode restore. If you don’t want to take the risks, then you always have another option which is to take your iPhone to an authorized service center for hardware assessment and repair.  But if you are willing to give a DFU mode a shot, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. Connect your iPhone SE to the computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously for about 8 seconds.
  3. After the elapsed time, let go of the Power button but keep holding down the Home button until you are prompted with a message that says, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.” Don’t release the button when the Apple logo appears.
  4. Release the Home button when you see the iTunes message.
  5. If your iPhone screen remains black and doesn’t display anything, then it means that you have successfully entered DFU mode. If you see an Apple logo or Connect to iTunes prompt, it means that you are not in DFU mode and that you will need to start all over again.
  6. Once you’ve entered DFU mode, you can continue to restore your iPhone to factory settings or restore from a previous backup as prompted.

If none of these will work and your iPhone SE remains stuck, your other options aside from tech repair are iOS system recovery tools. There are lots of software available online that are primarily designed to fix system problems on the iPhone including stuck issues. You may need to consider reading reviews before making a choice. Otherwise, seek further assistance from Apple Support. Should you wish to take your chances with iOS system recovery tools, just look for the most credible and compatible software for your iPhone then give it a try. Otherwise, give Apple Support a call and escalate the problem for further assistance and recommendations.

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