How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that keeps lagging and freezing after updating iOS to version 12.1.4 [Troubleshooting Guide]

The usual cause of frequent lagging and freezing in mobile devices is insufficient memory. These two also emerge among the common symptoms of performance issues from wear-and-tear in early smartphones. For new devices experiencing the same symptoms, software-related factors are usually to blame. And the common triggers include but not limited to corrupted files, rogue apps, and bad updates. In worst case scenarios, frequent lags and device unresponsiveness may be inflicted by a damaged component. This is when physical repair is needed. Software-related performance issues on the other hand, can still be remedied at home by some tweaks.

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Highlighted below are a few suggested workarounds that are used to deal with a similar issue on the new Apple iPhone XR handset following the most recent iOS update implementation. Read on to find out what to do if your iPhone XR suddenly keeps lagging and freezing after updating to iOS 12.1.4.

For those 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 issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Clear all background apps.

If you’ve left some apps suspended while updating your iPhone, it’s possible that any of these apps had crashed and eventually affects your phone’s post-update performance. To solve the problem, force close or clear all background apps on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen and then pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
  2. Then swipe right or left to navigate through the app previews.
  3. Swipe up on an app card/preview to close individual apps.
  4. Do the same to clear the rest of the background apps.

Aside from clearing background apps, installing all pending app updates can also help fix the problem. App developers are regularly pushing updates to keep their apps compatible with the latest iOS platform. If you haven’t set some of your apps to auto-update, then you need to update manually. To get this done, your iPhone must have stable Internet access, preferably through a Wi-Fi network. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen then tap on Updates. A list of pending app updates will then populate.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of the app to update individual applications
  4. Or tap the Update All button on the top-right side of the screen to update all apps at once.

The Update All button is only available if multiple app updates are available.

Second solution: Soft reset or force restart.

Another simple solution to these post-update symptoms a soft reset or restart on the phone. It’s normal for some devices to act up whenever a new update is applied. This typically occurs as some apps are still trying to adapt with the new platform changes. To get things back to normal, restart or soft reset the phone with 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 and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

If the phone is frozen, then performing a soft reset isn’t applicable. As alternative solution, force restart your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

Performing a forced restart works the same a soft reset in terms of clearing out minor software glitches including those that are triggered by software updates. This method doesn’t affect any saved data on the phone memory, hence it won’t cause permanent data loss. Corrupted apps are often remedied by this method.


Third solution: Reset all settings.

Some updates override your iPhone settings automatically. This shouldn’t be a problem if all devices are configured in such a way that works with whatever system changes applied. But this seems impossible as owners usually customized their iPhone settings according to their own preferences, not that of Apple’s. Thus, adverse symptoms are triggered. To fix the problem, performing this reset is recommended:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm all settings reset.

After the reset, your iPhone reboots by itself and then loads the default values and options. All customized settings that caused conflict with the recent changes from the update are likewise cleared out. To use the features that are disabled by default, you will need to enable them first individually.

Fourth solution: Reset and restore factory default settings.

If the previous reset doesn’t fix the problem and your iPhone XR continues to lag or freeze, then it’s possible that the update had inflicted complex system error that requires more advanced solution. This is when factory reset is needed. But you have to note that this reset will delete all your saved contents including personal information. That said, creating backups is highly recommended. You can factory reset your iPhone XR through settings with these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when ask to proceed then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm factory settings reset.

If the phone is unresponsive, the above method wouldn’t be applicable. In this case, you can use iTunes to reset and restore your iPhone XR to its factory default settings on a computer instead.

Fifth solution: Restore iOS through iTunes.

For major system issues that could not be rectified by a factory reset, performing a system restore would be the next option to try on. At this point, you can restore your iPhone XR in recovery mode. This will put your device in a recovery state and then repair iOS through iTunes. You may opt to Update or Restore from a previous iOS backup then. To get started, get a Windows or Mac computer that runs on a later or latest OS version and has the latest iTunes software installed. Once you’re all set, proceed with these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone XR to your computer using the Apple-supplied syncing cable/Lightning cable.
  2. While it’s connected, press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  3. Then quick press and release the Volume Down button.
  4. Next, press and hold the Side/Power button and continue to hold as it restarts. Don’t release the Side/Power button when the Apple logo appears as you need to put the device in a recovery state.
  5. Release the Side/Power button when you see the Connect to iTunes logo on the screen.
  6. Go to iTunes then you should see a message saying that your connected iOS device is in recovery mode and prompts options to update or restore.
  7. Choose the Restore option to wipe everything from the phone system and then restore iOS through iTunes.

Wait for iTunes to finish downloading the latest software version for your iPhone and restore it. Just follow the onscreen prompts to complete the iOS restore process.

Other options

  • DFU mode restore. The last option you can try on to fix your iPhone XR is a DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode restore. It’s the deepest type of system restore done on an iPhone. It’s often used by Apple technician’s when repairing major software issues like a totally wrecked iOS. Similar to a recovery mode restore, restoring an iPhone in DFU mode also requires the use of iTunes (preferably latest version) on a Windows or Mac computer. A step-by-step guide on how to perform a DFU mode restore can be found on this site’s tutorials page for iPhone XR. Feel free to visit that page for more details.
  • Service/iPhone repair. If all else fails, then you can ask a technician’s aid instead. You can visit the nearest Apple service center in your place and have your iPhone XR scrutinized thoroughly by an authorized technician. Although the symptoms emerged after installing the latest iOS update, ruling out hardware damage is also imperative.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR 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 XR. 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.