How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that suddenly keeps lagging and freezing [Troubleshooting Guide]

Seldom will you hear of a powerful smartphone to run into some performance issues at a very early stage. But there are many factors that can make this happen and so it may occur to your new iPhone as well. In early devices, memory problems are often the underlying cause. This is when the memory space is running low. In new devices, performance issues are often attributed to software errors including rogue apps, bad updates, malwares and system bugs.

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In worst cases, a device may perform sluggishly or is often freezing due to hardware damage. Before rushing to a service center, you can try any of the highlighted solutions below to rule out software-related attributed from the underlying causes. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XR suddenly lags or becomes unresponsive.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Clear all background apps.

Corrupted files and rogue apps are usually the main causes of performance issues in mobile devices. The entire system functions can become adversely affected if one of your apps is acting up. Often times, background apps are the culprits. To fix the problem, clearing all background apps is recommended. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then pause slightly in the middle.
  2. Then swipe right or left to navigate through app cards and previews.
  3. Finally, swipe up on the app’s preview to close it.

After clearing all background apps, try to load apps and use your iPhone again and see if the problem is gone. If it continues to lag or freeze, then try ruling out other possible triggers.

Second solution: Soft reset or force restart your iPhone XR.

Performing a system reboot or soft reset on your iPhone XR also clears out junk files from its memory including temporary files that were corrupted. Errant cached files from the internal memory may likewise trigger adverse symptoms and can affect the overall performance of your iPhone. To clear them out, soft reset your iPhone XR 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.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button or Side button again until the phone reboots.

If your iPhone XR is not responding, performing a soft reset with the prior steps won’t be possible. In this case, you need to do a force restart on your iPhone XR. A force restart works the same as a soft reset when it comes to clearing cache and errant apps. The only difference is the way it’s carried out. For starters, here’s how to force restart an iPhone XR:

  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 boots up completely.

Wait until the phone boots up then use it as you normally do. If the phone still lags and freezes, then you’re likely dealing with more complex issues and so you need to troubleshoot further.

Third solution: Install pending updates for apps and iOS.

Ultimate solutions to major system issues in iOS devices are usually found in new updates. If bad apps are to blame, then updating apps will likely fix the problem. To manually install pending app updates on your iPhone XR, simply do these:

  1. Tap to open the App Store then scroll down to Updates section.
  2. Navigate through the list of apps with pending updates.
  3. To update individual apps, tap the Update button next to the name of the app.
  4. To install multiple app updates simultaneously, tap the Update All button on the upper-right side of the screen. This button is only visible if several app updates are available.

Installing the latest iOS version for your iPhone is also recommended. Like app updates, iOS updates also offer bug fixes. This could be the key to fixing performance issues on your iPhone if malwares and bugs are the main culprits. To install new firmware update on your iPhone XR, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Software Update.

If an update is available, you will see a notification containing the key details of the update along with the options to download and install. Before updating your iPhone software, be sure to back up all your important files from your iPhone storage to iCloud storage for safekeeping.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

If the symptoms started after modifying or customizing your iPhone settings, then there’s a higher chance that the problem is attributed to incorrect settings that needs to be rectified. But the thing is that tracing and identifying the actual error isn’t that simple. To make things easier, you can use the option to reset all settings on your iPhone XR. Doing so will erase all customized settings and then restores the original options and default values. Settings errors are likewise eliminated. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 to proceed.
  6. Then confirm settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your phone will restart by itself. Wait until it boots up then enable individual features you want to use your phone again including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Fifth solution: Factory reset/master reset your iPhone XR.

A factory reset or master reset can be regarded among the last options if the problem continues after applying the previous methods. Having the same problem at this point could already denote a fatal system error, if not hardware damage on the phone. To rule out fatal system errors, try to reset and restore your iPhone XR to its factory default settings first hand. This can be carried out through its settings menu 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. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  6. Then confirm factory reset.

If you cannot carry out a factory reset through settings since your iPhone screen is unresponsive, use iTunes to reset and restore your iPhone XR on a computer instead. You can use a Windows PC or Mac computer that runs on a compatible OS with that of your iPhone XR and has the latest version of iTunes app installed. Aside from a factory reset, you can also use iTunes to restore your iPhone XR in recovery mode or put your device in DFU mode to repair major corrupted operating system, if needed.

Other options

  • System restore. Performing a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore can also be considered among the last options to deal with fatal system errors like corrupted iOS. These methods often yield to a positive outcome but you will lose your iPhone files in return. If you wish to continue, attempt to back up critical data from your iPhone storage to iCloud or iTunes if possible. You can restore your iPhone XR through recovery mode or DFU mode using the latest iTunes version on your Windows or Mac computer.
  • Service/iPhone repair. The problem may persist if hardware damage is to blame. In this case, your iPhone needs service. To rule out hardware damage, you can bring your iPhone to the nearest Apple Genius bar in your place and it thoroughly assessed by an authorized technician.

If your iPhone XR is still covered by warranty, then you should contact your iPhone carrier or service provider to avail for warranty instead. Warranty terms and conditions may apply so better talk to your carrier about it.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!