How to fix lagging and freezing problems on your Apple iPhone XS

Lagging and freezing are among the most common performance-related problems reported by owners of the Apple iPhone XS who recently updated their devices to iOS 12.1.4. Seldom will you hear of a new Apple device to act up. But it’s not an impossible circumstance especially after installing a new system update. In fact, many iOS device owners have been plagued with different types of issues since the first iOS update release. Even so, keeping a device’s software up-to-date is still highly recommended and therefore, imperative. And should post-update issues arise, you’ve got no choice but to find a way to fix your device.

Highlighted below are possible solutions to post-update performance issues on the iPhone XS, particularly lagging and freezing. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone suddenly keeps lagging and freezing after installing the latest iOS update.

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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.

What causes lagging and freezing  on your iPhone XS?

There are many factors that can cause your iPhone to lag and freeze. Most of these factors are software-related and therefore, rectifiable. To give you some clues on which factors to rule out when dealing with lagging and freezing symptoms on your iPhone XS, I’ve enumerated the most common culprits as follow.

  • Memory issues. In most cases, memory-related issues particularly insufficient or low storage space is at fault. This is usually the case if you’re fond of downloading heavy apps and multimedia contents.
  • Bad apps. When apps are acting up, there is a tendency for the entire system to become affected. And if that happens, performance issues including frequent lags and freezes usually occur. Apps that are prone to this problem are those that aren’t up-to-date or obsolete.
  • Corrupted files and data. Damaged files and other corrupted contents can also affect the phone’s overall functions. Your phone could end up being stuck when attempting to load files in this state.
  • Faulty updates. Many devices usually ended up performing sluggishly from an update due to erratic apps and services. Some apps misbehave because they haven’t yet attuned to the recent system changes.
  • Hardware damage. This is the worst among the possible causes. This is likely the case if you’ve previously dropped your phone or accidentally got it wet. Hardware-related performance issues such as lagging and freezing will require some sort of physical repair.

On the other hand, lagging and freezing issues that are attributed to software errors on the phone can still be remedied at home by some workarounds.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS that keeps lagging and freezing

Before troubleshooting, check the current memory status of your iPhone XS and makes sure it isn’t shrinking. To view the available memory of your iPhone XS, go to Settings-> Passwords & Accounts menu then select iCloud. From the iCloud section, select Storage then navigate to the sections labelled with Total and Available device storage. Then, tap on Manage Storage to view a list of apps and much storage each one uses. To view more detailed information about memory usage for each app, tap Manage Storage and then select an app. If necessary, delete old and unwanted contents, to free up some space of your phone memory.

If your iPhone still has ample of memory space but still showing the same symptoms, then try ruling out other factors.

The following procedures are recommended tweaks to deal with software-related issues on lags and freezes on the iPhone XS, following the latest iOS update. Don’t forget to test your device after applying each solution to determine whether or not the problem is fixed. Proceed to the next applicable solution if necessary.

First solution: Clear all background apps.

Apps that are left opened or suspended during the update will likely end up going rogue. As mentioned earlier, apps could become glitchy or unstable as they haven’t yet acclimatized the new platform. Hence, if you’ve left some apps running in the background while installing the latest iOS update on your iPhone XS, clearing them all will likewise solve the problem. Hence, this must be considered as the first potential solution to try. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 end all background applications.

Once you’re done clearing all background apps on your iPhone XS, try to use it as you normally do and then see if the problem is gone. If your phone continues to lag and freeze, proceed to the next applicable solution.

Second solution: Soft reset and forced restart.

A soft reset or restart is another simple, yet very effective solution to common software issues in mobile devices including post-update lags and freezes on your iPhone XS. It works by clearing junk files and corrupted data from the internal memory that caused conflicts to your phone system and eventually trigger the symptoms. To soft reset your iPhone XS, 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 and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the iPhone reboots.

If your iPhone is freezing, it’ll be totally unresponsive. In that case, performing a forced restart would be necessary because the previous restart method (soft reset) couldn’t be done. So this is what you should do then:

  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 your iPad and then release when the device restarts.

The effects of a forced restart to your iPhone are similar to that of a soft reset. Random system errors and glitches including minor post-update symptoms are rectified thus, allowing your device to have a clean fresh start.

Similar to a soft reset, a forced restart does not affect any saved data on the phone memory. Therefore, creating backups won’t be necessary.

Third solution: Update apps.

Errant apps that caused lagging and freezing issues on your iPhone XS can also be corrected by updating. App developers usually pushed updates soon before or after a new iOS version is released. It’s one way of keeping their apps ready for the new iOS changes. For those apps that weren’t set to auto-update, manually installing updates would be necessary. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap App Store.
  2. From the App Store main screen, scroll down to the bottom and then tap on the Updates tab. Wait for a few seconds to view the list of all apps with pending updates.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of the app to install pending update for individual apps.
  4. If multiple app updates are available, then you can just tap on the Update All button on the top-right of the screen to install all app updates simultaneously.

Restart your iPhone once you’re done updating apps. This is recommended to ensure that all new app changes are properly applied. It’s also a way of refreshing apps and giving them a clean start.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings.

Some updates override settings automatically. If your device was configured in a way that’s not conflicting with the recent iOS settings, then that’s likely yield positive outcomes. But if you happened to customize some settings on your iPhone XS, chances are that the recent iOS settings overrides squabble some options and eventually trigger the symptoms. In this case, you can try resetting all settings on your iPhone XS. This reset deletes all customized settings on the phone and then restores the default options. Any erratic setting will therefore be deleted along with the associated symptoms. To reset all settings on your iPhone XS, follow 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 Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to all settings reset.

Allow the device to restart after the reset is complete. Then enable the features that you want to use again on your phone.

Fifth solution: Factory reset.

The transpiring error from the recent iOS update might be very complex and thereby trigger stubborn symptoms. In this case, you may have to consider resorting to a full system reset. Complex errors including tough iOS bugs will likely become obliterated in the process. That said, there’s a higher chance for your iPhone to end up as bug-free as it was prior to updating. But there’s a factory reset downside to note though. Performing a factory reset will erase your device completely, so you could lose essential information from the phone memory. To evade from permanent data loss, backing up files is recommended beforehand. You can back up your iOS files to iCloud or to iTunes. Once the backup is created, you can proceed with a factory reset through settings. 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 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 your iPhone XS display is frozen, the above procedures won’t be applicable because the device won’t be able to respond to touchscreen commands. This is where iTunes play its role. To get started, secure a Windows or Mac computer that has the latest version of iTunes software in it. Then proceed with these steps to restore your iPhone XS to factory settings manually:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the Apple-supplied Lightning cable or original syncing cable.
  3. Select your iPhone when it appears in iTunes.
  4. Navigate to the Summary section in iTunes.
  5. Then click the Restore [iPhone] button.
  6. If prompted, click Restore again to confirm action.

This will trigger iTunes to start wiping your iPhone XS and then install the latest iOS version available.

After the phone restores to factory settings, you can proceed with the initial setup process wherein you can set up your iPhone XS as new.

Sixth solution: Recovery mode restore.

For post-iOS errors that could not be rectified by a factory reset, performing a recovery mode restore in iTunes can be deemed among the last options. This will put your device in a recovery state and allows iTunes to repair corrupted system files from the recent iOS update. To get started, get a Windows or Mac computer with the latest version of iTunes app installed. Then connect your iPhone XS to the computer via USB cable or Lightning cable. While it’s connected, continue with these steps to put your iPhone XS in recovery mode and carry out recovery mode restore via iTunes:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Next, press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This means that your iPhone has entered recovery mode.
  4. When you see the option to Update or Restore, choose Restore.
  5. Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to finish restoring your iPhone in iTunes.

You may opt to restore from a previous iOS backup or set up your iPhone from scratch.

Seventh solution: DFU mode restore.

The last possible solution you can try, if all else failed to solve performance issues on your iPhone XS, particularly lagging and freezing symptoms, would be a DFU mode restore. It’s the deepest type of system restore done on an iPhone. Like a recovery mode restore, DFU mode restore is carried out through iTunes. That said, you will need to get a computer beforehand. Again, you can use either Windows or Mac computer for as long as it has the latest iTunes version installed. Once you’re all set, connect your iPhone XS to the computer via USB cable/Lightning cable and then continue to these steps to put your device in a DFU state.

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen turns completely black.
  2. As soon as the screen turns goes black, press and hold the Volume Down button while you keep holding the Side/Power button.
  3. After 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but continue to hold the Volume Down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes on your computer.
  4. When your iPhone appears in iTunes, you can release the Volume button as your iPhone is already in DFU mode.

Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to restore your iPhone XS in iTunes while it’s in a DFU state. You can downgrade or restore your device from a previous backup, if you think that’s necessary to solve the problem.

If the restore is complete, you can exit DFU mode by performing a forced restart on your iPhone XS.

Are the lagging and freezing symptoms only occur when using an app?

If lagging and freezing symptoms only occur when using a certain application, then that’s likely an isolated app problem. That app might have been corrupted following the recent iOS update and so it’s acting up. In that case, deleting and reinstalling the flawed app should fix the problem.  

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. Find and select the faulty app.
  5. Then tap the option to Delete or Uninstall  the app.

You can also delete the app straight from the Home screen. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Lightly touch and hold on the app icon from the Home screen.
  2. When the app icons jiggle, tap on the X at the upper-left edge of the app you want to delete.
  3. Then tap Delete when prompted to confirm.

Restart the phone after deleting the faulty application then use your iPhone to see if the problem is gone.

Is your iPhone still lagging and freezing?

Software-related issues in iPhones including minor and major post-update symptoms of lagging and freezing are usually dealt with by any of the above solutions. But if none of them works and your iPhone is still acting up, then you may resort to using iTunes alternatives. There are actually a lot of third-party iOS recovery and repair tools you can use to fix fatal system errors including major iOS bugs that could not be dealt with by iTunes. To get started, simply download and install your preferred iOS repair tool on your Windows or Mac computer. Once you’ve got that installed, you can start repairing your iPhone XS using built-in commands and controls.

If all else failed to solve the problem, then that’s another iOS bug that Apple has to address. At this point, you can escalate the problem to your carrier or contact Apple Support instead.

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!