How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that suddenly won’t turn on [Troubleshooting Guide]

There are two main reasons as to why an iPhone suddenly shuts down and refuses to power on. It may be just experiencing some random software errors that caused the power system to fail. In worse case scenarios, the phone may not be able to power on due to hardware damage. Power issues attributed to hardware damage are often transpiring among other wear-and-tear symptoms on earlier devices as hardware components are typically depreciating as the device aged.

New devices however are not totally exempted from acquiring such flaws especially with accidental incidents of dropping or liquid exposure. But before opting for service, there are some helpful workarounds you can try to rule out software-related factors from the underlying causes and fix the problem on your end. Highlighted below are applicable solutions to a similar issue on the new iPhone XS Max that suddenly won’t turn on. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough when needed.

If however, you are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting guide for we have already addressed the most common issues with this phone. Find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, then feel free to contact us through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Charge your iPhone.

An obvious possible reason as to why your iPhone won’t turn is that it could have ran out of power and therefore needs recharging. Hence, charging your iPhone must also be considered among the first possible solutions to try on.

If you’re on traditional charging, be sure to use the original charger or Apple-supplied charger for your phone. While other third-party chargers may work, they may not have the same power output to that of the OEM charger and thus could likely result to some charging issues. If you’re using a wireless base to charge your iPhone, be sure to use a compatible and credible Qi wireless charger for your iPhone XS Max.

Allow your iPhone to charge and then you can start eliminating the possible culprits like bad apps and other factors that might have triggered the phone to shutdown abruptly.

Second solution: Force restart your iPhone while charging.

Running apps that have been corrupted are usually among the main culprits. To rule this out, you can do a force restart while your iPhone is charging. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 enters the boot-up sequence.

Performing a force restart also helps clear junk files from the phone’s internal memory that might have caused the system to encounter errors during its boot-up sequence and thereby halts the phone from turning on.

Third solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

Performing this reset often helps when dealing with software-related issues that are tied to invalid settings and misconfigured options on the phone. If your iPhone started to act up after modifying your iPhone settings, then the problem could be due to some incorrect configurations. In that case, you can try these steps to reset all settings, eliminate invalid options, and restore the default values.

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone will restart automatically and then loads the default values and options. You will need to reconnect to Wi-Fi, set your wallpapers and pair with your Bluetooth accessories again.

Fourth solution: Update apps and iPhone software to the latest iOS version.

Bad apps can also become that main culprits as they can halt the boot-up sequence. And one of the most effective solutions to bad apps is installing app updates. You might haven’t set some of your apps to auto-update, hence you’ve missed to install some critical updates. In that case, you can manually check for and install pending app updates on your iPhone XS Max with these steps:

  1. Tap App Store from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to and then tap the Updates tab to show the list of apps with pending updates.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of the app to update apps individually.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the upper-right to update all apps simultaneously.

Aside from updating apps, installing the latest iOS version available for your iPhone XS Max can also help resolve similar issues that are inflicted by some bugs and corrupted system data segments. Thus, consider checking for new iOS update to download and install via over-the-air or through iTunes. If you’ve managed to charge and turn your iPhone back on, then you can check for new updates wirelessly.

  • To do this, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu. If an update is available, you should see a notification containing the details of the new update. Then select the option to Download and Install new update whenever you’re all set.

Your phone must have a stable Internet connection (Wi-Fi) and ample of storage space to allocate the new update file. To avoid any interruption from unexpected shutdown, connect your iPhone to the charger while updating.

Alternatively, you can manually install new iOS update through iTunes on a Windows or Mac computer. This can be considered an option if the previous updating method isn’t possible or applicable. Simply follow these steps to update your iPhone XS Max through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the supplied USB cable/Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Select your iPhone when it appears in iTunes.
  4. Click on Summary and then click the button to Check for Update.
  5. If an update is available, click the option to Download and Update.
  6. Enter your device passcode if prompted to proceed.

Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS update installation. Don’t disconnect your iPhone from the computer until iTunes is finished downloading and implementing the new software on your device.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone through iTunes (Recovery mode restore).

This can be deemed among the last possible solutions to deal with major system errors that prevented the phone from turning on. Performing a recovery mode restore is often needed when dealing with system issues that could not be dealt with by a factory reset. This will put your device in a recovery state for software repair and data recovery. To get this done, you will need to use a computer, either Windows or Mac that runs on an operating system compatible with iOS 12 and has the latest version of iTunes software installed. Once you have all the requisites ready, you can proceed with these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS Max to your computer using the Apple-supplied USB/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. On your computer, navigate 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. Select the Restore option to wipe everything from the phone system and then restore iOS through iTunes.

Follow the rest of the onscreen commands in iTunes to complete the system repair and restore in recovery mode.

Other options

Your iPhone XS Max may continue to shut down and refuse to turn on because of more complex system errors, if not, hardware damage. Hence, you’ve got two more options left to try on.

  • DFU mode restore. For system errors that could not be rectified by a factory reset or recovery mode restore, performing a DFU mode restore can be considered as the next possible solution to try on. This would be the last-ditch solution and the deepest type of system restore you can do on your iPhone. It puts your device in a state where it’s still able to communicate with iTunes on a computer even without activating the boot loader or iOS. This therefore makes it possible for your phone system to be repaired even when it’s already corrupted. You can refer to a step-by-step guide on how to perform a DFU mode restore on an iPhone XS Max. Just visit the tutorials section from the iPhone XS Max Troubleshooting page from this site for more details.
  • Service/iPhone repair. If the problem isn’t resolved by a DFU mode restore, then your next best hope to get your iPhone back up and running again would be an iPhone repair. Your iPhone might have obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage and therefore needs service. If your iPhone is still covered by warranty, then you may contact your device carrier for more details and official recommendations on how to avail for service warranty beforehand.

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!

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