How to fix an iPhone XS that’s not responding after iOS 13 update

Is your iPhone XS not responding after the recent iOS 13 update implementation? Well, if that is so, you’re not alone. Before rushing to a service center though, you can try some means to eliminate software-related factors that might have caused your iPhone to get stuck after the iOS 13 update. Keep scrolling down for more detailed solutions.

The very frustrating situation no one wishes to happen is having an unresponsive iPhone after a major iOS update. Nonetheless, it is an inevitable post-update occurrence for we never know how your apps would react after a major system revamp. If it’s not an update bug, a common factor that we can associate to this symptom is either a software malfunction or physical damaged. But given the onset of the problem, there is no need to panic as it can potentially be rectified with some workarounds, including that ones I’ve outlined below. If none of these solutions is able to fix your device, then that’s when you should consider paying a visit to your nearest local Apple service center to have your device checked for possible hardware damage. Read further and refer to the outlined procedures whenever you’re all set to troubleshoot your frozen iPhone XS iOS 13 device.

Before moving on, feel free to browse through our troubleshooting pages to find potential solutions to other problems with your other Apple devices. If your iOS handset is in the list of our supported devices, then you can visit its exclusive troubleshooting page and find the problem that you need help dealing with. You can refer to or use our provided solutions and workarounds if needed. In the case where you’d prefer to get direct assistance from us, simply fill up our iOS issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.


Troubleshooting an iPhone XS that’s not responding after iOS 13 update

Listed below are some troubleshooting steps that you can try when dealing with iPhone XS that is not responding after updating to iOS 13 due to software malfunction which had possibly inflicted by rouged and out-dated apps, software bugs, and misconfigured phone settings.


First solution: Force restart your iPhone XS.

Major system updates oftentimes caused negative impact to out-dated apps resulting conflict to phone’s operating system. When this happens, symptoms like lagging or unresponsive screen may occur. Hence, doing a hard reset (force restart) is a primary solution we can make use of to deal with this kind of issue. Here’s how:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Side or Power button until the Apple logo appears.

Junk files from corrupted apps that were left running in the background prior to the iOS update should also be cleared out after performing a force restart on your iPhone XS.

Once you managed to pass through the start-up screen and is able to navigate your device, perform the following procedures to fully restore your phone’s smooth and flawless performance. Otherwise, skip to the second major solution to unresponsive/stuck iPhones.

A. Manage the 3D Touch feature on your iPhone.

Adjusting your phone’s 3D Touch can also be of great help when dealing with unresponsive screen issue on your iPhone. As we all know, our phone’s screen display responds differently depending on the amount of pressure exerted in every touch because of this pressure-sensitive feature. To adjust the 3D Touch on your iPhone XS according to your preference, here are the steps:

  1. From your Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility and select 3D Touch.
  4. To adjust the pressure needed to activate 3D Touch sensitivity level on your iPhone, drag the slider from Light, Medium, and Firm.

After making the necessary changes, reboot (soft reset) your iPhone XS and see if the sensitivity of your phone screen has improved and is now responding to touches accordingly.

B. Check for and install pending apps updates.

As previously mentioned, out-dated apps are also to blame as these apps can no longer cope up with the latest iOS version installed. Therefore, updating these can be of help. To check for and install pending apps updates on your iPhone XS, follow these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, launch the App Store.
  2. Locate and tap on your Profile icon on the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to the Pending Updates section.
  4. Tap on Update All to install all pending apps updates.
  5. If you wish to check for the recently installed apps updates, scroll down to Updated Recently section.

Reboot (soft reset) your iPhone XS after installing the pending apps updates to make sure that the changes were applied properly. Then use your phone as you normally do to check if the screen is already responding properly.


C. Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

If you are still experiencing lagging or delayed response after doing the aforementioned solutions, try to perform a full settings reset on your iPhone. It is possible that your phone’s settings were automatically altered after the iOS update causing system conflict. This trick is proven effective especially when dealing with issues triggered by invalid or misconfigured settings. Here are the steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to and tap on Reset.
  4. Then select Reset all settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Select the option to confirm full settings reset.

Your device will reboot by itself after the reset. When it’s already up, enable the features that you will be using again. 

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XR that is overheating in iOS 13


Second solution: Restore iPhone in recovery mode via iTunes.

If your iPhone XS is not responding at all after doing the basics, this issue may require more advanced solutions. Unresponsive screen can be an indication that the recently installed iOS has been corrupted causing software damage and therefore, needs to be repaired. One of the best ways in repairing damaged software is by performing a recovery mode restore through iTunes. Recovery mode will help you restore your device to its previous state before the operating system gets corrupted. To get this done, you need to secure either a Mac or Windows computer with the latest version of iTunes software installed. Then plug your iPhone XS to the computer using the supplied USB or Lightning cable. When it is already connected, follow these steps:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Side/Power button and don’t release when the Apple logo appears to put your phone in a recovery mode.
  4. Release the Side button when the Connect to iTunes logo appears.
  5. Once iTunes recognizes your iPhone device, you will be prompted with an option to either Update or Restore.
  6. Tap on Restore to command iTunes to wipe everything from your phone system and then restore the iOS.
  7. If you haven’t created a backup for your phone, you may select the Update option. Doing so will command iTunes to reinstall the latest iOS which won’t cause permanent data loss.

The process may take a couple of minutes to be completed. Once it’s done, you can exit recovery mode by pressing and holding the Side/Power button until the Connect to iTunes logo disappears. Your iPhone will then restart by itself.

If your iPhone XS is still not responding after a recovery mode restore, then you are most likely dealing with a totally corrupt operating system and that therefore requires more advanced procedures like a DFU mode restore.


Third solution: Perform a DFU restore to fix your iPhone XS that’s not responding after iOS 13 update.

This option is deemed as the very last resort if the recovery mode restore didn’t fix the issue. DFU or also known as Device Firmware Update provides a better chance in fixing major software issues in which your iPhone will communicate to iTunes to fix corrupted iOS without activating the operating system. This process will also require you to have either a Mac or Windows computer and with the latest iTunes version installed. Once set, connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the supplied USB cable and then do these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Side/Power button and wait until the screen turns black.
  4. Once the screen becomes black, continue pressing and holding the Side/Power button then press and hold the Volume Down button.
  5. After at least 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but continue to hold down the Volume Down button until iTunes recognizes your iPhone device.
  6. Once your iPhone appears on iTunes, release the Volume Down button as your device has already entered the DFU state.
  7. Follow the onscreen prompts for iTunes to instigate the full system restore on your iOS device.
  8. Force restart your iPhone once the DFU restore has been completed.

Your iPhone XS should be up and running again after the process, considering that the DFU mode restore was properly and successfully and executed.

ALSO READ: How to fix iOS 13 ghost touch bug on your iPhone, screen reacts even when untouched


Still having trouble with your iPhone XS that’s not responding after the iOS 13 update?

As mentioned earlier, your device might have already obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage before and the symptoms started to manifest after the recent iOS update installation. To clear this out, take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Genius bar and ask an authorized technician to scrutinize and repair your device. If you’re certain that the problem isn’t associated with any forms of hardware damage, contact Apple Support and escalate the problem for further recommendations.

Utilizing alternative iOS repair and recovery tools can also be considered among the last options. Not all system issues can be dealt with by iTunes but other tools can. If you wish to take chances in these alternative iOS repair tools, you can download one and install it on your computer to test and see how it does.

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