How To Fix an iPhone That Has Frozen or Stopped Responding

Having an iPhone that has frozen or stopped responding can be very frustrating. However, there are several things you can try to get your iPhone working again. Here are the top solutions for fixing an unresponsive iPhone.

Try Restarting Your iPhone

The first thing to try when your iPhone freezes is to restart it. This resets the device and clears out any temporary glitches that may be causing the freezing issue.

To restart your iPhone 8 or later:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button
  • Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo (about 10-15 seconds)

To restart older iPhone models:

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home button together until you see the Apple logo

Once your iPhone restarts, see if the issue is fixed.

Force Restart Your iPhone

If restarting your iPhone didn’t work, the next step is to force restart it. This performs a harder reset on the device.

To force restart, press and hold these buttons together:

  • iPhone 8 or later – Volume Up, Volume Down, then Side button
  • iPhone 7/7 Plus – Volume Down and Side button
  • iPhone 6s or earlier – Home and Side (or Top) button

Keep holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo, then release.

Check for and Install Any iOS Updates

An outdated iOS version can sometimes cause freezing, so make sure your iPhone is updated.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for and install the latest iOS updates. Installing the updates may resolve any software bugs causing the freezing problem.

Reset All Settings

Resetting all settings won’t delete your data but will restore other iPhone settings to their defaults which could fix freezing issues.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Enter your passcode if prompted and confirm to reset your settings.

Delete Large, Unnecessary Files

If your iPhone storage is full or nearly full, it may have freezing issues. Delete large files you no longer need like videos, photos, app data, or message attachments to free up space.

Also delete apps you no longer use. Offloading unused apps can help improve performance.

Disable Background App Refresh

Too many apps refreshing content in the background can drain resources and cause freezing problems.

Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn it off for some or all apps.

Restore Your iPhone (Backup First)

If nothing else has worked, you may need to erase and restore your iPhone. Be sure to backup your data first.

To restore, connect your iPhone to a computer > Open iTunes > Click the iPhone icon > Click Restore.

This will erase your device and reinstall a clean version of iOS, potentially fixing software issues causing the freezing. You can then restore your data from the backup.

Get Your iPhone Serviced

If you still have freezing problems after trying all troubleshooting steps, it likely indicates a hardware issue needing professional repair service.

Contact Apple Support online or schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store to have them inspect your device and recommend next steps for service. Be prepared to show what you’ve tried already.


Freezing and unresponsiveness on an iPhone is frustrating but usually fixable. First try simpler steps like restarting, force restarting, or updating iOS. For software-related freezing, resetting settings or erasing/restoring your iPhone may help. Hardware problems need professional service. Back up your data first before any major troubleshooting steps.