Apple’s iPhones are some of the best smartphones you can buy, but no device is perfect. Things can and do go wrong with these powerful pocket-size computers. Tracking down the correct iPhone fix can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But don’t let it get you down. Before you give up on your malfunctioning iPhone, have a look through our troubleshooting guide.
We start with basic fixes that usually alleviate the most common iPhone problems you’ll encounter, then dig into some slightly more complex and specific issues. Hopefully, our step-by-step instructions and advice will get you back on track. Whether it’s a software bug, a hardware problem, or a mystery glitch, we've got advice for you. Before you start tinkering around, here’s how to back up your iPhone so you don’t lose anything.
Table of ContentsTurn It Off and on AgainUpdate Your iPhone and AppsMy iPhone Won’t Turn On or OffMy iPhone Won’t ChargeMy iPhone Won’t Connect to Wi-FiMy iPhone Won’t Connect to BluetoothMy iPhone Has a Broken ScreenMy iPhone’s Battery Can’t Hold a ChargeMy iPhone Got WetHow to Get Help From AppleHow to Find a Fix YourselfHow to Factory-Reset Your iPhone
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Turn It Off and On Again
The familiar refrain of the IT pro has become something of a joke, but the fact remains that turning devices off and on again really does fix problems sometimes. It is the first thing you should try for a wide range of iPhone issues. Here’s how:
For the iPhone X, XS, 11, 12, or 13 range, press and hold the power button and one of the volume buttons until the power slider appears on the screen. If you have an iPhone SE, 8, 7, 6, their S variants, or older, you only need to press and hold the power button.You should see a slider that says Slide to power off. Drag it from left to right and give your iPhone 30 seconds or so to turn itself off.To turn it back on, simply press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.Update Your iPhone and Apps
Many iPhone problems are caused by out-of-date software, so it’s worth checking to ensure you have the latest iOS version and that your apps are up to date. If you find that a particular iPhone app keeps crashing or freezing, an update will often resolve your issue. Here’s how:
Go to Settings, General, Software Update, and see if there’s an update available.It’s usually best to allow your iPhone to update automatically by going to Settings, General, Software Update, Automatic Updates, and toggling on Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates.To make sure your apps are up to date, open the App Store, tap your profile icon at the top, and tap Update All.It’s usually best to allow your iPhone to update apps automatically too. You can do this by going to Settings, App Store, and toggling on App Updates.My iPhone Won’t Turn On or Off
Sometimes your iPhone doesn’t respond, or the touchscreen freezes up, making it impossible to turn off the regular way. If this happens to you, it’s time to try what Apple calls a force restart. Here’s how to do it on most modern iPhones, from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 13:
Start by pressing and quickly releasing the volume up buttonNow, press and quickly release the volume down button.Finally, press and hold the power button.When you see the Apple logo on the screen, you can let go of the power button.
If you have an iPhone 7, press and hold both the power button and the volume down button until you see the Apple logo. If you have an iPhone 6s, first-generation iPhone SE, or an older iPhone, press and hold the power button and the Home button until the Apple logo appears.
My iPhone Won’t Charge
If you’ve had your iPhone plugged in or on the charger for a while (at least an hour) and it doesn’t seem to be charging, and you’ve tried a force restart (see above), here’s what to try next:
Start by looking at the charging port to make sure there’s nothing stuck in there and no visible signs of damage. Be very careful when cleaning your phone. If you want to dislodge dirt in the charging port, use a wooden toothpick, cotton swab, and steady hand.The problem could be the charger or the cable. If there are visible splits or kinks in the cable or the charger has bent prongs, it’s time to recycle them and buy new ones. Try plugging your iPhone in with a different cable and charger, and use an outlet you know is working. Just make sure you use the right kind of charger.If the charging port on your iPhone is damaged or your wall charger isn’t working, you can always try using a wireless charger. Every iPhone since the iPhone 8 supports wireless charging.If none of these solutions work, then you'll need to head to an Apple Store and find out about your options for repair. You may be entitled to a free battery replacement. You can learn more in our guide on how to get a battery replacement for your smartphone.My iPhone Won’t Connect to Wi-Fi
It can be very frustrating when your iPhone refuses to connect to a Wi-Fi network, but it’s usually easy to fix. Here’s what to try:
Check that your router is on and working. See if other devices in your home are still connected. If your Wi-Fi is completely out, then try unplugging your router and then plugging it back in, and make sure all the cables are connected properly.Go to Settings, Wi-Fi on your iPhone to ensure that it’s toggled on.Tap on your Wi-Fi network name to see if there are any issues, and make sure that Auto-Join is toggled on.If it still won’t connect, then go to Settings, Wi-Fi, and tap on your network name, then tap Forget This Network.Try turning your iPhone and your router off and on again, then go back to Settings, Wi-Fi, and tap to connect to your network, entering your password when prompted. Bear in mind your router will take a few minutes to start back up.As a last resort, go to Settings, General, Reset, Reset Network Settings. This will reset all of your Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings.My iPhone Won’t Connect to Bluetooth
Whether you are trying to connect a Bluetooth speaker, an in-car system, or another device, problems with iPhones connecting to Bluetooth are very common. Here’s how to fix them:
Start by making sure that your iPhone and Bluetooth accessory are fully charged, powered on, and close to each other.Read up on your Bluetooth device or system, make sure you know how the pairing process works, and make your device discoverable (sometimes you have to hold down a button).Go to Settings, Bluetooth on your iPhone, make sure it’s toggled on, look for the device you want to connect to in the list, and tap on it.You may have to enter a PIN or passcode.Some Bluetooth accessories use an app on your iPhone. If that’s the case, go to Settings, Privacy, Bluetooth, and make sure Bluetooth is turned on for the app.If a previously connected device doesn’t seem to be working, then try unpairing it. Go to Settings, Bluetooth on your iPhone and tap the info button next to the device in question, tap Forget This Device, then try pairing again.If you still can’t connect to your iPhone, try connecting to another phone or tablet to ensure the issue isn’t with your accessory or Bluetooth system. Sometimes there’s a limit to how many connections you can have, so refer to your Bluetooth device’s manufacturer to find out if this is the case and how you can delete old connections. We have a separate guide for troubleshooting Bluetooth headphone problems.Try connecting a different Bluetooth device to your iPhone to see if that works.If the problem seems to be with your iPhone, and nothing so far has worked, it’s time to contact Apple support.My iPhone Has a Broken Screen
We all know the fear as you inspect your iPhone screen for cracks after a tumble. Broken or cracked screens are very common. Although your iPhone may still work, it’s a good idea to get the screen fixed as soon as you can to prevent injury or further damage. These are your options:
Contact Apple and book an appointment to take your iPhone into an Apple Authorized Service Provider or the Genius Bar. You may have the option of scheduling an onsite repair where someone comes to your home or office. You can also mail your iPhone to a service center for repair, but that means being without your phone for a while. Apple’s official repairs are also very expensive. (It costs $279 for an out-of-warranty iPhone 13, for example.)Find a reliable third-party repair shop, like New York City’s iPhone doctor. Just make sure you do your homework and read reviews first. And, if possible, have them repair it in front of you.If you’re feeling handy, you could always try repairing it yourself. You can find detailed instructions and repair kits at iFixit and elsewhere. After a lot of pressure, Apple is finally making it easier to repair your iPhone, but most people probably shouldn’t attempt it—it’s easy to make a bad situation worse.You might be tempted to just trade in or sell your iPhone, but we highly recommend fixing it first. While some services will buy broken iPhones, the amount of money they knock off the payment for a broken screen far exceeds the cost of a repair.Whatever fix you go for, consider getting an iPhone case, screen protector, or both, so it doesn’t happen again.My iPhone’s Battery Can’t Hold a Charge
If you find that your iPhone’s battery doesn’t last as long as it used to, you can check its health by going to Settings, Battery, Battery Health. This will show you what percentage of your battery’s initial charge capacity is left.
It’s easy to get a battery replacement, and it may even be free if your iPhone is still under warranty or you have AppleCare+, but you will need to visit an Apple Store or send your iPhone to a repair center. You can find more details in our guide on how to get a battery replacement for your smartphone.
My iPhone Got Wet
Whether you spilled coffee all over it or your iPhone took a dive into the toilet bowl, there’s a good chance it will survive, provided you take the right action. Every iPhone since the iPhone 7 has some kind of water resistance. If yours gets wet, turn it off immediately and remove as much liquid as you can with a clean towel. Then read our guide on how to rescue a wet phone.
How to Get Help From Apple
One of the reasons that Apple is so popular, and you paid a premium for that iPhone in the first place, is that the company offers a high standard of customer support. You should take advantage of that and contact Apple for help if you can’t find a fix on your own. Here’s how to go about it:
Before you contact Apple, it can be helpful to write a detailed description of your problem and document everything you have already tried to fix it.It’s worth downloading the official Apple Support app. It offers lots of useful advice and troubleshooting tips and can connect you with a person when you need to speak to someone.The Apple Support website can guide you through some possible fixes and help you find the right number to call when you need to.If you want to go into an Apple Store or visit an authorized repair center, try this Apple website to locate one near you.How to Find a Fix Yourself
These fixes will cover many common iPhone problems. Even if you don’t think some of our suggestions relate to your issue, give them a try. You might be surprised. In the unfortunate event that your iPhone is still not behaving, here’s some advice on finding a fix yourself:
Start by typing your problem into Google (or your preferred search engine) and be as specific as possible. Include your iPhone model and a description of the problem.Support forums are often the best places to find solutions. Look for a thread where someone has posted your exact problem and found a fix that worked. Try the Apple Support Forum, iPhone subreddits on Reddit, and forums on Apple-focused sites like iMore. You can also try creating a post of your own to ask for ideas on fixes.How to Factory-Reset Your iPhone
Once you have backed up, go to Settings, General, Reset, Erase All Content and Settings. Confirm and then set your iPhone aside for a few minutes for the process to complete.If you restore your backup during the setup process and find that you still have issues, then try factory-resetting again, but this time, after it has been wiped and restarted, choose Set Up as New iPhone. If the issue is gone, it could be that an app or setting in your backup is causing the problem.
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