Besides physical damage of any sort, the worst thing that can happen to your iPhone is for it to freeze. And, although this happens rarely thanks to a (usually) well-optimized iOS, some users still get to the point where their iPhone is completely frozen and, seemingly, there’s nothing you can do. Luckily, there are some things you can do to address the problem. Check them out below.
Table of contents:
- Force restart your iPhone
- Use iTunes on your PC or Mac to reset your phone
- Take your device for a repair
How do I get my iPhone to unfreeze?
1. Force restart your iPhone
The first thing to do if your device is unresponsive is force restart. You can force restart the device from any screen and the action doesn’t require touch so if your screen is not responding, it should still work. Usually, problems like this are resolved after a restart and, in the scenario where you can’t do anything else, force restart is the way to go.
Now, the procedure is not the same for every iPhone device since the hardware changed over the years. However, it’s quite similar. On newer devices, it’s usually the combination of volume up, volume down, and power buttons. Press them at the same time and wait until the screen turns off.
On older devices, go for the volume down and power button or haptic home button and the power button (Sleep/Wake button).
After your device restarts, the problem should be gone. On the other hand, if your iPhone is still frozen, try the next step.
2. Use iTunes on your PC or Mac to reset your phone
Now, in case the problem occurs during startup or your iPhone freezes on the boot screen (Apple Logo screen), you can use iTunes on your PC or Mac to restore the device without losing the data. Alternatively, you can go for the factory reset (which will delete all data ) if the issue persists.
Here’s how to use iTunes to restore or reset your device:
- Connect your iPhone to a PC via a USB cable.
- Open the iTunes client on your PC.
- Select your iPhone.
- Now, there’s a sequence that’s not the same for all iPhones. For iPhone 8 and later, press the volume down button first and quickly release it. Then, press the Volume down button and release it. Finally, do the same with the Power Button (Sleep/Wake button) but don’t release it. Hold it until the device restarts in Recovery mode. On the iPhone 7 series: press and hold the Volume down and Power button simultaneously until the device restarts. Finally, on iPhone 6 series, press and hold the Power button and Home button until the device restarts.
- Once your iPhone reboots into Recovery Mode, you should see the prompt on your PC. You can choose between Update or Restore. We suggest going for the Update option first and, only if the issue persists, move to the alternative option which is, basically, deleting and restoring all data to your iPhone via iTunes.
- So, select Update, and the firmware will be downloaded to your PC and then installed.
Just have in mind that, if the downloading procedure lasts longer than 15 minutes (iOS firmware files are usually not larger than 3GB or so), your iPhone will leave Recovery Mode. Just go again with the button-pressing sequence explained above to get back to Recovery Mode.
Once your device updates, it should work again without any issues. If it doesn’t repeat the steps just select the Restore. Your files will get backed up and the iOS will be restored to its default values deleting everything in the process. So, backing up is important.
3. Take your device for a repair
Finally, if none of the steps worked and your iPhone is still frozen, there’s a good chance that your display is broken or there’s another less prominent issue with the iPhone. So, make sure to take it for a repair. Hopefully, your device is under the warranty as reparation for iPhones can be quite costly.
That should do it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts or alternative solutions that we forgot to mention. You can do so in the comments section below.