How to Fix a Frozen iPhone

You’ve probably been there before; your iPhone freezes up in the middle of browsing Twitter or playing a game and you can’t do anything to get it working again. Most likely, you probably just let the battery die, recharged it, and then powered it up again to fix the problem. However, there’s an easier way to fix a frozen iPhone.

Frozen iPhones must be the work of the devil, because they’re really annoying and no one really knows why it happens. It could be a factor of different things, like the device running out of available RAM or just a hiccup that ends up locking the iPhone entirely, but luckily, it’s something that you can fix within a matter of a couple of minutes with just the press of some buttons.


Fix an annoying frozen iPhone

Here’s how to fix a frozen iPhone, with multiple methods listed in case the basic fix doesn’t work; sometimes you can simply just power down your iPhone and start it back up, but often times it takes a little more effort.


If your iPhone freezes up, simply try holding down the power button at the top for a couple of seconds until the slide to power off prompt appears. Then just power it down, wait a minute or two and then power it back up.


Alternatively, if you have an app open when your iPhone freezes up, it could just be the app that’s acting up. Try to¬†“force quit” the app by pressing¬†and holding the power button for a few seconds until the red power-down slider appears, then press and hold the Home button until the app quits.



If any of the above methods don’t work and you’re still left with a frozen iPhone that’s completely unresponsive, it’s time to escalate the fix.

If simply powering down your iPhone the normal way doesn’t work, then hold down the power button and the Home button at the same time until a black screen with the Apple logo appears in the middle — this will take about 10 seconds. Your iPhone’s screen may change while you’re holding down these buttons, but don’t let go until you see the plain Apple logo. This will force the iPhone to restart, and it might take a minute or two for it to boot back up to the lock screen.

This method won’t delete any data on your iPhone, so you don’t need to worry about losing photos or any contacts. It just simply does a hard reset on your iPhone and it’s used for such things as a frozen device.



If that still doesn’t fix your frozen iPhone, then you may need to restore it to its original factory settings. This will delete all data that’s stored on the iPhone, so make sure you have a back up stored on your computer (this is also a reason why you should back up your iPhone regularly).

To restore your iPhone, perform the following:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  • In iTunes, select iPhone in the Devices list, then click Summary at the top of the screen.
  • Click Check for Update. iTunes will tell you if there’s a newer version of the iPhone software available.
  • Click Restore. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process. When restoring, it’s a good idea that you back up your iPhone when prompted. Then, once your iPhone has been restored, you can either set it up as a new iPhone, or restore from a backup so that you can get all of your photos, music, etc. back on the device without a problem.

How to Prevent a Frozen iPhone

Knowing how to fix a frozen iPhone doesn’t mean that you want it to happen again. Frozen iPhones are annoying and there’s really nothing you can do to completely prevent them from happening, but there are a few things you can do to at least keep them to a minimum.

The best thing you can do (and perhaps the easiest) is to make sure that you’re iPhone is updated to the latest version of iOS, which is iOS 7.1.1. This version comes with a handful bug fixes and performance improvements that could definitely prevent freeze-ups from happening in the future.


Read our iOS 7.1.1 iPhone 5s review to see how this update performs.

Other ways you can prevent iPhone freeze-ups is to leave a bit of breathing room for your iPhone’s storage space and memory capacity. Filling up your iPhone with apps, games and music until it’s 100% full is asking for trouble. Likewise, using up the memory on your iPhone can also be disastrous and could cause freeze-ups.

This is possible if you have too many tabs open in Safari and then you switch over to another and begin downloading a big file. Usually, newer iPhones can easily handle this, but if you have an older model, you may want to be more careful.