The iPhone 4s continues to get updates and updates almost always bring trouble. With that in mind, we take a look at how to solve the most common iPhone 4s problems.
In September, Apple surprised with an iPhone 4s iOS 9 update. We say surprised because the iPhone 4s is now more than four years old. Before the iPhone 4s, no other iPhone had ever gotten more than three major iOS upgrades.
While the iOS 9 update is treating some iPhone 4s users well, others are having problems with battery life, Wi-Fi and more.
If you’re running into trouble on your iPhone 4s, and you’re running a new or even an aging version of iOS, we’ve got you covered.
This list of fixes covers the most common iPhone 4s problems and offers some known fixes for them. Take a look before you hop in the car and drive to the Apple Store.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Battery Life Problems
One iPhone issue that we consistently hear about is abnormal battery drain. Battery drain is one of the most common iPhone 4s issues but it’s a problem that you can fix in a few minutes.
iOS updates have been known to cause abnormal battery drain but there’s a good chance that it’s not the operating system causing the problem. Third-party apps and bad habits are usually the culprits.
While there are a ton of things that people recommend, we think these are the fixes iPhone 4s users should try.
These fixes range from small settings tweaks to changes in daily overall use. All of them have the potential to fix bad iPhone 4s battery life and we highly recommend looking at them before performing a hard reset on the iPhone.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Wi-Fi Issues
Apple’s iOS Wi-Fi issues date back several years. iPhone 4s continue to complain about a wide variety of issues from grayed out Wi-Fi to unstable connections. These are extremely common.
There is no guaranteed fix for iPhone 4s Wi-Fi issues but there are a few things that users can try before performing a factory reset, replacing a router, or taking the iPhone 4s down to an Apple Store.
These fixes have been passed down from the iOS 7 and iOS 88 updates and they’ve worked for tons of people in the past.
The first thing iPhone 4s users will want to try is resetting network settings. This is an extremely easy process though it could take a couple of minutes to complete. iPhone 4s users need to set aside some time to ensure that the process goes smoothly. To do this, open up the iPhone 4s and head to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
You will need the passcode for the iPhone and again, a few minutes of time because the phone is going to reboot itself to complete the changes.
Those of you performing this fix will also want to track down commonly used Wi-Fi passwords because this process will force you to enter them once it completes.
If that doesn’t fix things, iPhone 4s users can also try turning off Wi-Fi Networking. To do that, head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. Toggle them off and reboot the phone. Once it’s rebooted, there’s a chance Wi-Fi will be functioning normally again.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Cellular Data Issues
We’ve heard complaints about cellular data issues on the iPhone 4s. Slow connections, no connections and other random problems have plagued users for months.
To try and fix these cellular data issues, users will first want to try restarting the iPhone 4s. This has worked for us in the past. If that fix doesn’t work, try toggling cellular data on and off. This has worked for us in the past. To do that, Cellular > Cellular Data > Toggle Off.
Finally, if none of that works, try flipping Airplane Mode on, waiting 30 seconds, and then flipping it off. This, like the other fixes, has worked to dislodge cellular data issues on the iPhone in the past.
If none of that works, make sure that there isn’t an outage in your area. You’ll need to check in with your service provider for details.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Bluetooth Problems
Bluetooth problems are among the most common iOS problems and we’ve heard numerous complaints from iPhone 4s users in the months since the iOS 9 release date.
First, you’ll want to use “Reset All Settings”. To do this, open up the iPhone 4s and head to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.
If this doesn’t work, try forgetting all of your Bluetooth connections. To do that, go into Bluetooth, tap the blue i in the circle and tap Forget This Device.
How to Fix iPhone 4s App Issues
We’ve been getting a lot of complaints about various applications crashing and freezing.
To try and fix these, make sure the applications on you iPhone 4s are updated. App updates with support for iOS 9 have been trickling out since launch. It’s easy to forget about installing app updates. Fortunately, there is a way to ensure that apps are always updated in a timely manner.
To turn on Automatic app updates, head into Settings > iTunes & App Store > Toggle Automatic Downloads to On.
If you’re updated and the app still isn’t working properly, try reinstalling it. If that doesn’t help, complain to the developer. Most developers encourage feedback.
How to Improve Performance on iPhone 4s
Some iPhone 4s users have seen a drop in overall performance after installing the iOS 9 operating system. Lag and crashes are common issues.
There are some ways to speed up the performance on the iPhone 4s should it get a little choppy after an upgrade or out of the blue.
We’ve outlined a number of different strategies including reducing animations and pretty effects, resetting settings, or restoring back to factory settings. These might not work for everyone but they’ve improved speed for a number of iPhone 4s users.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Landscape Issues
If your iPhone 4s gets stuck in landscape mode, there are a few fixes to try.
Instead of throwing the iPhone 4s against a wall, lock the orientation of the phone in portrait. This way, the device will remain in portrait mode when trying to use a third-party app or the camera.
To lock the iPhone 4s in portrait mode, pull up Control Center from the bottom of the phone, look for the lock in the top right corner, and hit that. This will lock it up so that it won’t move out of portrait mode.
If that doesn’t work, try resetting your phone. This fixed the issue for us when it started happening when the device was on iOS 8.
How to Fix iPhone 4s iMessage Problems
We’ve been running into a number of iMessage problems on the iPhone. Messages sometimes fail to send, even when in good coverage areas and we often get messages hours and sometimes days late.
If this happens, the first thing to try is toggling iMessage off and on. If that doesn’t work, try rebooting the phone. If neither of those work, it’s time to reset the device’s network settings.
To do that, head into Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. The iPhone 4s will reboot. And while the stored Wi-Fi networks will be lost, reentering a Wi-Fi password is a small price to pay for working iMessages.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Random Reboots
iPhone 4s users continue to see random reboots after the arrival of iOS 9. This is a very common iPhone problem. Unfortunately, they can be hard to fix.
First, try restarting the iPhone 4s. This helped us when we encountered random reboots on the iPhone in iOS 7 and iOS 8.
We also recommend performing a reset on all settings. To do that, Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. It also might be worth it to uninstall recent apps if the problems just started.
We’ve also heard that performing a full on factory reset cures these issues but that should be a last ditch resort.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Keyboard Lag
We’ve encountered the occasional keyboard lag on the iPhone 4s when shooting off an email or iMessage. There are a few things iPhone 4s users can try to solve these problems should they pop up during email or messaging.
First, try turning off Documents & Data in iCloud. To do this, Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data. If everything returns to normal, it should be okay to flip that back on. If that doesn’t work, try resetting all settings. To do that, General > Reset > Reset All Settings.
How to Fix iPhone 4s Problems If Nothing Else Works
If none of these fixes work and Apple’s discussion forums don’t provide help, we have two recommendations. First, take the iPhone 4s to a Genius Bar at the local Apple Store. They’ll help diagnose the problem, if they can.
Those that can’t or don’t want to go that route will want to consider performing a factory reset. Factory resets will wipe the iPhone 4s clean though it has worked wonders for devices before.
To do that, choose Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Again, this will wipe everything from the iPhone 4s so make a back up before doing this, even though we recommend not installing from a restore. Setting all of this up will be extremely consuming, but it may be the fastest way to fix bad iPhone 4s problems.
iPhone 4s iOS 9.2 Performance
Now that the smoke from the iOS 9.2 release is settling, we're starting to get a feel for the iOS 9.2 update's performance on Apple's elder statesman. And what we've found is a mixed bag of impressions from iPhone 4s users.
Those coming from older versions of iOS 9 will likely want to make the move to iOS 9.2 for the bug fixes, security updates and the new features. If the update doesn't perform to your liking, you can drop back down to iOS 9.1.
Those of you coming from iOS 8 have a much harder decision to make. There is no going back to iOS 8. Once you upgrade to iOS 9.2, you're stuck with iOS 9 forever. So, you might want to wait for additional feedback to arrive before making a decision.
Those of you moving from iOS 7 will likely notice a huge difference in performance according to iPhone 4s users and you might be better off staying put until you upgrade to a new phone.