10 Common iPhone 5s Problems & How to Fix Them

Several weeks ago, Apple released the iOS 8.1 update for iPhone and iPad bringing new features and fixes for iOS 8 problems to iPhone and iPad users. Despite Apple’s best efforts, iOS 8.1 problems continue to linger for iPhone 5s users and today we take a look at how to solve common iPhone 5s problems on iOS 8.1, iOS 8.0 and Apple’s older iOS operating systems.

Back in September, just a few days after the iOS 8.0 release, Apple released its first iOS 8.1 beta. Apple did not attach a public iOS 8.1 release date to the beta leaving iPhone and iPad users wondering about the release date. In October, Apple cleared it all up and announced an iOS 8.1 release date for Monday, October 20th. Right on cue, Apple delivered the iOS 8.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


The iOS 8.1 update has been around for several weeks now. And while the update has solved a lot of the iOS 8 problems that emerged with iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2, we’ve spoken to a number of iPhone users who continue to experience issues with Apple’s latest update. We ourselves have also spotted several problems with iOS 8.1 particularly on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

This isn’t anything new. iOS updates, even massive bug fix updates like iOS 8.1, tend to bring problems of their own and that’s exactly what’s happened here. While these iOS 8.1 problems don’t appear to be too widespread, there are enough to warrant an iOS 8.1.1 update from Apple. The iOS 8.1.1 update currently sits in the beta program with no release date in sight which means that iPhone users will need to rely on temporary fixes for their problems, at least until the update arrives.

We can’t say that these fixes for iPhone 5s problems will work for everyone though they’ve proven useful in the past. That said, iPhone 5s users dealing with iOS 8 problems, iOS 8.1 problems or even iOS 7 problems will want to give these a shot before throwing the device against a wall.

How to Fix iPhone 5s Battery Life Problems

One issue that surfaces after every iOS update is abnormal battery drain. iPhone and iPad owners of all shapes and sizes consistently complain about the negative impact that iOS updates have on their battery life and iOS 8 unfortunately has not escaped their wrath. While iPhone 5s users haven’t been as vocal as iPhone 5 users, we’ve heard from several that are experiencing unexplained battery loss after installing iOS 8.

While the iOS 8.1 battery life complaints are numerous, users should not expect Apple to deliver a permanent fix inside iOS 8.1.1 or any other iOS 8 update. Unless there is a widespread issue, Apple typically doesn’t react. There’s also a very good chance that the battery drain on the iPhone 5s isn’t being caused by iOS 8. Third-party apps have a way of wrecking havoc on an iPhone’s juice.


Fortunately, there are quite a few things that iPhone 5s owners can try if the device starts experiencing heavy battery drain after getting the iOS 8 update is on board.

While there are a ton of things that people recommend, we think there are several key fixes that iPhone 5s 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 iOS 8 battery life and we highly recommend looking at them before performing a hard reset on the iPhone.

How to Fix iPhone 5s Wi-Fi Issues

Apple’s iOS Wi-Fi issues date back several years. And while the iOS 8.1 update did tackle one Wi-Fi issue, iPhone users are still experiencing Wi-Fi issues with iOS 8.1 on board. iPhone and iPad users have complained about a wide variety of issues from grayed out Wi-Fi to unstable connections. These are extremely common after a major iOS upgrade.

There is no guaranteed fix for iPhone 5s 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 5s down to an Apple Store. These fixes have been passed down from the iOS 6 and iOS 7 updates and they’ve worked for numerous iPhone users in the past.

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The first thing iPhone 5s users will want to do is reset network settings. This is an extremely easy process though it could take a couple of minutes to complete. iPhone 5s users need to set aside some time to ensure that the process goes smoothly. To do this, open up the iPhone 5s and head to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Users 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 performing this fix will also want to track down commonly used Wi-Fi passwords because this process will force users to enter them once it completes.

If that doesn’t fix things, iPhone 5s users can also try turning off Wi-Fi Networking. To do that, head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services. After performing these two steps, iPhone 5s owners will want to reboot the phone. Once it’s rebooted, there’s a chance that Wi-Fi will be functioning normally again.

How to Fix iPhone 5s Cellular Data Issues

We’ve heard complaints about cellular data issues on the iPhone 5s and other iOS 8 powered devices. Slow connections, no connections and other random problems have plagued some iPhone users in the days since its release.

To try and fix these cellular data issues, first try restarting the iPhone 5s. This has worked for us in the past. If that simply fix doesn’t work, try toggling cellular data on and off. This also has had a positive effect on our iPhone connectivity. 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 5s and other iPhones.

How to Fix iPhone 5s Bluetooth Problems

iOS 8 Bluetooth problems are some of the most common iOS problems and iPhone 5s users continue to complain about them in the days after the iOS 8.1 release.

While there doesn’t appear to be a cure all, we’ve heard about a few possible fixes that iPhone 5s users and owners of other iOS 8 powered devices will want to try. Users have singled out “Reset All Settings” as a solid fix. It hasn’t worked for everyone but there are a ton of people that are claiming success after trying it on their iPhone.

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To do this, open up the iPhone 5s and head to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. This is going to take a bit of time and users will lose all saved settings but the pay off is that it seems to be fixing Bluetooth issues for many people. It’s certainly worth a try in the days leading up to Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 release.

How to Fix iPhone 5s App Issues

We’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about various applications crashing and freezing in iOS 8. iPhone 5s users haven’t been as vocal as iPhone 6 users but that doesn’t mean that app problems don’t exist. App issues have also been known to pop up in the days and months after an update’s release so no one is in clear just yet.

Apple’s not going to be fixing these issues and it’s going to be up to third-party developers to take care of any random problems. This means that fixes, permanent ones, could take awhile. Fortunately, there are a few things that iPhone 5s users can try to make the app experience far more stable both ahead, and after, the iOS 8.1.1 release.

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First, make sure applications on the iPhone 5s are updated. App updates with support for iOS 8 have been trickling out since launch. Many iPhone users are horrible about updating apps and that’s a habit that can, and should, be broken immediately.

iPhone 5s users who are forgetful or lazy will want to turn on automatic App Store updates because it will keep apps automatically updated and ensure that they are always on the latest version with the latest bug fixes. To do that, head into Settings > iTunes & App Store > Toggle Updates on.

How to Improve Performance on iPhone 5s

Performance on the iPhone 5s has been fairly stable and the phone is as fast as it was in iOS 7.1.2 and iOS 8.0. That said, there are some iPhone 5s users that have seen a drop in performance after installing iOS 8 and iOS 8.1.

There are some ways to speed up the performance on the iPhone 5s should it get a little choppy. We’ve outlined a number of different strategies including reducing animations and pretty effects, resetting settings, or restoring back to factory settings. These fixes are for the iPhone 4s but they will help with the iPhone 5s as well.

How to Fix iPhone 5s Landscape Issues

One of the biggest issues that we’ve outlined in our iOS 8.1 reviews is an issue where the iPhone gets stuck in landscape mode after shifting from portrait. This is a huge problem and it’s one that’s affecting numerous iPhone users.

While we can’t offer a permanent fix, we can offer a temporary solution. Instead of throwing the iPhone 5s against a wall, simply 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.

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To lock the iPhone 5s 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. It’s a temporary fix for an issue that’s driving some iPhone users (including us) crazy. Our hope is that iOS 8.1.1 fixes this issue once and for all.

How to Fix iPhone 5s 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. Fortunately, there are some fixes that are worth trying, fixes that have actually helped to alleviate our own iPhone  iMessage problems in the past.

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 5s 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 5s Random Reboots

We’ve heard about occasional random reboots on the iPhone after the arrival of iOS 8. And while we ourselves have only seen the issue on iPhone 6, that doesn’t mean that the issue won’t pop up on the iPhone 5s.

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The only permanent cure is going to be an iOS update and iOS 8.1.1 isn’t guaranteed to fix things. Fortunately, after years of dealing with these issues, we have some tips to try and minimize this extremely random issue. These fixes helped when we saw them in iOS 7 last year and they have helped to tone them down in iOS 8.

First, try restarting the iPhone 5s. This helped us when we encountered random reboots on the iPhone in iOS 7. 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 5s Keyboard Lag

We’ve encountered the occasional keyboard lag on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s when shooting off an email or iMessage. There are a few things iPhone 5s 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 5s 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 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 5s clean though it has worked wonders for devices in the past.

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To do that, choose Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Again, this will wipe everything from the iPhone 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 5s problems.