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10 Common iPhone SE Problems & How to Fix Them



Many iPhone SE users continue to run into issues with the 4-inch device as we into 2019.

The iOS 12 update is performing well on the iPhone SE models in our possession, but some users are noticing battery life issues, connectivity problems, lag, and other performance issues.

Apple hasn’t confirmed a release date for its next iOS update so those of you struggling will probably be on your own for a few more weeks.

If you run into an issue, your first instinct might be to schedule an appointment at your local Apple Store or to take the phone down to your local carrier location. Those are certainly options, but there’s a chance you’ll be able to fix the issue on your own in a matter of minutes.

In this guide we’ll show you how to fix the most common iPhone SE problems including severe battery drain, connectivity issues, lag, sound problems, and a few other annoying issues.

How to Fix iPhone SE Battery Life Issues

One of the most common iPhone SE problems is abnormal battery drain. This is issue always pops up after Apple releases a new iOS update though often times it seemingly comes out of nowhere.

If you’re dealing with severe battery drain on your iPhone SE, take a look at our list of fixes. If nothing there works, you might have a bad battery.

How to Fix iPhone SE Performance Problems

We’ve been hearing about a wide range of iPhone SE performance issues in the aftermath of the latest iOS 12 release. Some users are noticing more frequent lag, others are seeing random reboots and lockups.

If you’re noticing a drop in performance on your iPhone SE, take a peek at our guide to fixing performance issues. Our walkthrough will help you speed up your iPhone SE in minutes.

How to Fix iPhone SE iTunes Issues

Some iPhone SE users are running into issues with iTunes. iTunes either doesn’t recognize the iPhone SE or they’re simply unable to connect to the service. Some users are reportedly getting the following message: “The iPhone cannot be used because it requires a newer version of iTunes. Go to to download the latest version of iTunes.”

If you’re running into issues with iTunes, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version. Apple added sync support for the iPhone SE and iPad Pro starting with iTunes version 12.5.4.

If you’re running the current version of iTunes, and you’re positive your Lightning cable and ports are working properly, make sure you’re running the latest version of Windows or macOS.

If your computer spits out a Trust this Computer alert, unlock your iPhone SE and tap Trust. If it still doesn’t work, restart your iPhone SE and try again.

If none of that works, Apple’s got some more in-depth fixes listed over on its support page.

How to Fix iPhone SE Bluetooth Problems

Many iPhone SE users are complaining about Bluetooth issues. Bluetooth problems are extremely common and they can be extremely tricky to fix.

If your Bluetooth connectivity starts acting up, go into Settings > Bluetooth > and select the Bluetooth connection having issues using the “i” in the circle.

On the next screen tap Forget this Device and then try reconnecting to the Bluetooth device giving you problems.

If that doesn’t work, go into your iPhone SE’s Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Make sure you have your Wi-Fi passwords handy because this will cause the iPhone SE to forget them. Try reconnecting to the Bluetooth device.

You can also try resetting your iPhone SE’s settings to their factory defaults. To do this, head into Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. This could take a few minutes and it will also cause your iPhone SE to forget Wi-Fi passwords.

We also recommend updating to the latest version of iOS 12.

If you’re dealing with Bluetooth issues in the car and nothing here works, you should consult your car manual. If that doesn’t help, make an appointment with customer service at your local dealership and see if they can diagnose the issue.

How to Fix iPhone SE Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi issues are also a bit tricky to fix and we’ve seen many iPhone SE users cry out for potential remedies. Here are a few to try if your Wi-Fi speeds suddenly become slow or non-existent.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check your router. To be safe, restart your router (unplug for a minute and plug back in) and see if that jumpstarts your Wi-Fi connectivity.

You’ll also want to check your internet service provider for an outage. You can do that via DownDetector, social media sites like Twitter, or through your provider’s customer service.

If you’re experiencing slower than normal Wi-Fi speeds, and you’re positive it’s not a router issue or an outage, try resetting your iPhone SE’s network settings.

Head into your Settings app > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will cause your device to forget your Wi-Fi passwords so make have those handy.

If your Wi-Fi is still busted, it’s time to forget the Wi-Fi network in question. Go into your device’s Settings > Wi-Fi >  and select your connection by tapping the “i” in the circle.

On the next screen tap Forget this Network at the top of the screen. This will also cause your device to forget the Wi-Fi password so make sure you have that with you.

You can also try restarting your iPhone SE. Hold down the power button, slide to shut it off, wait 30 seconds or so, and then power it back on.

If nothing works, take a look at Apple’s guide to iPhone Wi-Fi problems for additional fixes.

How to Fix iPhone SE iCloud Restore Problems

Some iPhone SE users are experiencing iCloud Restore issues.

If you encounter iCloud Restore problems on your iPhone SE, create a local backup on your computer and then restore the backup to your iPhone SE.

If you’re unable to get your old iPhone’s data backed up, check out our guide to iCloud backup problems and fixes. Apple’s also released a guide that takes you through some of the most common iCloud backup issues.

If your iPhone SE suddenly gets stuck updating iCloud Settings, you’ll want to hold down the device’s power button and volume down button at the same time and wait for the iPhone SE to reboot itself. Once it reboots, try again.

How to Fix iPhone SE Sound Issues

If your iPhone SE’s speakers suddenly cut out or if the sound becomes distorted, here’s what you can do.

First, you’ll want to check the Ring/Silent switch on the side of your device to make sure it’s set in the correct position. There’s a chance you accidentally nudged it while holding the phone.

If it’s set correctly, restart your iPhone SE. You might also try performing a hard reset by holding down the volume down and power button at the same time.

If your sound is still wonky, try turning your Bluetooth off and on. If the sound is still missing, check for dust or debris that could be blocking the speaker grille or the phone’s Lightning Dock.

If your microphone suddenly stops working or starts randomly cutting out, restart your iPhone SE. You can also try restoring your phone from a backup.

If you’re experiencing poor call quality, restart your phone to see if that corrects the issue.

If it doesn’t, check the iPhone SE’s receiver to make sure it isn’t blocked by debris or your screen protector. The receiver is the slit located above the device’s screen.

You can also try removing your case, disabling Bluetooth, or switching LTE from Voice & Data to just Data. Head into Settings > Cellular, tap Cellular Data Options > tap Enable LTE > tap Data Only.

If none of that helps, you might want to download the latest version of iOS 12.

How to Fix iPhone SE App Store Problems

If your iPhone SE can’t connect to the App Store, first make sure Apple’s service isn’t down. If it’s green, try restarting our hard setting your iPhone SE.

If that doesn’t work, try toggling your cellular data on if it’s off. Head into your Settings > Cellular Data > and scroll down to the App Store and toggle it on if it’s off.

If cellular data is active and it’s still busted, sync the date and time on your iPhone SE by going to General > Date & Time. Toggle Set Automatically to off then scroll down to set the data and time manually.

Once you’ve done that, head into the App Store, leave it open for a few seconds, and go back to Date & Time and toggle Set Automatically back to on.

Now, close the App Store in your multitasking tray and open it again to see if the App Store is working properly. It should be.

How to Fix iPhone SE Screen Issues

If your iPhone SE’s screen is unresponsive, hard reset the phone. Hold down the power Button and the volume down button at the same time and wait for it to reboot.

If the issue is happening inside of an app, close the app and reopen it. You’ll also want to make sure your iPhone SE’s screen is clean and dry. Moisture will affect gestures and taps.

If you’re having 3D Touch problems, try resetting your iPhone SE’s settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Your device will forget known Wi-Fi passwords, but you won’t lose any of your data.

How to Fix iPhone SE Touch ID Issues

If you’re having issues with your iPhone SE’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, take a look at our guide to fixing common Touch ID problems.

How to Fix iPhone SE Problems If Nothing Else Works

If you can’t find a fix on this list, here are a few additional resources.

If nothing here works, head to Apple’s discussion forums and ask for help. You can also get in contact with Apple Support on Twitter or via the company’s website.

If Apple’s online customer service is unable to help, you can try downgrading to an older version of iOS if an update is available for the iPhone SE.

If don’t want to downgrade, schedule an appointment to see a Genius at your local Apple Store. If you don’t have an Apple Store near you, try a carrier store.

If nothing works, you might want to wipe your phone clean with a factory reset. This is a time consuming process, but it could have a positive effect on your iPhone SE’s performance.

Once you’ve backed up all of your important files, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12.4.2 & 9 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12.4.2 for Better Security

Install iOS 12.4.2 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, this is one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.4.2.

If you value your device's security, you'll want to download iOS 12.4.2 in the near future because it brings an important security patch for your device. You can read about it right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4.1, you'll get its security patch with your update. You can read about that patch right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4, you get its patches with your iOS 12.4.2 update. 

iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on Apple's security site

If you skipped iOS 12.3, your iOS 12.4.2 update carries iOS 12.3's security patches on board. The iOS 12.3 update brought 23 patches and you can read about all of them right here on Apple's site. 

If you skipped iOS 12.2, you'll get its security patches with your version of iOS 12.4.2.

iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in March. You can read more about the iOS 12.2's patches over on the company's website

It's important to note that Apple's iOS 12.2 update patched up an exploit that allowed websites to use motion sensors to "fingerprint" devices.

The exploit, discovered by researchers in Europe, uses JavaScript to snag data from a device's accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer when the user visits an infected website. If the attack is successful, a device can be tracked around the internet. 

Fortunately, Apple's patched up the issue. If you skipped it, you'll probably want to move to iOS 12.4.2 soon.

If you skipped iOS 12.1.4, you get four important security patches including fixes for a widespread FaceTime eavesdropping bug that lets you call someone via FaceTime and hear the audio coming from their phone before they pick up the phone.

If you skipped iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.4.2. Again, they're baked into your upgrade.

Apple lists a grand total of 23 patches on board iOS 12.1.3 and you can read about all of them over on Apple's website. 

If you skipped iOS 12.1.1, you'll want to install the iOS 12.4.2 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today. 

The iOS 12.1.1 update brought 17 patches for potential security exploits. They'll will help protect your phone. You can read about them here.

If you skipped iOS 12.1, you'll get the 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.4.2. If you skipped iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.4.2 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.

If you skipped iOS 12.0, and you're still running iOS 11.4.1 or below, your iOS 12.4.2 update comes with a longer list of security updates. 

The iOS 12.0 update delivered 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's security page.

In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:

  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device 

Long story short, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.4.2 today.

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