iPhone XS Problems: 5 Things to Know
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners are dealing with a variety of problems after moving to Apple’s latest iOS 16 software.
iPhone XS users are complaining about connectivity issues, activation problems, Bluetooth issues, battery life issues, Wi-Fi issues, and more.
The list of problems is growing and we expect it to get larger as Apple releases new software and more people decide to buy the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus in 2023.
In this guide we’ll take you through the most common problems plaguing the two models. We’ll also provide you with some tips and resources that will come in handy if and when you start noticing issues on your device.
iPhone XS Problems
Some new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are dealing with activation problems. Activation issues are fairly common so if you’re having trouble activating your new phone there’s no need to panic.
If you’re unable to activate your iPhone right now, check Apple’s System Status page. If it’s not green, you’ll want to wait until it’s green and then try again.
If it’s green and it’s still not working, make sure you have a SIM card in your iPhone. If you’re getting a “No Sim” or “Invalid SIM” error you’ll want to head here for help.
On top of that, we’re hearing about iCloud Restore problems. This is also a common issue with new phones and it can be rather tricky to fix. If you run into issues restoring from iCloud, head here for a few potential fixes.
iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are also complaining about problems with Face ID, problems with iCloud, Wi-Fi problems, sound problems, issues with first and third-party applications, UI lag, abnormal battery drain, cellular data issues, and Bluetooth issues.
Where to Find Feedback
If you start noticing issues on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, or if you’re thinking about buying one, you’ll want to dig into feedback and fixes from those who have upgraded. There are a few places to do that.
We recommend keeping an eye on YouTube, Apple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter/Facebook, and the MacRumors forums.
If you’re thinking about moving your iPhone X to the latest version of iOS 16, take a look at our guide that goes over the latest version of that software.
How to Fix iPhone XS Problems
If you run into an iPhone XS problem there’s no reason to panic. There’s a very good chance you can fix the issue(s) you’re seeing in a matter of minutes.
If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iPhone XS problems. This guide outlines fixes that could help you get your experience back on track.
We’ve also released some tips to help you improve your device’s overall performance and a guide that could help you improve your iPhone XS battery life.
If you can’t find a fix for your issue in those walkthroughs, you’ll want to check Apple’s discussion forums for potential fixes.
If you’d prefer to get in touch with Apple, you can do so via the company’s support account on Twitter. You can also get in contact with Apple Support via the company’s website.
If Apple’s frontline customer service can’t fix your problem, you might want to take your phone into your local Apple Store or your local carrier location to see if they can diagnose your issue.
If you’ve got an Apple Store in your area, schedule a Genius Bar appointment and have them run diagnostics on your device to see if they can pinpoint the problem.
How to Downgrade the iPhone XS
If you recently downloaded an iOS update on your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max and you’ve started noticing problems, you might be able to downgrade back to an older version.
Downgrading isn’t a guaranteed way to fix performance issues, but it’s an option if you want to try and get a handle on your phone’s performance.
Apple typically keeps the downgrade loophole open for a few weeks after it releases a new version of iOS so you’ll need to move quickly if you want to drop back down.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process our guide to the downgrade will walk you through everything you need to know.
If your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max is struggling, new bug fixes are on the way.
Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 16.5 update and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of a release later this year. We expect a release in May.
For more about the iOS 16.5 update and the beta, have a look at our walkthrough. And for more about the iOS 16.5 release date, check out our guide.
The company will also release iOS 17 for iPhone later this year and we expect the first beta to drop in early June. For more about iOS 17, check out our guide.
Install iOS 16.5 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.5 update on your iPhone right away.
Apple's detailed the security patches on board iOS 16.5 and you can learn more about them over on Apple's website.
As for older software, iOS 16.4.1 included two security upgrades and they're important if you want to keep your iPhone protected from harm. You can learn more about the pair here.
The company's iOS Security Response 16.4.1 (a) update also included security updates, but Apple hasn't revealed them yet and it's unclear if it will.
Apple's iOS 16.4 update had a substantial number of patches on board. You can read about them in detail over on Apple's security site.
The iOS 16.3.1 update had three security patches on board including one for an actively exploited vulnerability. For more on the security contents of iOS 16.3.1, check out Apple's security page.
iOS 16.3 brought 10+ new security patches with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software came with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.5. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site.
The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.
If you decided to missed iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.
03/22/2019 at 12:18 am
With all of the issues you have reported here with iPhone Xs and the software problems why would I want to buy into this nightmare? I’ve been with Apple for years now but it’s probably time to move on. The days of reliable hardware and software are gone. Their vision and support for the customer just isn’t what it used to be. I remember the focus on simple and intuitive software with attention to hardware that lasted years. They have lost it some where along the way….. I’m done with them after reading your articles and everyone else’s opinions online. Too much to deal with for sure. Thanks for the information.
04/06/2023 at 4:42 am
I have had this phone for 4.5 years now. Mobile Internet has never worked properly. Wifi has been problematic on some wifi networks. Me and my partner struggled the same and we blamed the phone operator for it. Now my partner bought a new phone, using the same sim, she says it is lightning fast now. So basically the iphone xs was faulty to begin with.