iPhone 5s bugs and how to fix them

Apple’s iPhone 5s has been available in the UK since September, giving early adopters plenty of time to report bugs.

iPhone 5s bugs and how to fix them

The iPhone 5s features a fingerprint scanner and a 64-bit chip for the first time, naturally leading to a few teething problems.

Most can be fixed by keeping iOS up to date – but for anyone still having trouble, we will keep track of common issues and fixes on this page.


It’s usually Windows PCs cursed with the Blue Screen of Death, but iPhone 5s owners reported similar frozen screens when running built-in productivity apps such as Keynote or Numbers.

The error should have been fixed in October with the release of iOS 7.0.3, which promised better system stability, but there are workarounds for anyone still experiencing problems.

One, according to forum user JimHdk, is to switch off iCloud syncing for Pages, Keynote, and Numbers via the iPhone 5s settings.

Others have advised exiting back to the home screen before opening another app to avoid crashes.

Some users have still reported BSODs followed by an infinite reboot loop, apparently unrelated to the iWork problem. Apple hasn’t acknowledged a second problem, but restoring to factory settings is a good catch-all fix, though it’s worth keeping in mind that you will lose any data.

Faulty fingerprint scanner

Early iPhone 5s buyers have reported that their fingerprint scanners have become less accurate over time – even though their devices are only a few months old.

Apple hasn’t acknowledged a bug and it’s possible that affected users just have greasy fingers. Fingerprint scanning on phones is also relatively new, so users may still be unused to the feature.

Some users have reported that installing the latest iOS update, then re-registering their fingerprints with more precision cleared up any issues. One Apple forum user, Chas, advised others to scan the centre, rather than the top edge, of their fingers.

Others recommended simpler measures such as keeping the sensor clean and keeping fingers clean and dry before use.

Battery life

Apple admitted a battery fault with some iPhone 5s handsets which left users with just two or three hours of power after charging – well below the promised ten hours.

That’s only affected a limited number of phones, and Apple has promised to replace any faulty devices.

Another reason for patchy battery life might be iOS 7, which reportedly depletes power at a rate of knots.

There’s no fix for this as such, but there are a number of ways to conserve power. Some ways to boost battery life include switching off background app updates via the settings, turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use, disabling push notifications and turning on the “Limit Ad Tracking” option via the privacy settings.

Inaccurate sensors

Not long after the release of the iPhone 5s, users spotted that the phone’s sensors were inaccurate. The accelerometer, gyroscope and compass were all found to be faulty, rendering navigation apps, games and other sensor-reliant apps useless.

Apple has fixed this and other issues with the October iOS 7.0.3 update. A more recent update, iOS 7.0.4, is also available.

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