How to Force Restart the iPhone

When you’re using your iPhone and apps start to crash or slow down significantly, you normally restart your device to get it working properly again. But what if your iPhone just freezes or is completely unresponsive? That’s where a force restart is useful.

How to Force Restart the iPhone

This article will explain how to force restart your iPhone.

iPhone – How to Force Restart

A restart is simply turning off your iPhone and turning it on again, normally by using the restart switch in your power options. When you restart your iPhone, all its software applications are securely closed before it goes off. This means that all your data is protected.

If your iPhone freezes out of the blue, force restart it. The way you do so depends on your iPhone model.

Force restart iPhone 8, iPhone SE, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14.

  1. Press and release the volume up button.
  2. Press and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  4. Release the power button.

Force restart iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

  1. Press and hold the volume down button as well as the power button.
  2. When the Apple logo shows on the screen, let the buttons go.

Force restart iPhone 6 Series, iPhone SE and iPhone 5 Series

  1. Press and hold the power button together with the home button.
  2. Release all buttons when the Apple logo appears.

When Force Restart Works but iPhone Keeps Freezing

If your iPhone restarts, congratulations. You’ve fixed the issue. That said, if it happens often, you need to figure out the cause. Here are some things you need to consider:

  • Your iPhone might be carrying some corrupted files that are disrupting the normal functioning of the device. To solve this, clear your iPhone’s cache.
  • It’s possible that you installed an app that’s causing the problem. Uninstall the app and see if this fixes the problem.
  • If none of the above is the cause of the malfunction, back up your data and factory reset your iPhone.

When Force Restart Doesn’t Work

It must be frustrating to still be staring at a blank iPhone screen after applying the force restart procedures. All isn’t lost. Your iPhone can still be restored. If you didn’t back up your data, they may be lost but if you did, you’ll find them when this process is successfully completed.

For iPhone 8 and Later Versions:

  1. Connect your iPhone and Mac.
  2. Open iTunes or Finder Window for those using MacOS Catalina or a later version.
  3. Press and release the volume up button.
  4. Press and release the volume down button.
  5. Press and hold the power button until the “Recovery Mode” screen appears.
  6. In Finder of iTunes, select restore or update the device to reset your iPhone.

For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
  2. Open iTunes. If you’re using MacOS Catalina or later, open “Finder Window.”
  3. On Finder Window or iTunes, select “Restore” or “Update” your iPhone to reset your iPhone.

For iPhone 6 Series and iPhone SE (2016)

  1. Connect your iPhone and Mac.
  2. Open iTunes or Finder Window for those using MacOS Catalina or a later version.
  3. Press the power button and the home button together, until the Recovery Mode screen shows.
  4. Select update or restore device on iTunes or Finder Window to start the resetting process.

These model-specific solutions should be able to resolve the issue. However, if your iPhone remains unresponsive, we have other alternative solutions.

PhoneRescue – iOS System Recovery

When your iPhone can’t go beyond the Apple logo, the other thing you should consider is downloading the PhoneRescue software. It was built specifically for these types of issues. Use the following steps to restore your iPhone.

  1. After downloading PhoneRescue, connect your iPhone to a Mac.
  2. On the Data Recovery side, select “Repair iOS System” mode.
  3. To repair your iPhone, select “Advanced Mode.” It will keep your data safe.
  4. Enter “Recovery Mode” and follow these prompts (5,6,7):
    • Unplug and turn off your device.
    • Press and hold the home button while connecting your iPhone to the computer until the Apple logo appears.
    • Continue to long press the home button until you see the iTunes and battery charging logo.
  5. After your iPhone goes into Recovery Mode, click “Download” to install your iPhone’s firmware.
  6. Once the download process is complete, your iPhone should be repaired. That will be confirmed by the iOS Repairing Completed message.

Update Your iPhone’s Software

If you’ve forced restarted your iPhone and it doesn’t solve the issue, it’s possibly due to a software malfunction. This means that you have to update your iOS. Additionally, if you’re using an outdated iPhone, your iOS is likely unstable and if it’s not supported at all, consider upgrading your device.

To install the latest software update:

  1. Go to “Settings” and then “General Settings.”
  2. Go to the “Software Update” and check for updates.
  3. If you find updates, download and install.
  4. Once that’s done, restart your iPhone and see whether the issue is fixed.

Disable Siri

Some iPhone users say that doing the force restart with “Press Side Button for Siri” has led to the process not working. If that’s the case, it’s best to disable this option.

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Go to the “Siri” section.
  3. Go to the “Press Side Button for Siri” and disable the option.

Reset iPhone to Factory Settings

When you decide to factory reset your iPhone, you need to realize that you’ll lose all your data. Your iPhone will go back to default settings, as it was when you first booted it. To that effect, make sure you back them elsewhere. Once that’s done, follow these procedures:

  1. Go to “Settings” and then “General Settings.”
  2. On General Settings, look for the “Reset Option” and open it.
  3. Select “Erase All Content and Settings” and confirm.

Contact Apple Customer Service

If your attempts to solve the force restart not working issue fail, reach out to Apple Customer Service. It’s possible that your iPhone has a hardware malfunction that only Apple can deal with.


How long will it take you to force restart your iPhone?

It would take you about five to 10 minutes to force restart your iPhone. From holding down your up and down volume buttons, the wake/sleep button, and Apple logo to show, be patient.

How frequently should you force restart your iPhone?

You should restart your iPhone at least once a week. This will give it a chance to fix any software problems and prevent scenarios like sudden hanging.

What causes your iPhone not to turn on?

Your iPhone refuses to turn on because of software problems, hardware malfunction, installation of unverified apps, and corrupted files.

What should you do if your iPhone is unresponsive?

You’ll have to force restart your iPhone. Depending on the model of your iPhone, use the steps listed in the article.

Will you lose your data if you force restart?

Force restart doesn’t interfere with data that’s already saved. However, you may lose unsaved data.

Get Your iPhone Working Again

A laggy iPhone that won’t force restart is a serious annoyance. Fortunately, there are multiple ways of solving the problem. A simple restart should get your phone working again. However, if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to reset your phone altogether. Remember to back up your data to avoid losing it. If all recommendations fail, reach out to Apple Customer Service.

Have you ever force-restarted your iPhone? If so, did you use any of the tips and tricks featured in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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