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iPhone is not responding? A simple guide to fix an unresponsive iPhone

Ella Garcia Updated on Apr 26, 2022 8:10 PM

If your iPhone isn't responding when you touch it, you might think you're out of luck and are destined to restore the device to factory settings or give it away. The article gives you solutions to iPhone not responding issues depending on when they happen. After each step, restart your phone for ensuring that everything stays responsive.

  • If an app isn't responding on iPhone
  • If your phone doesn't respond or is frozen completely
  • If the screen isn't working on iPhone

Whether it's the iPhone frozen with black screen, the apps not responding, or the touch screen not working, the causes often boil down to software bugs (e.g. iOS system errors, app crashes, etc.) and hardware failures (e.g. water damage, battery issues, etc.) In case your iPhone server isn't responding and is unable to access to any internet services, read this post to troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks and connections.

If an app isn't responding on iPhone

When an app freezes up on iPhone, it stops responding to commands. Before taking a drastic measure of resetting your device, try to force quit the app, then open it again.

  • On iPhone X, XS or later, swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen. On iPhone 8 or earlier, double-press Home button to show your recently used apps.
  • Swipe right or left to find the frozen app.
  • Swipe up on the preview of that app to force close it.

What Do I Do If iPhone Is Unresponsive

The Apple Support article offers in-depth instructions on troubleshooting the apps that stop working in iPhone. Restart your device, check for app updates and reinstall the app are involved.

If your phone doesn't respond or is frozen completely

iPhone not responding could appear as a complete freeze of the screen - the screen might be black or frozen. The strong potential cause for this is the software glitches. To find out and fix iOS system errors, try these troubleshooting techniques.

Before proceeding, you need to plug in your device and let it charge with an original or Apple-certified charger. The battery running out of the power as well as any weird battery issue could cause the iPhone to not respond and turn on.

1. Force restart your device

Often, an iPhone that won't respond is caused by a simple hiccup and a force restart of the device can get that solved, though it may seem like a cop-out answer.

iPhone 8, X and later require different button combos than previous iPhones:

  • Press and quickly release Volume Up button.
  • Press and quickly release Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus:

  • Press and hold both Volume Down and Side buttons.
  • Release the buttons when you see the Apple logo.

For iPhone 6 and previous iPhones:

  • Press and hold Home button and Power button.
  • When Apple logo appears, release the buttons.

This should save you a trip to the Apple Store. If the iPhone stops responding again, continue to the next section below.

2. Repair iOS system errors - the ultimate guide

If the iPhone still freezes up even after a force restart, employ a robust troubleshooter. More often than not, iOS System Recovery software does a good job in the first place and it will correct any issue on the operating system. Sometime the iPhone itself will need an update but it's not responding to turn on, or probably even worst, the firmware has been unresponsive to boot up the device. Take it easy, the application should have you covered.

Fixing an iPhone that isn't responding or is frozen is easier than you might imagine for the streamlined techniques of the utility. And once it's done, your iPhone should become responsive with all data and settings preserved.

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Once you decide on the software, it's times to get down to business. Here's how you can fix iPhone not responding issue and enhance the device performance. It should be a pretty simple exercise whether you're using an iPhone SE (2nd generation), 11, XR, XS, X, 8, 7, 6s, or whatever.

You can also use this comprehensive guide to get the iPhone up and running when it's unresponsive or frozen.

  • Plug iPhone to the computer through a USB cable.
  • From within the application, click "More tool".
  • Select "iOS System Recovery" mode and click Start button.
  • Check "Standard Mode", followed by clicking Confirm button.
  • Go ahead to choose the latest iOS.
  • Click Next button to begin downloading the firmware.
  • Click Fix button.

iPhone Is Frozen or Won't Turn Off

3. Start unresponsive iPhone in recovery mode

Another way to fix when iPhone is not responding is to use recovery mode. This option takes things a step further, putting iPhone into a state where you can reinstall iOS by connecting your phone to a computer running iTunes or by using Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina.

1. Connect your iPhone to the computer.

2. Open iTunes with latest version installed or Finder.

3. Enter iPhone recovery mode.

  • On iPhone 8 or newer model: Press and release Volume Up button. Press and release Volume Down button. Press and hold Side button until you get the recovery mode screen.
  • On iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: Press and hold Volume Down button and Sleep/Wake button until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • On iPhone 6s or earlier model: Press and hold both Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until the recovery mode screen appears.

How Do I Fix an Unresponsive Touch Screen

4. When you get the option for Update or Restore, choose Update.

Your computer should now reinstall latest version of iOS on the iPhone to get it going again. The process will not erase your content on the device.

If the screen isn't working on iPhone

In case the problem only occurs when the screen is not working on the iPhone, there is something related to the touch screen causing the device to freeze up — perhaps the screen doesn't respond to touch or buttons, responds intermittently to touch, or it's too sensitive. If you're experiencing the issue, give these steps a try.

Sometimes the answer is as simple as restarting your device. If this simple restart doesn't resolve the freezing problem, cleaning the screen, disconnecting any USB cable, removing the case or screen protector are the courses of action. This Apple document outlines all approaches.

Restart iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max or later:

  • Press and hold either volume button and the side button until the power off slider appears.
  • Drag the slider Slide to power Off all the way to the right.
  • Wait a few seconds for the device to turn off.
  • Press the Power button to turn it on.

Restart iPhone SE (2nd generation), 8, or earlier:

  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • When the slider appears on the screen, drag it off.
  • After the device turns off completely, press the Power button to turn it on again.

Contact Apple for support

With the above-listed steps, iPhone not responding issue can be fixed in a very effective way and if you're still have that problem, then contact Apple Support, make an appointment at Genius bar, or take the device to the Apple Store for a professional assistance to determine the cause for the iPhone not working, crashing or hanging.

The users who operate iPhone are only human, and hardware components can break down. The device dropped to the water could cause it to stop responding, though Apple claimed that it's water resistant. If your phone is badly damaged and the main board is ruined which cannot be repaired, you should buy a new one.

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