How to Fix Frozen iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the causes behind a frozen iPhone and follow a comprehensive guide to troubleshoot and fix the issue. Find solutions to get your iPhone back on track.

By Abhishek Chandel
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How to Fix Frozen iPhone

How to Fix Frozen iPhone

Having your iPhone suddenly stop responding and freeze can be incredibly annoying and disruptive. You may be texting a friend, scrolling through Instagram, or talking on a FaceTime call when, without warning, your iPhone becomes completely unresponsive. Don't panic - a frozen iPhone can often be fixed with some simple troubleshooting steps. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the common causes of an iPhone freezing and provide actionable solutions to get your device back up and running.

What Causes an iPhone to Freeze Up?

Before you can fix a frozen iPhone, it helps to understand what's behind the freezing in the first place. Some common culprits include:

Buggy Apps and Software Glitches

Apps with coding issues and iOS software bugs are a prime suspect for iPhone freezes. Perhaps you recently downloaded an app update with conflicts or the latest iOS version has a glitch Apple will patch in a future update. Conflicts like these can cause a system crash.

For example, after updating Instagram to the latest version, some users have reported random freezing likely caused by a bug in the app code. Uninstalling app updates often resolves this until a more stable update is released.

Insufficient Storage Space

Today's advanced iOS requires free space for temporary files, caches, and overall smooth functioning. If your iPhone storage is completely full with zero bytes free, the operating system may freeze or crash when trying to access storage required for system processes.

Downloading a large app, movie, or batch of photos when storage is completely maxed out is a common freeze trigger. iOS needs breathing room.

Extreme Temperatures

Although iPhones are designed to function in a wide range of temperatures, extreme heat or cold outside the operating range of 32° to 95°F can potentially cause instability and freezing issues.

For example, if you leave your iPhone baking in direct sunlight on a hot summer day, the battery and other components may overheat and fail to work properly leading to a freeze. The same goes for very cold winter temperatures.

Faulty Hardware

Hardware issues like a failing battery, bad logic board, or faulty memory chips are less common, but can also cause an iPhone to freeze up intermittently or constantly until repaired.

If you notice freezing when performing specific actions like launching the camera, it may point to a particular hardware component that needs service.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting and Fixes for Frozen iPhone

If your iPhone is frozen, stay calm and try these troubleshooting steps in order:

1. First, Force Restart the iPhone

Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo appear. This will forcibly reboot and restart the device. It works as a "reset" for any temporary software glitches.

Give the iPhone a few minutes after the restart to get back up and running. This simple step alone fixes many basic freezing issues.

2. Check for and Install Any Pending iOS Updates

Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available iOS updates that show up. Apple frequently releases updates packed with bug fixes, many of which address freezing issues.

3. Force Quit Any Unresponsive Apps

Double press the Home button and swipe up on any apps stuck open in the app switcher that may be contributing to the freeze. Force quitting provides more available RAM.

If a specific app like Facebook or Safari is frozen, quitting it often gets an iPhone back working. Apps can hang or freeze in the background.

4. Free Up Storage Space

Head to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to make space. Review large files like videos, photos and app caches that can be deleted. Offload unused apps too.

Aim for at least 10% free space as a buffer for iOS. The "Offload Unused Apps" quick-fix is great for quick space.

5. Move iPhone to Moderate Temperature

If freezing started from severe heat or cold, move your iPhone to a more moderate temperature between 32° and 95°F. Give it at least 30 minutes to reach normal operating temperatures again before assessing.

Gradually warming a freezing cold iPhone prevents condensation issues. Don't heat it rapidly with a hair dryer for example.

6. Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off

Flip the Airplane Mode switch on, wait 30 seconds, then turn it back off. This resets all network connections and often resolves any lingering connectivity bugs that may be freezing the OS.

Toggling Airplane Mode essentially power cycles the network hardware when you toggle it off and on again. It works great for connection-related freezing.

7. Reset Network Settings

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will delete all saved Wi-Fi passwords, reset network databases, and overwrite any problematic network settings stored on your device.

This fix helps resolve stubborn freezing related to connections, especially if it persists after the Airplane Mode reset above.

8. Backup and Restore iPhone

Under Settings > General > Reset, choose "Erase All Content and Settings" to wipe your iPhone and reinstall iOS from scratch. Backup critical data first! This fix nukes your frozen device back to factory state.

Restore your data after the reset completes. This starts 100% fresh like a brand new iPhone. Perfect for eliminating any corrupted files or settings.

9. When All Else Fails, Seek Professional Repair

If you still experience freezing after trying all of the troubleshooting steps, your iPhone will likely need to be repaired. Make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store and have them inspect for hardware defects.

Be prepared to explain exactly when and how the freezing occurs, as well as what steps you’ve tried already. This will aid their diagnosis. Repairs may involve replacing the battery, screen, or even the entire logic board.

Keep Your iPhone Running Smoothly Going Forward

Here are some final tips to keep your iPhone running smoothly and prevent future freezing issues:

  • Remember to close apps you aren’t actively using from the app switcher. Too many open apps hog RAM and can slow things down.

  • Routinely delete old text threads, photos, videos, and other content to maintain at least 10-15% free storage space.

  • Carefully research apps before downloading to avoid installing buggy releases prone to freezing. Read ratings and reviews.

  • Avoid exposing your iPhone to temperature extremes inside vehicles on hot or cold days.

  • Use cases and screen protectors to prevent damage from drops and accidents that can lead to hardware issues.


Hopefully this guide gave you some helpful, actionable troubleshooting steps to try when your iPhone inevitably freezes up. With patience and working through them in order, you should be able to get your iPhone back working smoothly in no time. Just be diligent about proper device care, storage management, and software updates to minimize the chance of a freeze happening in the first place.

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