Difference Between a Hard and Soft Reset on iPhone

by J.T. Barett
Soft and hard resets help clear up intermittent iPhone problems.

Soft and hard resets help clear up intermittent iPhone problems.

Occasionally, an app on your iPhone may freeze up or otherwise malfunction. The iPhone's reset functions will usually restore normal operation. A soft reset, called "restart" in the iPhone user manual, turns the device's power completely off, halting all programs. Under certain circumstances, a troublesome app may prevent the iPhone from completing a soft reset. In that case, a hard reset is necessary.


To do a soft reset on the iPhone, hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button until the red slider appears. Slide the slider with your fingertip to turn the iPhone off. To complete the reset, turn the iPhone on again by holding the "Sleep/Wake" button until you see the Apple logo on the screen. A hard reset has a single step. Hold the "Sleep/Wake" and "Home" buttons down simultaneously for 10 seconds or longer until the screen displays the Apple logo. After a few seconds, the normal home screen appears.

Effect on Power

During a soft reset, the iPhone is turned off. During this time, it draws no power from the battery. When you store the iPhone for more than a few days, leave the power off until you need it again to prevent the battery from draining. During a hard reset, the phone remains powered on.

About the Author

Chicago native J.T. Barett has a Bachelor of Science in physics from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing since 1991. He has contributed to "Foresight Update," a nanotechnology newsletter from the Foresight Institute. He also contributed to the book, "Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance."

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images