Correcting a Frozen Apple iPhone

By Ashley Poland

The procedure for troubleshooting a freeze on the iPhone varies, depending on when the lockup occurs. Most freezes during operation are temporary problems, typically fixed by restarting the iPhone. However, if an application is consistently freezing, it's best to stop using the app and contact the developer with the problem. If your iPhone freezes during boot, you'll need to restore the phone to repair the bootloader, and all data on the device will be erased. If your iPhone persistently freezes even after being restored, the hardware may be failing. At this point, you may want to take it to an Apple store for advice and service.

iPhone Freezes While in Use

Step 1

Kill the app that you were using when the iPhone froze. Some applications may have incompatibilities or bugs that cause them to become unresponsive even when the iPhone still works. Hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button until the iPhone shutdown screen displays, then hold the "Home" button to force quit the app. If this works, you'll return to your home screen. You may also be able to do this by pressing the "Home" button twice, holding your finger over the unresponsive app's icon until it begins to shake, and then pressing the "Remove" icon to shut it down.

Step 2

Turn off your iPhone if you cannot force quit an unresponsive app. Hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button until the restart screen comes up, and then move the power slider to turn off the phone. Once it has shut down, hold the "Sleep/Wake" button until you see the Apple logo,indicating that the phone is starting up.

Step 3

Reset your iPhone if it doesn't respond when you hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button. Press the "Sleep/Wake" button and the "Home" button together, and continue pressing them until the Apple logo displays. This will take at least 10 seconds.

Connect your iPhone to a charger and let it fully charge. When the battery power is too low, errors such as freezing sometimes occur. Don't worry if the screen doesn't turn on right away -- if the battery is completely drained, it may take several minutes for the screen to activate and display the charging animation. Do not use the iPhone while it is charging for the quickest charge.

iPhone Freezes on Apple Logo During Boot

Step 1

Connect your non-responsive iPhone to your computer via a USB cable.

Step 2

Install the latest version of iTunes on your computer, if you don't already have it, and then launch iTunes. If the phone is stuck at the bootloader, iTunes will not recognize it as a connected device.

Step 3

Put the iPhone in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode. This allows iTunes to communicate with the phone even when the operating system isn't working. Hold the "Sleep/Wake" button for three seconds, then continue to hold it down and press the "Home" button for another 10 seconds. Release the "Sleep/Wake" button while continuing to press the "Home" button for an additional 15 seconds. When done properly, iTunes will alert you that the iPhone is in recovery mode.

Step 4

Select the iPhone in iTunes, open the "Summary" tab and choose the "Restore iPhone" option.

Wait until you see the "Slide to Setup" screen on your iPhone. Then slide the bar and follow the instructions to finish setting up your phone.