How To: Force Restart Your iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR When It's Acting Up

Force Restart Your iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR When It's Acting Up

We often take for granted how reliable our iPhones are — so much so that many of us get panic-stricken at the very rare event where our device freezes up as a result of a buggy app or an update gone awry. Because of this, knowing the basics of troubleshooting is a handy skill to have, and this still applies to the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. Force-restarting is usually the first tactic to employ.

In some ways, knowing how to perform a force restart can especially apply to Apples latest flagships, as they utilize the highly advanced but yet unproven A12 processor that's based off 7 nm architecture. As stable as iOS is, we still highly recommend covering all your bases, just in case your iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR experiences any hardware or software-related hiccups.

If you have one of these new devices, even just shutting the device down is tricky, unless you came straight from the iPhone X where it's the same process. To shut down, you either have to open your iPhone's Settings app and hit the "Shut Down" button or press the Side button and at the same time as either Volume Up or Down button.

The shut-down button combo is similar to how you would force-restart older iPhone models, so how do you hard reboot the iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR? Well, it's the same process as on the iPhone X.

Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then do the same for the Volume Down button. Next, press-and-hold the Side button for about 10 seconds or until the display abruptly shuts off. Keep the Side button pressed and only let go once your iPhone powers back onto its Apple boot screen. In list form, that's:

  1. Press Volume Up button.
  2. Press Volume Down button.
  3. Press-and-hold Side button for about 10 seconds.
  4. Release Side button when you see the Apple boot screen.

After you've successfully performed a hard reboot, your iPhone will boot up as normal, and leave all your precious information intact. You can further troubleshoot your device from there and trace back your steps to check for what caused your device to malfunction, be it a problematic app or a glitch within iOS itself that might necessitate an update or software restore through iTunes.

Cover photo by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

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