iPhone / iPad Freezing or Not Responding

If your iPhone/iPad is not responding or not operating as expected, these tips will usually resolve most device issues.

If your device is not detected / shown in iTunes, follow these steps in order

Need assistance using iOS? Animated instructions are available for both iPad and iPhone at Mobile Device Help

Step 1. Recharge iPhone/iPad

Connect your device to a high-powered USB port, such as the one on your computer or use the Apple supplied AC adapter:

  1. Don't use the USB port on your keyboard because it is a low-power port and your device may not charge
  2. If you see the red part of the battery image flash three times and then the screen goes black, it means the device is not receiving power to charge
  3. If the battery is extremely low on power, the display may be blank for up to two minutes before one of the low-battery images appears
  • Make sure you're using the supplied USB cable to charge. Accessories that use FireWire to charge are not supported.

Step 2. Restart iPhone/iPad

The first step for most device troubleshooting is to perform a power cycle or restart the handset. To restart your iPhone/iPad:

  1. Press and hold the 'Sleep/Wake' button until a red slider appears
  2. Slide your finger across the slider and iPhone/iPad will turn off after a few moments
  3. Turn your device back on by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears

Step 3. Reset iPhone/iPad

If your device is still not responding, try performing a reset. When a reset is performed no personal data/media is lost. To reset your iPhone/iPad

  1. Ensure your iPad/iPhone has fully recharged has sufficient power
  2. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least 10 seconds, until the Apple logo appears.
  3. Your device will now reboot, but it will take longer than usual (a few minutes) for the device to complete the restart

Step 4. Restore iPhone/iPad

Important: A restore will delete all of your media settings and data. Back up your media, settings and personal data through iTunes before restoring your device. To restore your iPhone/iPad in iTunes 11 or higher

  1. Check you're using the latest version of iTunes on your computer and update if necessary.
  2. Connect your iPhone/iPad to your computer
  3. In the source menu select your iPhone/iPad
  4. Click on the 'Summary' tab
  5. Underneath the image of your iPhone/iPad, click 'Restore iPhone' or 'Restore iPad'. Restoring your iPhone/iPad can take several minutes.
  • If your device is not recognised/detected by iTunes, go to the next step.

Step 5. Reconnect/Reinstall

If your iPhone/iPad does not show in iTunes after connecting via USB:

  1. Ensure your iPhone/iPad is sufficiently charged
  2. Try connecting your USB cable to another port on your computer

     If your device is still not recognised by iTunes continue to Step 3
  3. Uninstall iTunes (your media/contacts and settings won't be deleted)
  4. Shut down your computer
  5. Restart your computer
  6. Download and reinstall iTunes - Get it here.
  7. Reconnect your device via USB
  • If your device is recognised and shown in iTunes, perform a backup then restore your device.
  • If your device is still not recognised follow the 'Recover' process below.

Step 6. Recover iPad/iPhone

If, after performing Step 5 above your iPhone/iPad still does not show in iTunes, you may need to place your device in 'Recovery Mode'. Placing your device into 'Recovery Mode' will delete all of your media, settings and data and should only be used as a last resort.

To recover your iPhone/iPad

  1. Ensure your iPhone/iPad is sufficiently charged
  2. Disconnect your iPhone/iPad from your USB cable, leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer
  3. Turn off the device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for the device to turn off
  4. With your device off, hold down the 'Home' button while reconnecting it to the USB cable. Keep holding down the Home key until you see the 'Connect to iTunes' symbol on your device
  5. If necessary open iTunes
  6. iTunes should recognise your device is in 'Recovery' mode and prompt you to restore the device
  7. Proceed with the restoration option

Related information

  • Getting a specific error code in iTunes? Check out this article on the Apple Website
  • For more information about backing up, restoring and restarting your device see this article on the Apple website