If your iPhone won’t turn off, you may be worried that your phone battery is going to run out or your iPhone is broken. Both are valid concerns. A stuck iPhone is a rare situation, but if it’s happening to you, you need to understand what’s going on so you can know how to fix it.
Reasons why your iPhone won’t turn off
The most likely culprits for an iPhone not turning off are:
- It is frozen due to software problems.
- The sleep/wake button is broken.
- The screen is broken and does not respond to shocks. If this is the case, go directly to step 4.
How to fix an iPhone that won’t turn off
All of these steps assume that you’ve already tried the standard way of turning off your iPhone (holding down the Sleep/Wake button and then sliding the Power Off slider) and that it didn’t work. If that’s the situation you’re in, try these steps below.
Step 1: Hard reset
The first and simplest way to turn off an iPhone that won’t turn off is by using a technique called a “hard reset.” This is very similar to the standard way of turning the iPhone on and off, but it is a more complete reset of the device and its memory. Don’t worry: you won’t lose any data. Only use a hard reset if your iPhone won’t restart otherwise.
To restart your iPhone:
- Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time. If you have an iPhone 7 series phone, press and hold the Volume Down key and Sleep/Wake up key . The power off slider should appear on the screen. Hold down both buttons.
- If you have an iPhone 8 or later, press and quickly release the Volume Up button , then quickly press and release the Volume Down button , and finally press and hold the Side button (on later iPhone models the name of the Sleep/Wake button).
- The screen will turn black.
- The Apple logo will appear on the screen. Release the buttons and the iPhone will reboot as usual. When the phone finishes rebooting, everything should work properly again.
Step 2: Enable AssistiveTouch and disable it by software
This is a super cool trick that is most useful if the physical Home button is broken and cannot be used to turn off the phone. In this case, you must do it through the software.
AssistiveTouch is a feature built into iPhone that places a software version of the Home button on your screen. It is designed for people with physical conditions that make it difficult to press the button, but many people without such conditions use it for the great features it offers. Get started by activating AssistiveTouch:
- Tap Settings > General > Accessibility .
- In the Interaction section, tap AssistiveTouch .
- On the AssistiveTouch screen, toggle the switch to On/Green and a new icon will appear on your screen. That’s your new software-based Home button.
With this new Home button activated, follow these steps to turn off your iPhone:
- Tap the software’s Start button .
- Tap Device .
- Touch and hold Lock screen until the Off slider appears.
- Move the slider from left to right to turn off your iPhone.
Step 3: Restore iPhone from backup
If a hard reset and AssistiveTouch didn’t fix it, the problem probably has to do with your phone’s software, not the hardware.
It’s hard for an ordinary person to figure out if it’s a problem with iOS or an app you’ve installed, so the best option is to restore your iPhone from a backup. This takes all of your phone’s data and settings, erases them, and then reinstalls them so you can start fresh. It won’t fix all problems, but it will fix many. This is what you have to do:
- Connect your iPhone to the computer you normally sync with.
- Open iTunes on your computer if it doesn’t open on its own.
- Click the iPhone icon in the upper left corner below the playback controls (if you’re not already in the iPhone management section).
- In the Backups section, click Backup Now . This will sync your iPhone with your computer and create a backup of your data.
- When you’re done, click Restore Backup.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to select the backup you just created in step 4.
- Follow the steps on the screen, and after a few minutes, your iPhone should boot up normally.
- Disconnect it from iTunes and you’re good to go.
Step 4: Visit Apple for help
If none of these steps have solved your problem and your iPhone still won’t turn off, your problem may be bigger, or just more complicated, than you can solve at home. Time to bring in the experts: Apple.
You can get phone support from Apple (charges will apply if your phone is no longer under warranty). See Apple’s list of support phone numbers.
You can also go to an Apple Store to get help in person. If you prefer, be sure to make an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar in advance. Tech support is in high demand at Apple Stores, and without an appointment, you’ll likely be waiting a long time to speak to someone.