Why Does My Phone Keep Freezing?

Your Android or iPhone is a mini computer. Here’s what’s up

Like any computer, a smartphone may sometimes stop responding. A slow processor, not enough memory, or a lack of storage could be the culprit. An app or an operating system glitch also stops your phone from working, as can a slow or disconnected internet connection.

How to Fix Your Freezing Phone

Photo of iPhone (left) and Android phone (right) inside a freezer with ice to the right of the phones
  1. Reboot your device. As with almost any electronic device, the first troubleshooting step is to turn it off and turn it back on. Your phone is no different. A restart or reboot may resolve a surprising number of problems. Restart your iPhone or reboot your Android device to clear those problems.

  2. Update your system software and apps. A flaw in system software can cause sporadic and unpredictable problems. Updating to the most current version of Android or checking for an iOS update at least gives you access to known and fixed system flaws.

  3. Update apps. A bug in an app can affect your device’s available memory or performance. The best software developers maintain their software and publish periodic updates. Configure your iPhone automatically check for app updates or update apps on your Android smartphone.

  4. Force the app to quit (or close). This procedure works when an app simply gets stuck in an unusable state—you tap it but it doesn’t open or doesn’t respond. Much like on a computer, forcing an app to close stops the app so you can start it again. Force-quit apps on iPhone and close apps on Android.

    On iOS, you shouldn't need to quit apps with any regularity. IOS pays attention to which apps should be running and stops the ones that don't need as much of your device's resources.

  5. Clear up some storage space. Store videos and photos somewhere other than on your device. Videos can take up a significant amount of storage space, and a lack of storage space can cause a phone to pause or appear to stop working, while full (or almost full) storage may make slow your device.

    You can use Android's file manager to clear some space, while you can free up storage on iPhone through its settings, by deleting apps, or deleting photos and videos in the Photos app.

  6. Remove problem apps. If you notice your phone freezes frequently after you open an app, you might want to remove that app. Some apps are simply flawed and/or crash-prone. You can easily delete apps from your iPhone or uninstall applications from your Android.

  7. Reset your phone. If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your phone still freezes, reset your phone. Reset an iPhone through the settingsthe process is similar on Android.

    After a reset, you’ll need to go through the standard phone setup process, just as you did when your phone was new. On both iOS and Android, you should be able to restore from a previously made backup.

    Back up your phone before you perform a reset. Backup up an Android is fairly straightforward and can be done in many different ways. On iOS, the process involves either backing up to iTunes or using iCloud.

  8. Visit a licensed repair facility. If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your phone still freezes, seek a specialist to figure out if there’s a hardware problem with your device. If you have an iPhone, take your device to an Apple store or contact Apple Support. If you have an Android device, contact either the manufacturer of your phone or contact your carrier for support.