Why Does My Phone Keep Freezing?

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

Like any computer, a smartphone may sometimes stop responding. An app or an operating system glitch may prevent your phone from working. A slow or disconnected internet connection can do the same.

What Causes a Phone to Freeze?

There are several reasons why an iPhone, Android, or another smartphone might freeze. The culprit may be a slow processor, insufficient memory, or a lack of storage space. There may be a glitch or a problem with the software or a particular app. Often, the cause will reveal itself with the corresponding fix. Other times, a basic troubleshooting step may fix the problem without revealing the cause.

How to Fix Your Freezing Phone

Follow these steps, in order, to get your smartphone working properly again.

  1. Reboot the iPhone or Android. As with most electronic devices, the first troubleshooting step is to turn the device off and on. Your phone is no different. A restart or reboot may resolve a number of problems.

  2. Update iOS or Android. A flaw in the system software can cause sporadic and unpredictable problems. Updating to the current version of iOS or Android resolves any systemic problems identified by the developers.

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

  4. Force the iOS or Android app to close. This procedure works when an app is stuck in an unusable state—you tap it, and 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.

    On iOS, you shouldn't need to quit apps often. iOS pays attention to which apps should be running and stops apps that don't require as much of the device's resources.

  5. Use Android storage manager or free up your iPhone's storage space by deleting apps, photos, or videos. Store videos and photos somewhere other than on the device. Videos take up the most storage space. A lack of storage space can cause a phone to pause or appear to stop working, while full (or almost full) storage may slow the device.

  6. Delete problem iOS or Android apps. If the phone frequently freezes after you open an app, remove the app. Some apps are flawed or prone to crashes.

  7. Reset the iPhone or Android device. If you tried all the above steps and your phone still freezes, reset the device. After a reset, go through the standard setup process, like you did when you first got the phone. On both iOS and Android, you can restore from a previously made backup.

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

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