Here's How to Fix An iPhone That Won't Turn Off

This issues doesn't happen frequently, but we have some solutions

If your iPhone won't turn off, you may be worried that your iPhone is broken and that your phone's battery is eventually going to run out. Those are both valid concerns. An iPhone that's stuck on is a rare situation, but if it's happening to you, here's what's going on and how you can fix it.

Reasons Why Your iPhone Won't Turn Off

The most likely reasons why your iPhone won't turn off are:

  • It's frozen due to software problems.
  • The Sleep/Wake button is broken.
  • The screen is broken and isn't responding to taps.
An illustration of the reasons an iPhone won't turn off.

These instructions apply to all iPhone models.

How to Fix an iPhone that Won't Power Off

Before you try any of these steps, first you should try the standard way of turning off your iPhone. For older iPhone models, hold down the Sleep/Wake button and then swipe the Power Off slider. If you have a newer iPhone, press and hold the Side button and the Volume down button until the slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off the phone.

If the standard iPhone restart process doesn't work, or doesn't solve the problem, try these four steps, in this order:

  1. Hard reset your iPhone. The first, and simplest, way to shut down an iPhone that won't turn off is using a technique called a hard reset. This is similar to the standard way of turning your iPhone on and off, but 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 any other way.

  2. Enable AssistiveTouch. This is a neat trick that's most useful if your phone's physical Home button is broken and can't be used to reset your phone (it also works on models without a Home button). In that situation, you need to use a software option. AssistiveTouch puts a software version of the Home button on your screen and lets you do everything a physical button can do.

  3. Restore your iPhone from backup. If a hard reset and AssistiveTouch haven't solved it, your problem probably has to do with the software on your phone, not the hardware.

    It's hard for the average person to figure out whether that's a problem with the iOS or an app you've installed, so the best bet is to restore your iPhone from backup. Doing this takes all of the data and settings from your phone, deletes them, and then reinstalls everything to give you a fresh start. It won't fix every problem, but it does fix a lot.

  4. Contact Apple support. If none of these steps have solved your problem, and your iPhone still won't turn off, your problem may be bigger, or a lot trickier, than you can solve at home. It's 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). Check Apple's list of support phone numbers here.

    You can also go to an Apple Store for face-to-face help. If you prefer that, be sure that you make an Apple Genius Bar appointment ahead of time. There's a lot of demand for tech support at Apple Stores and without an appointment, you'll probably wait a long time to speak to someone.

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