How to Restart an iPhone (All Models)

Instructions for restarting and resetting an iPhone

How to reset iphone
Illustration by Lifewire

The iPhone is a powerful computer that fits in a pocket. Just like a desktop computer or laptop, sometimes an iPhone must be restarted or reset to fix a problem. To restart an iPhone, turn it off, then turn it on. When an iPhone doesn't respond to a restart, do a reset. Neither process deletes the data or settings on the iPhone. These aren't the same as a restore, which erases all the content on the iPhone and returns it to factory condition, after which you restore your data from a backup.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 7.

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How to Reset your iPhone

How to Restart the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone X, and iPhone 8

Restart an iPhone to solve fundamental problems, such as poor cellular or Wi-Fi connectivityapp crashes, or other day-to-day glitches. On these models, Apple assigned new functions to the Sleep/Wake button on the side of the device. It can be used to activate Siri, bring up the Emergency SOS feature, or other tasks. Because of this change, the restart process differs from the method used on earlier models.

To restart an iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone X, and iPhone 8:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Volume up works, too, but using it can accidentally take a screenshot.

  2. When the slide to power off slider appears, release the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons.

  3. Move the slider from left to right to shut down the phone.

How to Restart Other iPhone Models

Restarting other iPhone models is the same as turning the iPhone off and on. Here's what to do:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button. On older models, it's on the top of the phone. On the iPhone 6 series and newer, it's on the right side.

  2. When the power off slider appears on the screen, release the Sleep/Wake button.

  3. Move the power off slider from left to right. This gesture prompts the iPhone to shut down. A spinner displays on the screen indicating the shutdown is in progress. It may be dim and hard to see.

  4. When the phone shuts off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button.

  5. When the Apple logo appears on the screen, release the Sleep/Wake button and wait for the iPhone to finish restarting.

How to Hard Reset the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone X, and iPhone 8

The basic restart solves many problems, but it doesn't solve them all. In some cases—such as when the phone is completely frozen and won't respond to pressing the Sleep/Wake button—a more powerful option called a hard reset is required.

On iPhone XS or XRiPhone X, and iPhone 8 series, the hard reset process is different than for other models. To hard reset these iPhone models:

  1. Click and release the Volume Up button.

  2. Click and release the Volume Down button.

  3. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the slide to power off slider appears.

  4. Move the slide to power off slider from left to right to reset the phone.

How to Hard Reset Other iPhone Models

A hard reset restarts the phone and refreshes the memory that apps run in. It doesn't delete data but otherwise helps the iPhone start from scratch. In most cases, a hard reset isn't needed, but when it is needed on an older model (except iPhone 7), follow these steps:

  1. With the phone screen facing you, hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.

  2. Continue to hold the buttons when the power off slider appears, don't release the buttons.

  3. When the Apple logo appears, release the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button.

  4. Wait while the iPhone resets.

How to Hard Reset iPhone 7 Series

The hard reset process is slightly different for the iPhone 7 series. That's because the Home button isn't a physical button on these models; it's a 3D Touch panel. As a result, Apple changed how these models are reset. 

With the iPhone 7 series, hold the Volume Down button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time.

A hard reset is also one way to solve a much less common problem. An iPhone that won't turn off.

Affected iPhones

The restart and hard reset instructions in this article work on the following models:

iPhone XR

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 5

iPhone XS series

iPhone 6S

iPhone 4S

iPhone X

iPhone SE

iPhone 4

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 8

iPhone 6

iPhone 3G

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 5S

iPhone

iPhone 7

iPhone 5C

For More Help Resetting Your iPhone

Sometimes an iPhone may have problems so complicated that a restart or reset just doesn't do the trick. Follow these advanced troubleshooting steps to fix the problem:

  • Stuck at Apple Logo: If an iPhone is stuck at the Apple logo during startup, a simple restart may not be enough to solve the problem. Find out how to fix an iPhone stuck on the Apple logo.
  • Restore to Factory Settings: If you want to erase all the data from an iPhone and start from scratch. This solves some tough bugs. Before you sell your iPhone, restore it to factory settings.
  • Recovery Mode: If an iPhone is stuck in a reboot loop or can't get past the Apple logo during startup, try iPhone recovery mode.
  • DFU Mode: When downgrading the version of the iOS or jailbreak the phone, use DFU (Disk Firmware Update) mode.