Khamosh Pathak

Force Restarting an iPhone or iPad works as a quick fix for many iOS and iPadOS issues. If your device won’t boot up, or if you’re experiencing a system-level bug, before rushing to the Genius Bar, see if a force restart will fix the issue.

When Should You Force Restart?

Now and then, your iPhone or iPad might suffer some form of a software glitch. It can be an iOS update gone wrong, a rogue app, or just an iOS or iPadOS bug that won’t go away.

Force restarting is most helpful when your iPhone or iPad is stuck and unresponsive. When you can’t even turn off your device, try force rebooting it—it usually fixes the issue.

How to Force Restart an iPhone

The process of force restarting an iPhone differs between phone models. While the process is different, the result is the same.

iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Higher

An iPhone without a physical home button has a new process for force restarting it. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus (which have a capacitive Home button), or the latest iPhones that don’t have a Home button at all (iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR), follow the steps below to force restart your handset.

First, press and release the “Volume Up” button. Then, press and release the “Volume Down” button. Finally, press and hold the “Side” button until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen. It can take up to 30 seconds for the logo to show up.

Once the logo pops up, you can let go of the Side button. Your iPhone will now finish the rebooting process.

RELATED: How to Force Restart iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also feature a capacitive Home button, but they have a different force restart button combination specific to these two devices.

You can force restart both phones by pressing and holding the “Volume Down” and the “Side” button together. Continue holding until you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 6s and Older

The older iPhones with the physical Home button have a much more straightforward force restart process.

If you’re using an iPhone 5s, SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, or 6s Plus, press and hold the “Home” button along with the “Sleep/Wake” button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

How to Force Restart an iPad

If your iPad is stuck on a screen and isn’t responding to any touch inputs or button presses, use one of the following methods to force it to restart.

iPads without the Home Button

If you’re using a new iPad Pro with Face ID, there’s a new process for force restarting your iPad Pro (similar to the new way of turning off the iPad Pro).

First, press and release the “Volume Up” button, press and release the “Volume Down” button, and then press and hold the “Top” button until you see the Apple logo appear.

When the logo appears, release the button. Your tablet should be back to normal after the process completes.

iPads with a Home Button

Most iPads other than the newer Pros feature the Home button. If your iPad has a physical Home button (a circle) in the bottom bezel, use the following method to force restart your iPad.

Press and hold both the “Home” button and the “Top” button (also known as the Power or the Sleep/Wake button) at the same time until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

When the Apple logo appears, you can let go of the buttons.

Usually, force restart takes care of small iOS issues and bugs. If your problem persists, you can try resetting your iPhone or iPad as a last resort.

RELATED: How to Fix Crashing Apps on an iPhone or iPad

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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