Apple iPhone Outline on Blue

Sometimes you need to completely shut down your iPhone, perhaps to help with troubleshooting or to save your battery life during a long period of inactivity. Luckily, it’s easy to do by using two different methods. Here’s how.

The Difference between Sleep Mode and Shutting Down

Normally, when you briefly press the top or side button on your iPhone, the screen on your device turns off, but the iPhone stays running. This is called sleep mode or lock mode. While it turns off the screen, it doesn’t completely power off the device.

In contrast, shutting down your iPhone starts a special software shutdown process where your iPhone begins to tidy up and prepare for power-off. Then, your iPhone turns off completely. We’re going to show you how to completely turn off an iPhone in the steps ahead.

How to Shut Down an iPhone Using a Hardware Button

Diagram showing the hardware buttons you need to hold to shut down an iPhone.
Apple

If you need to turn off your iPhone quickly at any time, the easiest way to do so is by using a hardware button on your device. Exactly how to do this varies slightly by model, since certain iPhones include different types of buttons:

  • On iPhones without a Home Button: Simultaneously hold the side button and the volume up or down button for about four seconds until the power-off slider appears on the screen.
  • On iPhones with a Home Button and a Side Button: Hold the side button for a few seconds until the power-off slider appears.
  • On iPhones with a Home Button and a Top Button: Press and hold the top button until the power-off slider appears.

When the “Slide to Power Off” slider appears on the screen, place your finger on the white circle with the power icon and swipe your finger to the right.

The Apple "Slide to Power Off" slider.

Advertisement

After a moment, your iPhone will shut down and power off completely.

How to Shut Down an iPhone Using the Settings App

You can also turn off your iPhone using a little-known feature in the Settings app. To do so, first, open Settings on your iPhone.

In the Settings app, tap “General.”

In Settings on iPhone or iPad, tap "General."

On the “General” page, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and tap “Shut Down.”

In Settings > General, tap "Shut Down."

The “Slide to Power Off” slider will appear on the screen. Swipe it to the right, and your device will turn off completely.

Place your finger on the "Slide to power off" button and swipe to the right.

With the power off, you’re finally free!

RELATED: How to Turn Your iPhone On and Off Without Using the Power Button

How to Turn Your iPhone Back on Again

Now that your iPhone has been turned off, what next? If you’re troubleshooting, you can wait a few moments, and then turn it back on again. Waiting 10 seconds is a good rule of thumb when power-cycling gadgets in general.

Advertisement

If you wanted to save power, then you’re already set: Your iPhone won’t use any battery power while it’s powered off. (But batteries naturally and slowly drain over time, so if you put your iPhone in a drawer and come back to it in a year, its battery level will be a bit lower than you left it.)

To turn your iPhone back on, just press and hold the top or side button on your iPhone until the Apple logo appears. After a few moments, you’ll see the lock screen, and you’re back in action. Good luck!

RELATED: Having a Weird iPhone Problem? Reboot It!

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.