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How to force-restart an iPhone or iPad

If your iPhone or iPad has become unresponsive, or it’s shut it down and it won’t turn on again, all is not lost. There is a feature on iOS devices that can be used when the normal modes of operation aren’t working.

However, as we said above, the procedure depends on the age of the phone you are using. Things can get a lot more complicated if you have a newer model, as the iPhone 7 and 8 lack the physical home button used to force reboot older Apple devices. In fact, the new iPhone 8 and X have a particularly complicated method for force-rebooting, which we will outline below.

Force-restarting an iPhone 6s, SE or earlier

As long as your device isn’t an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus or X, this is what to do to force your device to restart:

  1. Hold down the Home button (the one on the front of the iPhone or iPad) as well as the power button
  2. Keep both buttons held until the Apple logo appears
  3. Now let go of the buttons and wait while your device complete its start sequence
  4. Enter your passcode at start up, even if you usually use a fingerprint for ID

This is called a force-restart (or sometimes a hard reset), and should hopefully fix any issues you were having. If things are still not as they should be, then it might be a good idea to restore your iPhone from an old backup, as some of your files could be corrupted and causing the issue.