iPhones are usually dependable and long-lasting. If you take good care of yours, it ought to work for you for several years, at least. Like any electronic device, though, your iPhone can malfunction. For instance, maybe you’ve noticed that your iPhone keeps restarting without any action on your part. If so, that can be frustrating, and you’ll want to try and figure out a fix for it as soon as possible. Let’s take a few moments to talk about what might be causing this problem, as well as how you can resolve it.
Why Might Your iPhone Randomly Restart?
If your iPhone randomly restarts, then the problem could be caused by either hardware or software issues. If the hardware is to blame, then maybe you dropped the device, or it sustained some other kind of impact that has damaged some of the internal circuitry. It’s also possible that it has suffered some water damage, or some other liquid or debris has gotten inside it. If you know that the phone has been handled roughly recently, and the random restarting happens soon afterward, it seems likely the two things could be related.
If the software is the problem, then it might have to do with the phone being overdue for an iOS update. A system glitch could be to blame. Alternatively, maybe you just got through updating it, and that’s when the trouble started. If so, then a faulty new version of iOS might be your culprit.
You also may notice that your iPhone keeps restarting after you just installed a new app. Apps from the App Store are thoroughly vetted for glitches, but it’s possible that a bug still slipped through.
It might be that you jailbroke your phone because you wanted to be able to download apps from another source besides the App Store. Jailbreaking is when you use a program to fundamentally alter a device’s software. It gives you more freedom as to what apps you can have on your phone. The problem is, some of those that you might install is far more likely to cause system problems like spontaneous restarting.
It’s best to take a systematic approach when trying to diagnose what’s causing the restarts. You should start with the simplest solutions before moving on to more complicated ones.
Identifying Potentially Harmful Apps
If you look at various message boards that deal with the random restarting issue, you’ll find that more than anything else, iPhone owners report this problem as connected to faulty apps. If you downloaded a new app or just updated one when this issue began, then the majority of the time, that’s what is to blame.
From your Home screen, go to Settings. Tap Battery, and then select the option that says Show Activity. Go to where it says Show Detailed Usage. Now, you’ll get an on-screen breakdown of the apps and services that are running on your iPhone, as well as how much background activity is going on for each one.
Tap Battery Usage, which should show you a detailed power usage breakdown. You can hit Last 24 Hours, which will tell you more about your power consumption by each app. You can also tap Last 10 Days, and that will tell you even more.
Getting Rid of those Apps
What you are looking for is the apps that seem to be taking up an inordinately large amount of space. Those are the ones that can lead to battery drain, which, in turn, can lead to random restarts. Check the App Store to see if any of these apps need to be updated. If they do, update them without delay, and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, then your best move is to delete those apps.
To delete an app, first, go to the Home screen. Next, press and hold your finger down on the app icon until it starts to shake. You should see an “X” appear in an upper corner of the icon. Tap the X, and then tap Delete if you are prompted to do so. That will delete the app and all of its data and backup files. It will clear space on your phone, and it also might be what it takes to stop the random restarts. Tap the Home screen again to stop the other apps from shaking.
What if You Have Already Jailbroken Your iPhone?
We don’t ever recommend jailbreaking an iPhone since it leaves your device open to vulnerabilities that would not otherwise pose a threat. However, if you’ve done it already, then the best thing to do is to delete any apps that didn’t come from the App Store. One of those is likely responsible for the random restarts, and getting rid of it may solve the issue. Try to substitute a different app that has some similar features.
Storage Management Might Stop iPhone Randomly Restarts Problem
Another frequent cause of your iPhone restarting against your wishes is if you are running low on device memory. If your phone is loaded up with saved content and apps, then it might be more than the system can take, and it is restarting to compensate. Getting rid of old messages, files that are no longer needed, and apps that you no longer use might give your phone a new life.
Go to Settings, and then iPhone Storage. Look at the apps that you have, especially the ones that take up a lot of room. Ask yourself if you have used those apps in the last week or month. If there are some that you don’t use frequently, get rid of them using the method we spoke about before.
Next, you can delete your old message threads. Open your Messages app and get rid of any threads that you’re sure are no longer active. You can also erase old media files that you no longer need, like videos or photos. If you want to save some of those, but they’re taking up too much space on your phone, you can also transfer them to a laptop or desktop and preserve them that way.
Updating Your Apps and iOS is the Next Step
Checking iOS and your apps to see if any of them need to be updated would be the next logical step. iOS is the universal operating system that Apple uses on all of its devices. It needs to be updated periodically to fix bugs and glitches.
To update it, go to Settings from the Home screen, and then General. Go to Software Update. If one is available, tap Download and Install. If you’ve got a stable Wi-Fi connection, you can do it that way. You can also use iTunes if you like. If you’re busy, and you want the update to install later, you can hit Install Later. The update will install that night and you’ll see it there when you get up the next morning. Just make sure that your iPhone is connected to power, or the update will not occur.
As for the apps, if you look at the App Store icon on your Home page, you should see a little white number in a red circle if there are any updates available. The number in this circle indicates how many updates for your apps there are. Hit the App Store icon, then follow the prompts to update those apps.
Now, monitor your phone for a couple of days and see if the random restarting has ceased. If it’s still a problem, go on to the next fix.
Reset All of Your Settings
If you’ve tried all the options that we’ve mentioned to this point and you haven’t had the desired results, then the next thing to do would be to reset all of the settings on your iPhone. That sometimes fixes this issue.
From the Home page, head to Settings. Hit General, and then scroll down to Reset. Tap where you see Reset All Options. This will get rid of all of your preferences and restore the phone’s options and values to its original settings. If you get a prompt, hit Reset again, confirming this is what you want. It will take a few moments for the device to reset and then restart. Once it boots back up, you can enable any of the features that you like again.
You Can Erase All Content and Settings
If all of this has failed to work and your iPhone keeps restarting, then you can erase all of your content and settings. This will get rid of your customizations, contacts, downloads, and personal information. Before you do this, back up your device using either iCloud or iTunes. You can recover all of your vital files later.
When the phone is backed up, tap Settings from your Home screen. Hit General, and then scroll down to Reset. Hit Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your passcode when prompted to do so. Tap the option to confirm the factory reset, and then wait a few moments while the process takes place.
What if the iPhone Still Randomly Restarts?
If you have run through every option on this list, and the random restarts are still happening, then it is highly likely that a hardware issue is a cause. A flawed power component or a damaged battery might be doing it, or water or some other liquid might have gotten inside the phone. Of course, if you know for a fact that something like that happened to your device, then you can probably forego all of the other steps we mentioned and skip right to this one.
The only viable solution, if there is damage to the iPhone’s hardware, is to take it to an Apple Store with a Genius Bar. They can take a look at it and hopefully figure out what is wrong. If you have insurance on the phone, then that might cover it, depending on the details of your policy. The original factory warranty likely won’t help, since that is in place more for faulty components than damage to the phone when it is in your possession.
If you have no insurance, then you should consider how much the needed elements are going to cost, and how old the phone is. If you feel like the phone has reached the end of its useful life, then it might be better for you to sell it off for parts and just get a new one. That’s going to be entirely up to you, but no phone lasts forever, and if yours is several years old and is severely damaged, then it might be best to cut your losses and move on.
Now, you know what to try if your iPhone randomly restarts. Hopefully, the problem with yours will turn out to be minor, and you can fix it with a little easy troubleshooting.