What To Do When Your iPhone Won’t Turn Off: Troubleshooting Guide

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As an iPhone user, few things are more annoying than when your phone gets stuck and won’t turn off, even when you hold down the power button. This issue can drain your battery and interfere with normal use.

While an unresponsive iPhone is frustrating, the good news is there are several techniques you can try to get your device working again. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the solutions, from simpler resets to more advanced restoration using iTunes.

Follow these troubleshooting tips, and you’ll get your iPhone turned off and back to normal operation.

Key Takeaways

  • Force restart your iPhone by pressing Volume Down and Power at the same time
  • Disable any Accessibility Shortcuts that could be preventing shut down
  • Check for and install software updates which may fix bugs
  • Reset all settings to defaults without losing data
  • Restore iPhone using iTunes backups to refresh the operating system
  • Contact Apple Support if all else fails for personalized help
  • Back up your data before resets and restorations to avoid data loss

What Causes An iPhone To Get Stuck On?

Before diving into the solutions, it helps to understand what causes an iPhone to get stuck in the first place and refuse to power down. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Software bugs or glitches: Like any gadget, iPhones can experience software crashes and bugs that lead to freezing and unresponsiveness. This is often fixed by rebooting or installing iOS updates.
  • Problematic apps: Certain third-party apps, especially poorly designed or outdated ones, can sometimes interfere with system functions like shutting down. Deleting or reinstalling the problematic app may help.
  • Accessibility settings: Special accessibility features designed to help users with disabilities can actually prevent an iPhone from turning off normally in some situations.
  • Hardware damage or failure: Physical damage to buttons or internal hardware components can lead to power down issues. This requires professional repair or replacement.
  • Jailbreaking: Modifying the iOS software through jailbreaking creates a greater risk for crashes and freezing issues to emerge.

So in most cases, software is to blame. Let’s look at the step-by-step solutions to get your iPhone responding again when it won’t turn off.

1. Force Restart Your iPhone

The first thing to try when your iPhone is stuck on and won’t power down is a force restart, which resets the device without losing any data. Think of this as rebooting a frozen computer.

Here is how to force restart, depending on your iPhone model:

For iPhone 8 or later:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo appear.

For iPhone 7 or 7 Plus:

  • Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6s and earlier:

  • Press and hold both the Home button and the Top (or Side) button at the same time for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

If the Apple logo appears after following these steps, the force restart succeeded and your phone should be responsive again. Give it a minute or two after booting up before trying to turn it off again.

Pro Tip: Force restarting is one of the simplest ways to troubleshoot an unresponsive iPhone and should be your first solution to try. It resets the device without losing any data.

2. Check Accessibility Shortcuts

Your iPhone has special Accessibility Shortcuts designed to help users with disabilities. However, these shortcuts can sometimes be accidentally enabled and prevent the iPhone from being turned off normally.

Go to Settings > Accessibility and select Accessibility Shortcut. Check that any listed shortcuts are toggled OFF. Common ones that could interfere with powering down include:

  • AssistiveTouch
  • Invert Colors
  • VoiceOver
  • Zoom

If you find any shortcuts enabled that shouldn’t be, turn them off. Then try to turn your iPhone off again normally.

3. Update to the Latest iOS Version

Outdated iOS software with bugs can sometimes cause freezing and shutdown issues on iPhones. Updating to the latest iOS version improves system stability and fixes many known bugs.

To update, go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates. Make sure your iPhone is charged or plugged in before updating, as the process can take time.

Pro Tip: Avoid delaying iOS updates, as running old iOS versions leaves your device more vulnerable to bugs and performance issues. Stay updated!

4. Reset All Settings

Resetting your iPhone to factory default settings, without deleting any data, can often resolve software glitches that are preventing normal shutdown. Here’s how:

reset all setting on iPhone
  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Tap Reset All Settings (not Erase All Content and Settings!).
  3. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  4. Confirm on the popup to reset settings.

Your iPhone will reboot and you’ll have to reconfigure settings, but contacts, media, apps, and other data remain intact. Now try powering down again as usual.

Pro Tip: Always choose Reset All Settings instead of Erase All Content and Settings, unless you want to delete everything and start fresh.

5. Restore iPhone Using iTunes

If your iPhone still won’t turn off after trying the above steps, it’s time to use iTunes on a computer to restore the device. This reinstalls the iOS software without deleting your data.

Important: Back Up Your iPhone First!

Before restoring, make sure to back up your iPhone’s data and content locally on your computer using iTunes. That way you can sync the data back after restoring for zero data loss.

restore iPhone with iTunes

The steps to back up your iPhone to iTunes are:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the Lightning or 30-pin cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer. Select your iPhone under the Devices menu.
  3. Under Backups, click This Computer then Back Up Now to run a backup.

Once backed up, proceed with the restore process:

  1. With your iPhone connected to iTunes, click Restore iPhone on the Summary page.
  2. A popup will warn you that it will erase your device – click Restore again to confirm.
  3. The restore process will take time to complete. Your iPhone will reboot to a Hello screen when done.
  4. On the Hello screen, choose Restore from iTunes Backup and sync back your data!

This wipe and refresh of iOS system software should get your iPhone responding and able to turn off again as normal.

Also read: My iPhone won’t turn on, what to do?

6. Contact Apple Support

If you still can’t get your iPhone to turn off after trying all the troubleshooting steps, your last resort is to contact Apple Support online or by phone for assistance.

You can start a support chat at getsupport.apple.com or call 1-800-APL-CARE. Explain your shutdown problem and what steps you’ve tried already.

Apple’s technicians can run diagnostics, suggest other advanced fixes, or arrange for phone replacement if hardware damage is suspected. Don’t hesitate to utilize Apple’s support resources if needed!

Also, click to find out the best solution for iPad is Disabled Connect to iTunes.

FAQs: Common Questions about iPhones That Won’t Turn Off

Q: Why does my iPhone get stuck on the Apple logo and won’t turn off?

A: An iPhone stuck on the Apple logo usually indicates a major software malfunction. Try force restarting – if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to restore iOS via iTunes or Apple Support.

Q: Can I force shut down my iPhone by holding buttons?

A: Yes, you can force restart your iPhone using the key combo for your model as explained above. This powers down and reboots the device.

Q: Will I lose all my data if I restore my iPhone using iTunes?

A: No, as long as you back up your iPhone to iTunes before restoring, you can sync your data and content back after the restore process finishes.

Q: How long does an iPhone take to restore with iTunes?

A: Restoring with iTunes can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour depending on your iPhone model, iOS version, and amount of data. Be patient and let the process complete.

Q: What if force restarting and restoring don’t fix my iPhone?

A: If you still can’t get it to power down properly, contact Apple Support right away for advanced troubleshooting or repair options. Don’t delay getting help.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Having an iPhone that refuses to turn off can rapidly drain the battery and prevent you from using the device properly. While frustrating, there are a number of troubleshooting techniques you can apply to successfully power down a stuck iPhone:

  • First steps: Force restart your iPhone and check for any problematic Accessibility Shortcuts.
  • Software fixes: Update to the latest iOS version and reset all settings to defaults.
  • Advanced solution: Use iTunes to fully restore iPhone software without losing data.
  • Get support: If all else fails, contact Apple’s support teams for personalized assistance.
  • Prevent data loss: Always back up your iPhone before resets and restores.

Persist in systematically applying these solutions, and you should be able to get your stubborn iPhone to successfully power down again. Rest easy knowing the steps to take next time it happens!

Now that you know how to fix an iPhone that won’t turn off, it’s equally important to prevent future freezing and crashes. Be diligent about updating your iOS version, avoid unstable apps, and manage your storage. With some care and maintenance, plus this handy troubleshooting guide, you can avoid many frustrating iPhone issues.


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

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