How to Fix an Apps from Freezing or Crashing On iPhone

Tech Tips

Frustrated that your favorite iPhone app isn’t working properly? Perhaps Instagram closes immediately upon opening, or Chrome works for awhile before suddenly returning you to the Home Screen with no explanation. Maybe YouTube worked perfectly until you installed the latest iPhone update. Whatever your situation, there could be a simple fix. So long as you are using an app that is supported by Apple and continuously updated by its developer, your app should be working.


Before proceeding, make sure that there are no underlying issues with your Wi-Fi connection and mobile network. If more than one app is frequently crashing, the problem likely lies with your phone rather than the app itself. Apple Support typically advises iPhone users to try the three Rs: Restart, Reset, and Restore. This list includes those and a few more advanced workarounds for troubleshooting your crashing app! 


Fix 1: Force Close the App


This fix takes less than a minute, but tends to—temporarily—resolve most app crashes. In this case, your app may be stuck on a loading screen, or perhaps it froze in the middle of a game. Apps that use a lot of memory can sometimes become overloaded. When you force close the app, you effectively reset the app and clear its memory.


Force closing an app requires these three steps:

  1. For iPhones with a Home button, double click the button to display your recently used apps. For iPhone X or later, simply swipe up from the bottom.
  2. Swipe to the right or left to find the app you wish to force close.
  3. Swipe up on the app to close it.


Of course, this is not a permanent solution. Most apps freeze or crash from time to time, but if an app is continuously experiencing issues, keep reading to find a more stable fix.


Fix 2: Update the App


Most developers constantly update their apps to address bugs or add features (or improve existing ones). If you do not have automatic updates turned on, or if you avoid updates in general, your apps may become buggy and unstable.


To make sure an app is up to date, simply:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap the “Updates” tab located on the bottom right side of your screen.
  3. Look for the iPhone app you are troubleshooting. If it is listed, make sure to install any available updates. The developer may have fixed the exact issue you have been experiencing. If the app is not listed, it is up to date.


It is worth noting that an app update itself sometimes causes crashing problems. Either way, if updating the app does not fix your problem and you have the latest iOS downloaded and installed on your iPhone, report the issue to the app developer—and consider trying the following solutions.


Fix 3: Clear the App Data


The longer you have an iPhone, the more likely its internal memory has an inadequate amount of available space. Older iPhones are generally slower and less dependable because they have accumulated so much excess data. Simply clearing data and memory space on your iPhone can completely transform its performance capacity.


The same goes for apps: over time, as an app collects more and more information (some necessary, some not so much), it tends to slows down. Unfortunately, you have to delete the entire app to delete its information. If you are confused about how to clear the app data in your iPhone, use the follow steps:

  1. Tap Settings. Scroll to and select the General tab.
  2. Tap iPhone Storage. Find and select the app that is crashing. Tap “Delete App.”
  3. To ensure the app is no longer running in the background, perform a soft reset. Manually turn off your iPhone and turn it back on.


Before deleting the app, make sure to backup your iPhone (including the app and its data) to iCloud. You could unknowingly lose valuable information by deleting an app, so make sure you have the option to restore your app data before deleting the app.


Closing background apps, deleting apps you no longer use, and offloading app data can also help improve an app’s performance. Using a ton of memory every time you use your iPhone can drain and diminish the performance of more complex apps.


Fix 4: Reset All of Your Settings


If none of the above options work, try restoring the default settings on your iPhone. You may have inadvertently made a significant system-wide change, or an iPhone or app update may have made the app impossible to use with your preferred settings.


To reset iPhone settings, simply:

  1. Tap Settings. Scroll to and select the General tab.
  2. Click Reset. This will take you to a screen that offers you a number of options.
  3. Select the option Reset All Settings. Note that none of your content will be deleted.


If this solves your app’s problem, you will need to reconnect your phone to your Wi-Fi network, re-add any desired words to the keyboard dictionary, and redesign your home page layout. As with Fix 3, make sure to backup your iPhone. That way, if the app continues to crash under default settings, you can more easily restore your preferred settings.

Fix 5: Factory Reset


If this app is essential to your day-to-day life, you may have to set up a factory reset. For iPhone users about to proceed with a factory reset, make sure to backup your data! Unlike Fix 4, this step requires deleting all of your content. Your app may be experiencing a terminal error due to a bug, or there could be an underlying system issue that only a factory reset can resolve. There are two ways to complete a factory reset, one with and one without a computer.


To reset your iPhone without a computer, follow almost exactly the same steps as Fix 4:

  1. Tap Settings. Scroll to and select the General tab.
  2. Click Reset. This will take you to a screen that offers you a number of options.
  3. Select the option Erase All Content and Settings.


Curious how to factory reset an iPhone using a computer? Install the latest version of iTunes on your Mac or PC. You will also want to turn off Find My iPhone (you can find this option by tapping Settings, your name, and opening iCloud). Then:

  1. Connect your phone to your Mac or PC with a USB cord.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Click on your iPhone when it appears on the left sidebar in iTunes.
  4. Click the Summary tab (located on the left sidebar under Settings) and select “Restore iPhone.”


iTunes will erase all data and information on your phone and install the most recent iOS software. Your iPhone will reboot and restart as a clean, data-free device.

Fix 6: Putting your iPhone in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode


There is one more advanced method for restoring your iPhone system. If a factory reset did not work, you can perform a system “restore” (really, a downgrade) in Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode. In this mode, iTunes can install information on your iPhone without triggering the operating system and bootloader as a typical factory reset does. That way, if the issue lies with the operating system or the bootloader, you may be able to circumvent both.


If you are not sure how to put your iPhone in DFU mode, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. When iTunes recognizes your iPhone, hold down both the Power and Home button at the same time for eight seconds.
  4. After you have held both for eight seconds, let go of the Power button. Continue holding the Home button until this pop-up appears on your computer screen: “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.” Once you see that message, release the Home button. Your iPhone screen should stay black—if it lights up, return to Step 3.
  5. Follow the iTunes instructions to downgrade your iPhone to an earlier firmware and operating system.


Only use this solution if you have exhausted all other options and are comfortable with the risks of altering your phone’s firmware and operating system. Your phone may become unusable if you aren’t careful! 

Fix 7: Delete the App for Good


If none of the above steps work, the app could be truly broken. Sometimes developers neglect to update their apps. You may also have an iPhone that is no longer supported by the developer. If your other apps work and your iPhone appears to be in good condition, use the App Store and experiment with new apps that perform similar functions.


If you do not want to give up on the app just yet, make sure to report the issue to the app developer. You could also connect with an online Apple expert to ask for help, or take your iPhone to a Genius Bar if you think a deeper hardware issue is the culprit. And feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or would like to share with us another solution to this issue!

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