Why Does My iPhone Keep Restarting? Here’s The Fix!

Your iPhone keeps restarting and you don’t know what to do. We trust our iPhones and they need to work all the time. It would be great if there was a single reason why iPhones restart over and over again, but there isn’t a magic bullet for this problem. In this article, I’ll explain what causes iPhones to keep restarting and I’ll show you how to fix the restarting iPhone problem.

Attention iPhone X owners: If you have an iPhone X that’s having this problem, read my new article to find out how to stop your iPhone X from restarting over and over again. If those fixes don’t work, come back and follow this guide.

Why Does My iPhone Keep Restarting?

iPhones that keep restarting generally fall into two categories:

  1. iPhones that restart intermittently: You can use your iPhone for a while with no problem at all, and then your iPhone suddenly restarts.
  2. iPhones stuck in a restart loop: Your iPhone continuously restarts and it’s totally unusable. The Apple logo appears and disappears on the screen, over and over again.

If your iPhone falls into the second category, skip ahead to step 5. It’s impossible to do the first few steps if you’re unable to use the software on your iPhone. Let’s dive in, so you can stop shouting “My iPhone keeps restarting!” at the cat.

1. Back Up Your iPhone

Before we do any troubleshooting at all, make sure your iPhone is backed up. If your iPhone has a hardware problem, this could be your last chance to back up your data. If we need to, we’ll restore your iPhone in a later step, and you need a backup before you restore.

If you need help backing up your iPhone, Apple’s support article has an excellent walkthrough.

2. Update Your iPhone’s Software (iOS)

Like Windows on a PC or OS X on a Mac, iOS is your iPhone’s operating system. iOS updates always contain lots of fixes for software bugs and other problems. Sometimes, a software update fixes the problem that’s causing your iPhone to restart.

To check if any software updates are available, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. If an update is available, install it. You can also connect your iPhone to your computer and use iTunes to update your iPhone’s software. If your iPhone is continually restarting, iTunes might be your best bet.

software update ios 11

3. Determine If An App Is Causing Your iPhone To Restart

It’s very rare for an app to cause an iPhone to restart. For the most part, the software on your iPhone is shielded from problem apps. That being said, there are over 1.5 million apps in the App Store and they’re not all perfect.

If you installed an app just before your iPhone began restarting, uninstall that app and see if the problem resolves itself.

Settings -> Privacy -> Analytics -> Analytics Data is another place to check for problem apps. It’s normal to see several entries in this list. Quickly scroll through the list and look for any apps that are listed over and over again. If you find one, uninstalling that app may fix your iPhone.

check iphone analytics data

4. Reset All Settings

Reset All Settings isn’t a magic bullet, but it can resolve certain software issues. Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings to restore your iPhone’s settings to factory defaults. You won’t lose any of your apps or data, but you will have to enter your Wi-Fi password again.

how to reset all settings on iPhone

5. Remove Your SIM Card

iPhones can get stuck in a restart loop if there’s a problem with your iPhone’s connection to your wireless carrier. Your SIM card connects your iPhone to your wireless carrier, so removing it is best way to troubleshoot this issue.

Don’t worry: Nothing can go wrong when you remove your SIM card. Your iPhone will immediately reconnect to your carrier as soon as you put it back in.

Apple’s support article about how to remove the SIM card from your iPhone will show you exactly where the SIM card is located on your iPhone. You’ll use a paper clip to eject the SIM tray from your iPhone.

If removing your SIM card fixes the problem, put the SIM card back in your iPhone. If the problem comes back after you put your SIM card back in, you’ll need to restore your iPhone (step 7) or replace the SIM card with your carrier.

If removing the SIM card doesn’t fix the problem, don’t put your SIM card back in until you’ve completed the next step. If you’d like to learn more about your iPhone’s SIM card, check out my article called “Why Does My iPhone Say No SIM Card?”.

6. Hard Reset

You shouldn’t do a hard reset on your iPhone unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s kind of like turning off a desktop computer by unplugging it from the wall. That being said, this is one of those times where a hard reset is warranted.

To perform a hard reset, hold the power button and Home button (the circular button below the screen) at the same time until your iPhone screen goes blank and the Apple logo reappears.

On an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, the buttons you need to press to execute a hard reset are slightly different. Simultaneously press and hold the power button and the volume down button.

If you have an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, the process of hard resetting is also different. Press and release the volume up button, then the volume down button, then press and hold the side button.

Regardless of what model iPhone you have, make sure you hold both buttons down together for at least 20 seconds. People were amazed when they’d come into the Apple Store and I’d quickly fix their dead iPhone with a hard reset. They thought they did a hard reset at home, but they didn’t hold both buttons down for a long enough time.

If you removed the SIM card from your iPhone in the previous step, now’s a good time put it back in your iPhone. We’ve eliminated the possibility that your SIM card is causing your iPhone to restart.

7. Restore Your iPhone Using iTunes

Restoring your iPhone completely erases and reloads the iPhone’s software (iOS), and it can eliminate a slew of software issues at the same time. When we restore your iPhone, we’ll eliminate the possibility that a software issue may be causing your iPhone to restart — that’s why Apple techs do it so often.

Your iPhone needs to be connected to a computer to restore. I recommend doing a special type of restore that Apple techs do called a DFU Restore, which goes deeper than a regular restore and can solve more problems. You won’t find it anywhere on Apple’s website — read my article to learn how to DFU restore your iPhone.

After the restore finishes, you’ll be able to reload all your personal information from your iPhone backup in iTunes or iCloud. If you still have a problem, come back here and keep reading.

8. Check For A Hardware Problem

Hardware problems are a common reason why iPhones get stuck in a restart loop. If you’re using a case on your iPhone, remove it before you continue.

Look closely at the charging port on the bottom of your iPhone. Check to see if any debris is stuck inside and for signs of corrosion.

If something doesn’t look right, grab a toothbrush you’ve never used and gently brush out the charging port. A short circuit or other problem inside the charging port can cause all sorts of problems with your iPhone.

9. You May Need To Repair Your iPhone

We’ve eliminated the possibility a software issue is causing your iPhone to keep restarting and we’ve checked for hardware issues on the outside of your iPhone. If your iPhone is still restarting, your iPhone probably needs to be repaired.

If you choose to get help at your local Apple Store, make sure you have an appointment with the Genius Bar so you don’t have to wait around. A less-expensive alternative is Puls, a mail-in repair service that does great work.

Wrapping It Up

By this point, I hope we’ve fixed the problem that caused your iPhone to keep restarting. I’d like to hear your experience in the comments section below, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the Payette Forward Community.

All the best,
David P.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Mine is still rebooting after i took the sim card out

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Just had this issue was a faulty battery. Fine with my old battery in. Rebooting every 5 min with faulty battery.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

How to backup my iphone 5 when it only ok for 5 minutes 🙁

Anonymous
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Anonymous

dropped it again

Deepak
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Deepak

Thanks ! Even my 4S had lint in charging port. Cleaning with toothbrush helped my phone to normal.
Earlier in every 2-3 minutes , phone used to black out with split second appearance of white horizontal lines and restart again.

Glen Wallis
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Thanks! My iPhone 5 kept rebooting when I plugged in my headphones. Checked the headphone port and found a lot of lint in there. Cleaned it out and all good now!

Nouhad Eter
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Nouhad Eter

Hi
My iphone 6 plus and my ipad air 2 keep restarting frequently but the iphone’s is more frequent than the ipad. Both are useable. I followed your instruction step by step but i am stock at ” determine if an app is causing the restart”. Have been there but i cant understand a thing of the lists in the diagnostic data area. There are many repeated lists but u fortunately i dont know what they refer to …can you possibly help me pls?

Jonny Blackwell
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Jonny Blackwell

Hey ~ My IPHONE5 just keeps re-stetting over and over.. It might be a battery issue but it’s only staying on the Apple or a black screen. So im unable to wipe it or update it. Any tips?

Prerna
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Prerna

Mine was fixed by turning off mobile data. iPhone 5

jess
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jess

mine’s an iphone 4 so it’s probably just time for a new one but i couldn’t do the hard reset because it doesnt stay on long enough and also my powerbutton is broken so it’s kind of hard to get it to restart usually anyway even before it got stuck in a loop.

i cant restore it either because it doesnt stay on long enough for that, there’s about 5-10 seconds between each time it restarts. im pretty sure my phone is unreparable but this was a really helpful article though, so thanks 🙂

devotee
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devotee

iPhone5 kept restarting, even plugged in. Battery showed OK. Tried everything on the page above, to no avail. Over 3 years old and out of warrantee. Bought and replaced battery. VICTORY!!! It works. Prior to that, I couldn’t restore as it would always restart before restore was complete.

and to David Payette, thank you for the forum and help.

Dani Isham
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Dani Isham

Hi, my iPhone 6 Plus 128gb is slightly bend. After it was bend the apple logo was restarting. After ahwile I had to put pressure on the top n bottom screen with with my fingers until it came to the part where I had to type in my password. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it will hang and I had to do a hard reeboot and the apple logo will restart over again. Found out that if my phone is working ok again I cannot leave my phone in lock mode as it will restart again. I have to… Read more »

Mark Lombardo
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Mark Lombardo

i read your instructions and they worked flawlessly..thank you for saving me a boatload of cash and time.

Douglas Clark
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Douglas Clark

i have tried removing the sim card and hard resetting but its still restarting…..help out am losing it

Jozzy Arthur
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Pls i got a new iphone 5c and jus 3days after i got it, wen u put it on charge it keeps on restartin at first n now wen it charges up to 10% den it stop charging. Wen u remove it from charge it keeps on goin off evry minute so i cant use please help me out.

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