If your iPhone or iPad keeps shutting down, here are some fixes you can try!
Whether it's an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6, and iPad Air or iPad mini, if your device keeps turning off at random, when the battery isn't even depleted, there's a lot you can try on your own before contacting Apple for help. Sure, sometimes it's a hardware problem with the battery or electronics, but often enough it's a software issue that a few simple steps can fix. If so, follow along and we'll get you back up and functioning smoothly in no time!
1. Hard reset
If your iPhone or iPad won't charge, one of the first and easiest things to try is a hard reset. Whether it's really shutting down on its own, or it's rapidly depleting the battery due to rogue processes or Wi-Fi or cellular radio activity, a reset can help. Make all the "reboot Windows" jokes you want but sometimes bad bits get stuck and need to be flushed out.
- Press and hold down both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.
- Keep them held down until you see an Apple logo.
- Let go.
Once your iPhone or iPad has rebooted, wait and see. If it stays on and operational, you're good. If not, or if it won't reboot, go on to the next step.
2. Plug in
If your iPhone or iPad is rapidly discharging, once you plug in you should see it begin to charge and be able to read the battery level. No charge left means something drained your battery. Partial or full charge means you may have another problem.
So, grab your Lightning or 30-pin Dock connector, plug into an outlet or USB port, and start charging. Once your topped up, keep an eye on your iPhone or iPad and see if it shuts down again. If not, great. If so, keep reading.
3. Restore your iPhone
Restore through iTunes
After trying the easy fixes, it's time to try the harder ones. In this case, restoring your iPhone or iPad in iTunes. iTunes is a safer bet than iCloud because it actually offloads, re-installs, and reloads your data rather than doing everything in-place and on your device. That can sometimes shake loose bad bits that even a hard reset or iCloud restore can't.
- Connect your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC via Lightning or 30-pin Dock connector.
- Click on the Device tab at the top left.
- Click on Backup.
- Wait for the backup to finish.
- Click on Restore
- Wait for the restore to finish.
When you're all done, see if your iPhone or iPad stays on. If so, hallelujah. If not, there's on more thing to try.
4. Visit an Apple Store or call 1-800-MY-APPLE
Sometimes a problem really is a problem. Like any electronic device, batteries can fail and circuits can short. If you have AppleCare+, don't walk, run to get it fixed. If you don't, get an estimate and weigh the cost of repair against the cost of upgrading to a new device.
If you don't live close to an Apple Store, you can call 1-800-MY-APPLE in order to set up a mail-in repair. If you don't have AppleCare, you may have to pay for the call, but it's less of a waste than having a dead iPhone or iPad.
If you had an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that kept shutting down, and one of the above fixes worked for you, let me know! If something else worked, let me know that as well!
Ally Kazmucha contributed to a previous version of this article.