iPhone Frozen and Won’t Turn Off? Let’s Fix It

  1. Published on Sep 24, 2021
  2. Updated on Sep 24, 2021
  3. No Comments

You’re on the edge of your game or in the middle of something and then your iPhone suddenly freezes or crashes. And now, you can’t even turn it off.

Well, you’ve found the right guide! In this article, we’ll provide you with a number of ways on how you can turn your phone off when it’s frozen.

Before anything else, let’s understand what causes this issue on your device.

Let’s get started!

Why Won’t My iPhone Turn Off?

An iPhone that cannot be turned off is usually caused by software issues or a defective power button.

It’s normal to be alarmed, especially if it’s your first time to encounter this problem. But don’t worry, some of the solutions below may be able to fix it.

Try To Turn Off Your iPhone Again

Let's start with the basics. Try turning your iPhone off by pressing and holding down the required hotkeys. The steps would slightly differ depending on the version of iPhone you are using.

For iPhone X, 11 or 12:

  1. Hold down the side button and either of the volume buttons until the power off slider shows.
  2. Once the power off slider appears, drag the slider and wait for at least 30 seconds for your phone to turn off.

If your device is iPhone SE (2nd gen), 8, 7, or 6:

  1. Press and hold down the side button and release it once the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider and your phone will turn off in 30 seconds.

Suppose you are using iPhone SE (1st gen) or earlier:

  1. Hold down the top button. While holding, wait until you see the power off slider and release it.
  2. You will need to drag the slider to power off your device.

 power off iPhone

Doing the steps above usually turns off an iPhone. But if none of them work in your case, proceed with the next method.

Turn Off Your iPhone via The AssistiveTouch Feature

It’s likely that your iPhone’s power button is not functioning. Let’s try to turn it off using a built-in feature called AssistiveTouch. It’s a very handy tool that emulates the functions of your device’s buttons.

Access the AssistiveTouch through these steps:

  1. First, go to Settings and select Accessibility.
  2. Find and tap the AssistiveTouch setting.
  3. Turn on AssistiveTouch by toggling the switch to the right. Upon doing so, you’ll notice that a light gray square with a circle in the middle appears on your screen. This is your AssistiveTouch button and now you can use it to access the basic functions of your phone.

Now that the AssistiveTouch has been turned on, let’s use it to turn your iPhone off:

  1. First, tap on the AssistiveTouch button on your screen. This will display additional options.
  2. From the list, select Device > More > Restart icon. Doing this will display the power off slider.
  3. Finally, drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPhone.

Turn Off Your iPhone via The AssistiveTouch Feature

Hard Reset Your iPhone

Hard resetting your iPhone is another thing to consider if the previous methods do not work. There’s a possibility that your phone’s software is malfunctioning and a hard reset is needed.

To perform a hard reset on iPhone X, XS, XR, 11, 12, 8, or SE (2nd gen):

  1. Quickly press and release the volume up button.
  2. Subsequently, press and release the volume down button.
  3. Hold down the side button until the Apple logo appears.

Force Restart iPhone 12

If you have an iPhone 7:

  1. Press and hold down the Sleep/Wake and volume down buttons at the same time. Wait until you see the Apple logo on your screen and release the buttons.

Force Restart iPhone 7

It’s quite different but just as simple for 6s and earlier versions of iPhone:

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home down buttons simultaneously and when the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

Force Restart iPhone 6S

Once you successfully perform a hard reset, try to use the Sleep/Wake or side button if it’s already working. If not, proceed with the next method.

Check Available Storage On iPhone

Over time, files and applications consume a lot of memory on your device. Phones need to allocate memory to run processes both on your display and behind the scenes.

If you have insufficient memory, your phone may face various issues like lagging, crashing, and other problems.

Check the available storage of your device by navigating to Settings. Here, tap General and select Storage. Ideally, your phone should have at least 1GB of available memory to efficiently run processes.

Otherwise, we suggest you backup your important files and delete any unnecessary applications and data.

 iPhone storage

Update the iOS and Apps to the Latest Version

Another fix that you can do is to update your iPhone’s software as well as all your installed applications.

This can optimize your device’s overall performance and it might be able to get rid of system bugs and glitches such as unresponsiveness and inability to shut down upon prompting.

Thankfully, you will receive a notification when a software update is available on your device.

Just see to it that you are connected to the internet from time to time. When there’s a pending update, here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, go to Settings and access the General section.
  2. Press Software Update and select Install Now.
  3. Finally, perform the on-screen instructions that appear during the process to download and update your operating system (OS).

check for an iOS update

In the case of installed applications, updating them requires the following steps:

  1. First, find and tap the App Store option on your home screen.
  2. Scroll down until you find the Updates section. From here, you will see the list of applications that have pending updates.
  3. Lastly, select and update the applications.

Install Pending Updates for Apps

Refresh the iOS System via TinyFix

Alternatively, you can use a third-party application called TinyFix. This one-click repair tool usually resolves most system issues experienced by iOS users.

It’s easy to use the TinyFix application. You just have to do the steps below.

  1. Download and install the TinyFix software to your PC or Mac.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC using a USB cable.
  3. Launch the TinyFix application and from the main interface, click on Start.
  4. At this point, select Standard Repair and click the Download button to download the latest firmware package of your phone.
  5. When the package has been downloaded, click Start Standard Repair. The repair process should take a while so make sure that your iPhone is properly connected.

Standard Repair Mode

Restore Your iPhone Using Recovery Mode

If all the previous methods do not work, it’s probably time to reinstall your iPhone’s OS. This will not only fix the not turning off issue, but it also reverts your phone into its factory settings.

For this method, you need to have your USB cable and computer. Afterwards, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB cable and launch iTunes.
  2. Start your phone in recovery mode. The steps on how to enter this mode vary depending on the model of your iPhone.
  3. If you’re using iPhone 8 or the later versions: Press and quickly release the volume up button. Afterwards, you also need to press and release the volume down button. Finally, hold down the side button until you see the lightning connector and iTunes logo on your screen. This signifies that your phone is now in recovery mode.
  4. For iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: Hold down both Sleep/Wake and volume down buttons until the recovery mode screen appears.
  5. For iPhone 6s or earlier generations: Press and hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously and release both once you see the recovery mode screen.
  6. Upon entering recovery mode, it’s time to update or restore your phone. That’s right, you’ll be given two options. There’s a good chance that your phone only needs to be updated to fix the issue so, try choosing Update first.

Restore Your iPhone Using Recovery Mode

In the event that the update did not fix the problem, you’ll have to try the other option, which is Restore. Unfortunately, this will delete all your data, so try to make a backup first.

iPhone Still Frozen and Won't Turn Off?

The worst-case scenario is none of the above solutions work in your situation. Don’t lose hope yet, perhaps it’s time to take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store and have it checked by an expert. You can also contact them through their official website.


There you have it. We just showed you different solutions you can do if your iPhone can’t be turned off. We hope that we are able to help you work out this dilemma and we are more than happy to help you should you have further questions or suggestions. Just leave us a message in the comments section below.


J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young

Mako is a technical freelance writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.
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