How to turn off, force restart, and reset iPhone X, XS, or XR

8 min read

Your iPhone X not always behaving well? There could be many reasons why iPhone X is unresponsive, suddenly freezes, or refuses to wake — and we’re not ready to name all of them. However, we can give you the fixes for the majority of iPhone X issues, including the ways to force restart and hard reset your phone. Spoiler alert: It’s trickier than with older iPhone models.

But first, let’s deal with the definitions: 

Force restart or soft reset is used to turn the power off. Basically, it only closes the active apps, without clearing away any data stored on your device.  

Hard reset or master reset returns a device to the factory settings. In other words, it’s a complete restoration of your device, which clears the RAM. 

Before fixing your iPhone X, make sure you understand the difference between the two. If you decide to hard reset iPhone, you’ll need a reliable iOS backup tool to keep the data stored on your device safe. 

How to force restart iPhone X 

Apple made restarting a bit more complicated with the release of iPhone X. On older iPhones, you can just hold the Side button (formerly known as the Sleep/Wake button) and immediately see the power off slider on the screen. In iPhone X, this magical button has a different role — it’s used to activate Siri, Apple Pay, and the Emergency feature. So you’ll have to go with a trickier restart alternative. 

If your iPhone X is responsive, you can turn it off using the software method: 

  1. Go to Settings > General. 
  2. Scroll down and click Shut Down — it’s at the very bottom. 
  3. Once you see the slider, swipe it to turn off the iPhone.

swipe to turn off iPhone

In most cases, when an iPhone misbehaves, it won’t respond to any of your actions. So the only solution would be to force restart it: 

  1. Hold down the Side button and Volume Up or Volume Down button at the same time. 
  2. Once you see the slider on your screen, swipe it to turn off the iPhone. 
  3. Turn the device back on as usual. 

Apple instruction on how to turn off and restart iPhones

How to hard reset iPhone X

Hopefully, you don’t have to. Very often, a master reset is the only iOS troubleshooting method that can bring your iPhone back to life. If a force restart doesn’t work and neither your iPhone screen nor the buttons respond, or you encounter frequent system instabilities, it might be the time to start anew. 

Note that a hard reset erases all the data from your phone, including messages, photos, and contacts. But you can restore everything from your iOS backup later. 

Here’s how to reboot iPhone X, XS, or XR: 

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button. 
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button. 
  3. Hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen. 

The same reboot method works for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. However, if you own iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you’ll need to do it a bit differently — by holding the Side button and the Volume Up/Down button until the logo appears. Attentive readers have noticed it’s the same way you force restart an iPhone X. So make sure there’s no confusion. 

How to fix the most common iPhone X issues 

Breaking every rule of a good how-to article, we’ve started with the fixes before mentioning the issues. But wait, we can explain. The whole toolkit of iPhone X troubleshooting methods is pretty straightforward: 

  • If the device misbehaves but responds to your actions > Restart. 
  • If the restart didn’t help or your phone becomes unresponsive > Force restart. 
  • If iPhone X won’t turn on or you continue having the same issues after restarting > Hard reset. 

So it only takes knowing how to reboot your system to fix most of the iPhone X issues. Still, you can always dig a bit deeper. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can not only learn how to instantly pick the right troubleshooting method — but also how to prevent the problem in the first place. 

Here’s a list of specific issues that you’re most likely to encounter with iPhone X — along with the common troubleshooting techniques. 

Check out how to clear cache on iPhone

If iPhone X is stuck on the Recovery Mode 

Your iPhone X may be stuck on connecting to iTunes or Recovery Mode screen. The most common reasons are attributed to software issues and include iOS update/backup failure or a jailbreak. These are usually easily curable. However, hardware-level problems shouldn’t be excluded as well — especially if you’ve previously dropped or drowned your iPhone X. 

Here are the key ways you can bring your phone back to life: 

  • Learn how to force restart iPhone X. After rebooting, try restoring your iOS in iTunes by connecting your iPhone X to a computer with a USB or Lightning cable. 
  • Restore your iPhone X in a DFU mode. DFU mode or Device Firmware Update is a system restore that enables your iPhone to connect to a computer via iTunes even if you’re stuck in the Recovery Mode. Here’s how you enter the DFU mode: 
  • Connect your iPhone X to a computer with a USB or Lightning cable and open iTunes on a computer. 
  • On your phone, press and release the Volume Up button > press and release the Volume Down button > hold the Side button until you see a black screen. 
  • Press and hold the Volume Down button + Side button for about five seconds. 
  • Release the Side button but continue holding the Volume Down button until you see iTunes instructions appear on the iPhone screen. 
  • Follow the instructions to activate the DFU mode. 

Check out information about what to do if my iPhone won't turn on

If your battery is suffering: fix iPhone battery life problems

With every new release, Apple is improving battery life across iOS devices. iPhone X has a pretty solid battery. But if you have particularly power-hungry apps installed on your phone, or you encounter poor mobile signal, the battery will keep draining. Here’s how you can fix this: 

  • Go into Settings > Battery and see the list of apps that consume the most power. You can either uninstall such apps, stop them from running background updates, or prevent the use of mobile bandwidth with them. 
  • Disable location services to make sure you exclude the impact of poor location-specific connection: Settings > Privacy > Location Services
  • Minimize brightness on your iPhone X. 
  • Enable battery-saving mode: Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode.

low power mode iPhone

It might be that you’ve recently switched to iOS 13 and your battery is now dying too fast. Most likely, it’s just a matter of time — Apple keeps honing the system with the new updates. As a quick solution, check whether all of your apps are updated, disable background processes, and make sure you have no new updates pending. 

If apps are misbehaving on iPhone X 

In case you have specific apps that keep quitting, slowing down, or go unresponsive on iPhone X, the following tips are for you: 

  • Force close the app: Swipe up to see the app carousel > swipe left/right to spot the app that causes the problem > close the app by swiping up > relaunch the app. 
  • Restart iPhone X. In most cases, this is the best fix for app acting strangely. Follow these instructions to power off iPhone X and force restart. After restarting, check whether you have any iOS or app updates pending — a timely update can make it right for you. 
  • If none of that worked, try reinstalling the app. 

If your iPhone X is stuck on the black screen of death 

Things got really bad if your iPhone X won’t turn on and you’re stuck on the unresponsive black screen. Most likely, this happened after an iOS software update or some type of physical damage. Not that you can’t fix the black screen of death, but it clearly is one of the most unwanted iPhone issues. Well, because you just feel helpless. A couple of things you can try: 

  • Force restart iPhone X. 
  • Enter the Recovery Mode and reinstall the system after securing your data with an iOS backup. 
  • Activate the DFU mode and force restart iPhone X. 
  • Take your device to an Apple service center to have it repaired — especially if there’s been any physical damage. 

Run regular iPhone X backups to prevent data loss

Whatever problem you might encounter, backing up your iPhone is the golden rule. There are three main backup methods that can give you the peace of mind: 

Backup to iCloud

This is a good solution if you have less than 5 GB of data to backup. Yes, it’s rarely the case — but that’s how it works with iCloud if you want a free backup. There’s also the possibility to buy some extra storage. Enabling iCloud backup is very easy and you can even schedule automatic backups: 

  1. Make sure you connect iPhone X to the Wi-Fi network. 
  2. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup. 
  3. Enable the iCloud backup option. 
  4. If you want to run an immediate backup, tap the Backup Now button.

Read also: how to backup iPhone to computer

Backup iPhone to iTunes

iCloud backups are easy — but very limiting in terms of storage. What’s more, the process of backing up your iPhone X with iCloud is extremely time-consuming if compared to other options. As an alternative, try backing up with iTunes. This will require connecting your iPhone X to a computer with iTunes: 

  1. Open an updated version of iTunes and wait for it to detect your iPhone X, or click on the device icon. 
  2. Go to Summary > Backups.
  3. Select Automatically Backup and choose whether you want to store your backup on iCloud or locally. 
  4. Click Backup now
  5. Your backup will be stored in the selected location for free. The only flaw is that iTunes doesn’t support scheduled backups, so you’ll have to do it manually every time. 

Note that if you’re using macOS 10.15 Catalina, you’ll face a problem. Mainly, there’s no iTunes anymore. In this case, you can backup your iPhone X via Finder: 

  1. Connect your phone to a Mac. 
  2. Open Finder and click on your device in the sidebar. 
  3. You’ll be prompted to confirm your trust if it’s the first time you’re connecting the iPhone. 
  4. Click Trust and provide your admin password. 
  5. Go to General > Backup Now. 
  6. Choose Encrypt local backup if there’s any sensitive data you want to backup > choose and set a password. 
  7. Find your iPhone X backup stored locally on Mac. 

Schedule regular backups with AnyTrans for iOS 

Luckily, there’s one tool that makes up for iCloud’s and iTunes’ imperfections. If you’re willing to have a stable iOS backup manager that doesn’t restrict you in terms of storage and system incompatibilities, try AnyTrans for iOS. The app also supports automatic regular backups, so you can set it up once and never worry again. 

Backup manager on AnyTrans for iOS

Here’s how you can securely backup iPhone with AnyTrans: 

  1. Connect your device to a computer with a cable. 
  2. Launch the app and open the Backup Manager tab. 
  3. Click Full Backup and wait for your iPhone X backup. That’s it. 

What’s beautiful about AnyTrans, you can also backup your data wirelessly: 

  1. Connect your iPhone X and computer to the same Wi-Fi network. 
  2. Open the app and access the Backup Manager. 
  3. Enable the Air Backup option by checking the box. 
  4. In a pop-up window with the backup preferences, make necessary changes. For instance, you can schedule automatic backups or enable password protection for sensitive data. 

Your backup process will start and end automatically. You can view the backed up files in detail once it’s finished in the backup history. 

Now that you know how to turn off iPhone X and run an iPhone hard reset, you can worry not about losing your favorite device. Make sure you have a reliable backup mechanism in place and you’ll be safe.

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