How to Fix an iPhone That Keeps Restarting

iPhone keeps restarting itself

iPhones are at the forefront of mobile devices. We rely on them to manage their schedules, contacts, medical information, and even to track their health. With the prominent roles that phones play in our daily lives, it’s nearly crippling to have an iPhone that keeps restarting.

Why Does My iPhone Keeps Restarting

The restart problem breaks down into two types of issue types. One involves an iPhone that works for a time, then suddenly reboots. Then, repeat the process after short periods of time.

The other involves an iPhone that falls into a persistent restart loop, starting up, then shutting off, only to restart again and repeat the cycle. The former scenario gives you more versatility to deal with fixing it, while the latter makes the phone unusable. 

But don’t worry, we have a handful of great solutions that should help eliminate your iPhone restarting problem regardless of the type.

Before you try anything though if your iPhone is not stuck in a repeating loop, make sure to back up your iPhone to keep your data safe.

It will probably be fine, but better safe than sorry is the way to go. We have great documentation about backing up the iPhone should you need any guidance.

What to Do If Your iPhone Keeps Restarting

Now that you know why your iPhone keeps restarting, we’ll show you a few ways to attack fixing this very annoying issue.

Here’re all the tips you’ll learn about in this guide:

  1. Force restart your iPhone
  2. Remove and re-insert SIM card
  3. Update iOS on your iPhone
  4. Clear apps cache
  5. Free up storage space
  6. Delete battery-draining apps
  7. Reset settings

1. Forcing Restart Your iPhone

This may seem like an odd thing to suggest since this is precisely the problem we are looking to fix, but if the iPhone is in a restart loop recurring automatically, forcing restart the iPhone could actually break this cycle.

The process of restarting your iPhone depends on the model you own. Follow the steps below to restart your iPhone.

For iPhone 6, hold down the Home and Power buttons at the same time for 10 seconds, and your phone will be sent to the restart loop.

On the iPhone 7, press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons down for 10 seconds. Then, let go of both buttons when the Apple logo appears on the screen.

If you own an iPhone 8, X, and later models, press and release the Volume Up button, followed by the Volume down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

2. Remove and Re-insert SIM card

Your iPhone may get stuck in a restart loop if it doesn’t have a good connection with the wireless carrier. The problem could be from the carrier itself or from your phone.

Sim ejector tool
Sim ejector tool. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

An easy a quick way to fix this problem is to remove the SIM card, then put it back on. Turn off your iPhone then use the SIM ejector tool to remove the SIM tray. Wait for a few seconds, then reinsert the SIM tray.

If your iPhone is still stuck in a restart loop after removing the SIM card, move on to the next steps. We’ve got more fixes for you to try.

3. Update iOS on Your iPhone

You could have potentially stumbled on to an operating system problem that is causing the recurring restart.

So if a restart won’t work, and you can actually access your phone (aka it’s not stuck in a perpetual restart loop), check out the General tab under the Settings menu and check to see if there are any new updates to install.

Update iOS on an iPhone
Update iOS on an iPhone. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

If so, install the new update to get yourself to the latest iOS version. This update may handle your rebooting problem.

4. Clear Apps Cache

Think about when the restarting loop happened. It was likely recent enough, as you are unlikely to let the restart problem hang around for too long.

In that case, think of the last few apps you installed on your phone. It could be that one of these is the reason for the system experiencing the restart bug.

While Apple seems to obsessively vet every app in the Apple Store, they can’t catch everything among the hundreds of thousands of apps they have available. So you might have installed an app that has triggered your device’s malfunction. 

You can first try bringing up the app from Settings and clearing its cache. If the issue was cached on your phone this will purge it off your device and potentially alleviate your problem.

If that does not work, you may just want to consider uninstalling the most recent apps. To be really thorough, try to uninstall them in the reverse order of their installation (if you remember what that was).

Since these problems are sometimes caused by apps, you can potentially eliminate the source of the restart problem by simply ridding yourself of the app that caused it.

5. Free Up Storage Space

If your iPhone is too full, it literally cannot run the programs needed to stay on. So it’ll try again and again with restarts.

If you can hook it up to your PC and access the phone’s hard drive, you can remove some files that might free up just enough space for your to sneak through to a normal startup. However, you will want to play it safe and never allow your iPhone to get that full again.

6. Cut Off Battery-Draining Apps

Some apps are very lean and efficient in terms of performance. That is to stay that when they run, they use very few system resources. However, other apps are resource-hogging juggernauts that need to be stopped.

Some apps run in the background and their intensive nature heats the iPhone up so much that it attempts to restart as a means of cooling off. However, if the app starts up again and runs the phone too hot, it will just try the same default cooldown method. 

One common example of such a battery drainer is the iPhone’s GPS. If you are about to use the GPS for navigation purposes, consider forcing other battery-intensive apps to be off in order to preserve the iPhone’s battery capacity to operate.

Overall, you can review the Battery section under the Settings menu to find which apps are eating up the most battery and force them to stop. Some will restart automatically, but not all.

By limiting battery draining applications when they are not in use or even abandoning those that always seem to kick off on their own could keep the iPhone sufficiently cool and prevent the need for continuous restarts. We have great documentation about saving battery life on your iPhone should you need any help.

7. Reset Settings

Some software issues can be resolved by navigating to the General tab of the Settings and resetting the iPhone’s settings using the Transfer Or Reset iPhone –> Reset –> Reset All Settings option.

Reset network setting of an iPhone
Reset network setting of an iPhone. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

This will reset the phone the factory defaults, which will likely get rid of your restarting problem. The apps and the data will be safe, but any passwords or logins that were preset will need to be reentered.

Final Thoughts

The phone may be continuously restarting due to a problem caused by a dislodged part or other physical damage. If you dropped your phone and it has incurred an internal or external break, you may need to get it repaired.

You can try removing the SIM card but that won’t do much to heal damaged parts inside. Even if you brought it to an Apple Store or help center, prying an iPhone open to reveal hidden damages is rarely something that is salvageable.

So keep your data backed up and you can transfer it to a new device if you are at a point where the one you have is simply not an option.