Fix an iPhone XS Max that keeps lagging and freezing when loading apps

Lagging and freezing symptoms that transpire when loading apps on your iPhone are usually attributed to memory problems like when the phone is running low on storage. In new devices  that are packed with higher storage capacity like the iPhone XS Max, system errors are more likely the trigger. Highlighted below are a few handy tweaks that are used to deal with a similar issue on the iPhone Xs Max that keeps lagging and freezing when loading apps. Find out what causes this new iPhone to succumb into these performance issues earlier than expected and how to fix it. For as long as no hardware damage is present, your device would still be able to perform as it should or even better and smoother that it was.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XS Max Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

First solution: Close all running apps and soft reset (restart) your iPhone XS Max. 

Apps that have been left suspended or running in the background for quite some time might have gone rogue and eventually caused other apps and system services to crash. As a result, the device has suddenly become sluggish and keeps on lagging and freezing. To rule this out, clear all background apps on your iPhone XS Max with these steps:

  1. Swipe your finger up and then pause from the Home screen.
  2. Swipe left or right to navigate through the apps preview. 
  3. Then swipe up on each app’s preview to close individual background apps. 

After clearing all background apps, perform a soft reset or restart your iPhone XS Max to clear out errant cached files and temporary system data. Just follow these steps to continue with a soft reset on your phone:

  1. Press and hold the Power/Side button and either of the Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. 
  2. Release the buttons once the Slide to Power off prompts on the screen. 
  3. Drag the Power off slider to the right to turn off your phone.
  4. Wait for 30 seconds, then press and hold the Power/Side button again until the Apple logo appears. 

Let your iPhone finish the boot-up process then try loading apps to see if the phone still lags and freezes.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that cannot receive incoming calls

Second solution: Check and install pending app updates on your iPhone XS Max.

Outdated apps on your iPhone may also cause some trouble as they affect your phone’s performance and eventually cause it the system to slow down. If that’s the case, then installing all pending app updates on your iPhone Xs Max may be the key to resolving the problem and stops your iPhone from lagging and freezing. Just follow these steps to manually check and update apps through the App Store:

  1. Access App Store from the Home screen. 
  2. Navigate to the Updates section at the bottom right of the screen. You’ll then see a screen with the list of apps with pending updates pop up.
  3. Tap the Update option next to the name of the app to update individual apps. If you want to update all apps simultaneously, tap the Update All button. You can only see and use the Update All option if multiple app update updates are available.

Wait for your apps to finish updating and then restart your iPhone XS Max to implement recent software changes. Doing so will likewise refresh its memory and therefore gives your phone system a clean fresh start.

ALSO READ: How to fix delayed touchscreen response, screen lags on iPhone XS Max

Third solution: Update iOS to the latest version. 

Device issues depicted by symptoms of lagging and freezing can also be inflicted by some downloaded contents or apps containing malicious software. When the operating system is infiltrated by these bugs, there’s a tendency for the system functions to destabilize and eventually slows down. In cases like this, installing the latest iOS version available for your iPhone can help. Updates usually embed bug fixes to get rid of various types of bug-inflicted errors on the phone. All you need to secure are the key requisites such a stable internet connection, at least 50% of battery life and enough storage space to allocate the update file. Once you’ve got all these said requirements met, you can follow these steps to start check for iOS update:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Software Update.

An update notification will pop up if there is an available software update for your phone. Just read and review the information to find out what the update offers. Then follow the on-screen instructions to download and install software update on your phone.

ALSO READ: How to fix Caller ID that is not working properly on your Apple iPhone XS Max

Fourth solution: Uninstall then reinstall unwanted apps.

Frequent lags and freezes can also be attributed to rogue apps. This is likely what’s transpiring on your iPhone XS Max if the problem started after installing or updating apps. To clear this out, uninstall then reinstall any suspected apps on your phone. Here’s how it’s done:


  1. From the Home screen, tap and hold on an app icon until the icons start jiggling. 
  2. Tap the X on the app you want to delete.
  3. Select Delete to confirm the deletion of the selected app. 
  4. Perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS Max.
  5. After the reboot process is done, open the App store from the Home screen. 
  6. Navigate to Updates > Purchased menu. 
  7. Tap the Not on This iPhone tab.
  8. Select the app that you want to reinstall on your device.
  9. If you don’t see the app from the selected tab, try switching to All tab.

Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to download and install the app on your phone.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Incorrect or not properly configured settings on the phone can also cause your apps or system functions to act up and thereby result in the occurrence of relevant symptoms. Automatic settings overrides from software updates can also cause similar issues to occur on your device. To fix the problem, resetting all settings on your iPhone can help. Doing so will wipe out all customized options and revert to the default values. But unlike a factory reset, this reset does not delete any saved data on your phone’s memory. Hence, all your saved information remains intact afterwards. Just follow these steps to get started:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Tap the Reset All Settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode once prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm all settings reset.

Wait for your phone to finish the reset process. Your device should reboot automatically after the reset and then restores the default configuration. Enable necessary features to use them again on your phone and then see if the lagging and freezing symptoms are gone.

Last resort: Factory reset/master reset.

If your phone continues to lag and freeze when loading apps, you may have to consider resorting to a factory reset. This is often needed to get rid of complex system errors that caused persistent issues to occur on your phone. But you also have to note that while this reset offers a promising outcome, it also wipes out everything from your iPhone system including personal information stored on the internal memory. Thus, don’t forget to create backups before you begin the reset. You can back up files from your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes. Once you have secured your iPhone backup, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone through settings:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Tap the Erase all contents and settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode once prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm all settings reset.

If your iPhone freezes and gets stuck, performing the above procedure wouldn’t be applicable because your device doesn’t respond. In this case, you will need to use iTunes to manually erase and restore your iPhone on a computer.

You can start carrying out the standard iOS restore, recovery mode restore and DFU mode restore, as your last option.

Is your iPhone XS max still lagging and freezing?

What you’re dealing with could be a hardware issue given that the symptoms aren’t gone after exhausting all prior solutions. At this point, take a trip to a service center can be considered as the next option. This would be necessary to rule out hardware damage that might have caused your phone to keep lagging and freezing when loading apps and carrying out other tasks.

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