How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that suddenly stops responding and gets stuck on black screen

There are various reasons as to why an iPhone would suddenly fail to respond and gets stuck on blank or black screen. It could denote a major system error, corrupted data and rogue applications. Bad updates like apps or iOS updates that contain some sort of bugs can also put an iPhone in this same state. In worst case scenarios, an iPhone may get stuck on blank or black screen due to hardware damage. Unfortunately for hardware-related cases, nothing much can be done to fix the problem on your end as they require physical repair. And that therefore denotes the need to take your device to a service center.

However, you can try performing some workarounds and troubleshooting methods, if the problem is attributed to software errors. Highlighted below are some of the most recommended procedures and generic solutions to an iPhone problem with blank or black screen. Read on to find out what to do whenever you’d bump into the same issue in which your new iPhone XS Max suddenly stops working and couldn’t get past a blank or black screen. Here are some options for you to try on.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone XS Max to fix stuck on black screen issue.

This is usually the first recommended and simplest possible solution to iPhone issues that involve stuck or unresponsive displays. Given that the screen is not responding to touch commands, the only way to restart the phone is to force restart using the hardware keys. Performing a force restart also clears out any errant background apps or random bugs that might have caused some apps or the iOS itself to crash and get stuck. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

If your phone successfully boots up after a force restart, reset all settings to eliminate system settings errors then update apps and iOS to the latest version to get rid of random bugs that caused apps or iPhone system to crash.

  1. To reset all settings, go to Settings-> General-> Reset menu, then select the option to Reset all Settings. Enter the device passcode when asked then confirm all settings reset.
  2. To install pending app updates, go to the App Store-> Updates section then tap the Update button next to the name of the app to update individual apps. Or tap the Update All button on the upper-right side of the screen to update all apps at once.
  3. To check for and install new OTA updates, go to Settings-> General-> Software update menu then tap the option to Download and Install update.

After updating apps and iOS to the latest version, reboot your iPhone to apply the new changes and to refresh your apps and device software.

Second solution: Reset and restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS Max through iTunes.

Performing a master on stuck iPhones is carried out through iTunes. This means you will need to use a computer that has the latest iTunes software installed. The computer must also be running on an operating system that’s compatible with that of your iPhone XS Max. A Windows PC or Mac computer will do. Whenever you’re ready, follow these steps to reset and restore factory defaults on your iPhone through iTunes:

  1. Open iTunes on a computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone XS Max to your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  3. If prompted on your iPhone to Trust This Computer or to enter the device passcode, follow the onscreen instructions to continue.
  4. Select your iPhone XS Max when it shows up in iTunes.
  5. Navigate to the Summary section on the left panel and then click the Restore [iPhone] button.
  6. If prompted, read and review the information to confirm iOS restore.

Wait for iTunes to finish resetting and restoring the default settings on your iPhone XS Max. As soon as the reset is complete, disconnect your iPhone then run a test to see if the symptom is gone already.

Third solution: Restore your iPhone XS Max in recovery mode.

If the problem persists after a factory reset, then it must be a more complex system issue that needs more advanced solution. Should you wish to troubleshoot your device further, then you can try performing a recovery mode restore on your iPhone XS Max. This puts your device in a recovery state and allows iTunes to fix firmware issues and restore iOS to its normal and working state. You will also need to use a computer to get this done: Here’s how:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS Max o your computer using the Apple-supplied USB/Lightning cable.
  2. While it’s connected, press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  3. Then quick press and release the Volume Down button.
  4. Next, press and hold the Side/Power button and continue to hold as it restarts. Don’t release the Side/Power button when the Apple logo appears as you need to put the device in a recovery state.
  5. Release the Side/Power button when you see the Connect to iTunes logo on the screen.
  6. On your computer, navigate to iTunes then you should see a message saying that your connected iOS device is in recovery mode and prompts options to update or restore.
  7. Select the Restore option to wipe everything from the phone system and then restore iOS through iTunes.

Allow iTunes to finish restoring your iPhone and when it’s done you can disconnect your device from the computer.

Fourth solution: Restore your iPhone XS Max in DFU mode to fix stuck on black screen problem.

The last-ditch solution you can try on if the problem continues even after performing a recovery mode restore would be a DFU mode or Device Firmware Update mode restore. This will put your device in a state that allows it to communicate with iTunes without activating the bootloader. Thus you still have a chance to obtain a fix even if your iPhone system is totally damaged. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the Apple-supplied Lightning cable or USB cable.
  2. While your device is connected, quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen becomes black.
  4. As soon as your iPhone screen turns black, press and hold the Volume Down button while continuing to hold the Side/Power button.
  5. After 5 seconds, let go of the Side/Power button but keep holding down the Volume Down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes.
  6. Release the Volume Down button as soon as it appears in iTunes. Your device should now enter DFU mode.

Refer to the onscreen commands to instigate system repair and restore through iTunes. Wait until your iPhone is finished restoring then carry out a soft reset to exit DFU mode and boot up your device to normal mode again. You can also try the other options we have listed below to fix stuck on black screen issue on your iPhone XS Max.

Other options

  • Repair iOS using third-party iOS recovery and repair tools. You may resort to using non-Apple software to restore and repair your iPhone XS Max. Like iTunes, these tools can be downloaded and installed on a Windows or Mac computer. Thus it you can use them whenever you ran out of options when dealing with complicated system issues on your iPhone. Just be sure to pick a highly credible and effective software to use.
  • Schedule an appointment for service or iPhone repair. You may also consider setting up an appointment for a service center visit, if none of the previous workarounds is able to get your iPhone XS Max back up and running smoothly. Your device might have obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage that eventually led to this symptom. Thus, it’s also imperative to have your iPhone examined by an authorized technician for hardware damage repair or new unit replacement.

For other official suggestions and further assistance, give your device carrier or Apple Support a call to properly escalate the problem and get an ultimate solution.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!