How to fix an iPhone XS that keeps lagging and freezing

Lagging and freezing are just two of the many symptoms that manifest when a device’s performance depreciates. These along with other performance issues are usually transpiring in early devices from wear-and-tear. But this doesn’t denote that new devices are totally exempted from experiencing the same problem. In fact, even the new and powerful smartphones like the iPhone XS could succumb to these issues earlier than expected. This happens due to some software-related triggers like rogue apps, system data corruption, bad updates and memory-related issues. Highlighted below are generic solutions and workarounds that are used to eliminate common software-related factors that could trigger an iPhone to keep lagging and freezing. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XS encounters these performance issues.

Before anything else, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then drop in on our iPhone XS Help Guides page for we have already solved some of the most common problems with this device. Try to find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our workarounds and solutions. 

Troubleshooting iPhone XS that keeps lagging and freezing

Before troubleshooting, check the current memory status of your iPhone by heading to Settings-> General-> iPhone storage and make sure there is enough space left for new apps and services.

If the available memory is less than a gigabyte, then you need to free up some space by deleting old and unwanted contents like messages, videos, audios, and apps that are no longer used on your device. Proceed and begin troubleshooting if your iPhone’s memory is ample.

First solution: Reboot (soft reset/force restart) your iPhone XS.

Lagging and freezing are among the symptoms that emerge when your phone is going through some minor firmware crashes and data corruption. These are among the random issues that can easily be remedied by performing a soft reset or force restart. Both methods provide the same output, which is to clear out errant cached files and refreshes your memory and operating system. A soft reset can be utilized if your phone is still able to respond to screen touches. Here is how you do it:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

In the event where your phone is frozen or no longer responds to screen touches, you’ll need to perform a forced restart instead. Here’s how to force restart an iPhone XS:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your phone to finish booting up and then check to see if the symptoms are gone. All files stored on your iPhone storage should remain intact after performing either of these methods so you don’t need to worry of losing personal information even if you don’t back up your iPhone.

ALSO READ: How to fix no sound problem on your iPhone XS, no audio

Second solution: Install pending apps and software updates.

Lagging and freezing issues can also be attributed to some errant apps and complex system bugs that can be rectified by updating the apps and iOS on your phone. If you haven’t configured your device to automatically install software updates, then it is recommended to do it manually. If your iPhone is still able to respond, follow these steps to install pending apps updates available via App Store:

  1. Tap to open the App Store from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and tap the Updates section to see the list of all apps with pending updates.
  3. Tap on Update button next to the name of the app to install the pending app update individually.
  4. Otherwise, tap on Update All button located on the top-right of your screen to install all apps updates at once.

Then proceed to check for and install available software updates for your iPhone XS using these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, select the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update menu to scan for new iOS version.
  4. An update notification will pop-up once iOS latest version is available. Then tap on Download and Install.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the download and installation of the iOS updates.

After installing pending updates for your apps and iOS, restart (soft reset) your iPhone. Doing so helps ensure that the recent changes are properly implemented. It’s also recommended to soft reset after updating to prevent apps to go rogue following the recent system changes.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that’s stuck on Apple logo

Third solution: Clear background apps from your iPhone XS.

Apps that are left running in the background could become rogue and crashed. If that happens, there’s a tendency for them to affect your phone’s system functions and trigger relevant symptoms to occur. The same thing can happen if you’ve left some apps open or running in the background while installing the latest iOS update. Should this be the underlying cause of the lagging and freezing issues on your phone, then clearing the background apps is likely what you need. Here is how:

  1. From your Home screen, swipe up from the bottom then slightly pause in the middle of the screen.
  2. Swipe left or right to navigate through the app previews.
  3. Swipe up the app preview to close it individually.
  4. Do the same to the rest of the background apps.

After closing all the background apps, use your phone as you normally do and check if it continues to lag and freeze.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

Invalid system configurations caused by auto-update overrides on your phone are also among the possible culprits to eliminate. To do so, resetting all settings on your iPhone is recommended. This erases all current settings including customized options and iOS overrides that might have ruined your device’s performance. After the reset, original values and default options are restored. Any associated errors are likewise obliterated. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Then select Reset all settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted to continue.
  6. Tap Reset all settings again to confirm the reset.

Your phone will restart automatically after the reset and then loads the default values and options. After it reboots, you may proceed to re-enabling all necessary features including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions so you can use them again on your phone.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone XS to its factory default settings.

If you were unable to correct the problem using the aforementioned procedures, it’s possible that the symptoms are tied to some complicated system issues that can usually dealt with a factory reset or full system reset on the phone. This process will result in data loss, so you are required to back up your iPhone data beforehand. Once you are all set, follow these steps to carry out a full system reset through your iPhone settings:

  1. Tap on Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select Erase all content and settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then select the option to confirm factory settings reset.

On the other hand, you can also perform a factory reset using iTunes if your phone no longer responds to touch commands. This option will require the use of a Windows or Mac computer with the latest iTunes version software installed. Your computer must also have a stable internet connection to download the latest software available for your iPhone afterwards. Once you are ready, follow these steps to start performing a factory reset using iTunes:

  1. Using the supplied USB or Lightning cable, connect your iPhone XS to the computer.
  2. Then open iTunes on the computer.
  3. Once iTunes recognizes your phone, select your iPhone name.
  4. Then Navigate to the Summary section and click on Restore [device name] button.
  5. Click the Restore button if prompted to confirm.

This will command iTunes to initiate a full system wipe out and then installs the latest OS version available for your device. All software-related issues should likewise be eliminated after the factory reset unless more fatal errors or hardware damage exist.

ALSO READ: How to fix Facebook app that won’t load, keeps crashing on iPhone XS

Is your iPhone XS still lagging and freezing?

This could be an indication of a fatal system error or hardware damage present on the phone. Should you wish to troubleshoot further, your next option would be a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore. These are more advanced procedures that are known to effectively eliminate major system issues including corrupted iOS. But the only downside is the fact that performing these methods could result in permanent data loss. With that said, try to back up your iPhone data beforehand.

If all else failed to fix the problem and your iPhone XS continues to lag and freeze, you can take it to the nearest Apple service center and ask a technician to examine the hardware. If your iPhone is still covered by warranty, you can talk to your carrier first on how to avail for service warranty or new unit replacement, if needed.

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