How to fix an iPhone XS that keeps lagging and freezing

Lags and freezes in smartphones are among the common indications of performance issues, particularly from wear-and-tear. These symptoms are often seen on old devices but may also transpire on new devices when triggered by some culprits. Tackled in this post is a relevant issue on the iPhone XS. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XS just keeps lagging and freezing.

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 with yours and feel free to use our workarounds and solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS that keeps lagging and freezing

Memory-related issues are usually the main reason why new devices succumb into random or frequent lags and freezes. This is often the case if you’re fond of downloading huge apps and files. To fix the problem, freeing up space by deleting old and unwanted contents is recommended. To rule out software-related factors that might have caused lagging and freezing symptoms on your iPhone XS, try performing these subsequent procedures.

First solution: Restart (soft reset and/or force reset) your iPhone XS.

Minor software issues can affect the performance of your device. If the system is glitching, some functionalities of your iPhone may stop working or the device itself becomes very slow or totally unresponsive. If your iPhone is lagging but still responding to touch inputs commands, then you can carry out the usual reboot or soft reset to clear out minor software errors and glitches. Here’s how:

  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 for the phone to completely shut down.
  4. Wait for at least 30 seconds. Then press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

In the event when the screen of your phone is freezing or no longer responding, performing a forced restart would be necessary. This process will provide the same output as the soft reset does and won’t affect any data saved on your phone’s internal memory. Simply refer to these steps to force restart an iPhone XS:

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

Wait until your phone is completely back up and running then use it and see if it’s still lagging and freezing.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that is overheating

Second solution: Update the iOS to its latest version when available.

System bugs and malwares are also among the culprits that could trigger the device to lag and freeze more often. One of the best ways to clear out random system bugs is to update the software of your iPhone. This will not only enhance the features on your phone but will also provide fix patches that can potentially address various issues inflicted by stubborn bugs and malwares. If your iPhone is still able to respond and can connect to the Internet, follow these steps to check for new iOS update:


  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Then tap Software Update. An update notification will pop up when new iOS update is available.
  4. Tap the Download and Install option.
  5. Then follow the onscreen prompts to complete the iOS update.

Meanwhile, if your phone screen is no longer responsive, you can utilize iTunes to check for available software update for your phone. This will require the use of a Windows or Mac computer with stable internet connection and has the latest iTunes version installed in it. If these requisites are met, proceed to these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the provided USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. On your computer, launch iTunes and select the name of your device.
  3. Go to Summary and click on Update button. Your computer will scan for available software updates.
  4. Then click on Download and Update.
  5. Enter your passcode when prompted to continue.

Wait until your computer shows that the updated has been completed. Then reboot your phone to refresh its operating system so as to apply the new changes.

Third solution: Clear all background apps on your iPhone XS.

Unclosed/suspended apps will not only result to forming rogue apps but may also affect the phone’s overall performance. This is the main reason why it’s recommended to clear all running apps from time to time. While keeping the apps opened or running in the background benefits when multitasking with apps, they can also cause problems. As resolution, clear all background apps on your iPhone XS with these steps:

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

After closing all background apps, use your phone as you normally do and check if the lagging and freezing problems had been resolved. If they persist, move on to the next solution.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that cannot be restored from a previous iOS backup via iTunes

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

If the lagging and freezing problems arise after customizing your iPhone XS settings, it is possible that the settings were configured incorrectly. As a result, the system is acting up. To make sure that this isn’t causing you trouble, try to delete all customized settings and restore its original values by performing  an all settings on your phone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap the Settings app from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the Reset all settings option,
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted to continue.
  6. And then tap Reset all settings again to confirm the reset.

Your phone will automatically reboot after the reset. Once it’s back on, enable all necessary options and features including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Then, use your device to test and see if it is already performing better.

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

If the problem continues after performing the given solutions above, then you may have to consider wiping your device at this point. This is usually needed if you’re dealing with complex system issue that could not be rectified by the initial procedures. But also note that this reset will delete everything from your phone. Before you proceed, create a backup of your iPhone files then follow these steps whenever you’re all set to reset your device:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Then tap the Reset menu.
  4. Select Erase all content and settings option.
  5. Enter your passcode when prompted to continue.
  6. Then select the option to confirm the factory reset.

In case your phone screen is not responding to touch inputs, you can use iTunes as alternative. To factory reset your iPhone through iTunes, you will need to secure a Windows or Mac computer first. That computer must have Internet connection too. Then follow the steps below to restore your iPhone to its factory default settings through iTunes:

  1. Using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable, plug in your iPhone XS to the computer.
  2. Then open iTunes on your computer. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes to avoid system conflicts.
  3. Wait until your computer recognizes your iPhone, and then click on the iPhone icon located on the left side of the iTunes menu.
  4. Navigate to the Summary section and click the Restore button.
  5. When prompted with a confirmation message, click the Restore button to confirm. This will command iTunes to wipe all data and settings from the device and install iOS’ latest version.
  6. If prompted, select the option to Set Up as New iPhone and then follow the startup wizard to set up your iPhone XS again.

As long as your iPhone XS has not been exposed to any liquid or accidental bumps, then the lagging and freezing problems should be gone after a factory reset. 

Repair options

If your iPhone XS is still lagging and freezing after exhausting all prior procedures, then it’s possible that hardware damage is present. In this case, you can take your device to the nearest Apple Genius bar for further assessments and if hardware damage is positive, ask a technician to repair it. If your device is still covered by warranty, you can avail for service warranty or new unit replacement instead. Just talk to your carrier for more information on how to avail an iPhone warranty.

Connect with us

We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our Help Guides page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks.


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