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

Have you ever experienced browsing on your phone and then suddenly there are some unexpected break-offs when scrolling up or down? If you do, then you’re likely dealing with a delayed touchscreen response issue or screen lags. More often than not, problems like this are inflicted by some random glitches and hence often remedied by some quick tweaks including the ones I’ve lined up below. Read on to find out how to deal with delayed touchscreen response or screen lags on your iPhone XS Max.

Delayed touchscreen response or screen lag symptoms are often transpiring if you’ve been using your phone for quite a while. In this scenario, it can be considered a normal reaction from prolonged or extensive use and so giving your phone some time to rest will likely solve the problem. But if the delayed touchscreen response occurs in random situations, there might be something that’s bugging the phone’s system functions. To rule out common factors that can trigger your iPhone XS Max to experience random screen lags or delayed touchscreen response, try carrying out the following procedures.

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 background apps. 

Apps that are running in the background might have gone rogue and causes your system to act up. This might be the reason why your iPhone XS Max is experiencing delayed touchscreen response or screen lags. To make sure that they are not the culprit of this issue, here are the steps to clear all background apps:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Swipe left or right to navigate through apps preview. 
  3. Swipe up on an app preview to close apps individually until all app previews are cleared.

If delayed touchscreen response continues after clearing out background apps, check your phone’s memory status. Screen lags and sluggishness are likewise occurring among other symptoms of performance issues due to low memory. If you’re iPhone storage is already running low, then it must be the underlying cause and so you have to deal with memory issues beforehand. To fix the problem, free up space by deleting unwanted files and contents from your iPhone. 

To check your phone’s current memory status, go to Settings-> General-> iPhone storage menu then scroll to and view the available memory information. If the available storage is less than a gigabyte, it means your phone storage is shrinking and thus your phone is prone to having random performance problems including screen lags and delayed touchscreen response. 

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that cannot connect to WiFi

Second solution: Perform soft reset or force restart your iPhone XS Max. 

If you’re still experiencing screen lags or delayed touchscreen response after clearing all background apps, performing a soft reset can be considered as the next option. A simple restart on the phone can also help in clearing out minor system glitches that might have caused your device to slow down. To perform a soft reset, just follow the steps below:

  1. Press and hold the Power/Side button and either of the Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. 
  2. Release the buttons once you see the Slide to power off prompt on your screen.
  3. Then drag the power off slider to the right to turn it off. 
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds, then press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

If your iPhone is responding very slowly to the point that it’s freezing, performing a forced restart would be necessary. A forced restart works the same as a soft reset does when it comes to eliminating minor symptoms but carried out differently. It works by simultaneously ending all background apps and services including suspended apps that stopped working. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button quickly.
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button quickly.
  3. Then press and hold the Power/Side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen. 

Wait for your phone to reboot then check if it works as intended. These process won’t delete any of your personal data from your iPhone storage, so there’s no need to back up files beforehand.

Third solution: Check and install pending apps and iOS updates. 

App developers usually roll out software updates to fix stubborn bugs that caused apps to glitch and stop working properly. With that said, installing pending updates for your apps and iOS can be the next potential solution to try. Outdated apps are more prone to acting up and eventually may result in delayed touchscreen response or screen lags on your iPhone XS Max. To check and install pending apps update, just follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, access App Store
  2. Scroll down and then tap the Updates tab to show the list of apps with pending updates.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of the app to update it individually.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the upper-right of your screen to update all apps simultaneously. 

Installing the latest iOS software update might also help in dealing with software-related touchscreen issues. Like apps updates, iOS updates also contain dedicated fix patches to get rid of existing bugs and malwares that might have caused your device to act up and slow down. You can update your iPhone over-the-air (OTA) or wirelessly, or manually through iTunes on a computer. To update your iPhone XS Max software wirelessly, it must have a stable internet connection, at least 50% of battery life and enough space for memory storage. If everything is set, then you may follow these steps:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Select Software Update

A system prompt will appear once there is an available software update. Just read and follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the new update. After installing all the updates, reboot your phone and check if the issue has been resolved. 

If you prefer to update your iPhone manually through iTunes, then get your computer ready and connect your iPhone via USB cable or Lightning cable. Once it’s connected, follow these steps to start checking for updates and then update your iPhone manually through iTunes commands.

  1. Open iTunes and select your iPhone when it appears.
  2. Click on the Summary pane to access your iOS device.
  3. Then click the button to Check for Update.
  4. If an update is available, click Download and Update.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Then follow the rest of the iTunes commands to finish updating your device.

Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone after updating to clear and refresh its memory and operating system. Doing so will likewise prevent apps from acting up following the recent system changes.

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

Invalid or incorrect settings on the phone can also affect its performance. If the problem started after making changes to your phone settings or update installing an update, then reverting to the original configuration will likely solve the problem. And this is when resetting all settings on your iPhone is recommended. Performing this reset will clear out invalid settings configurations and update overrides that caused conflicts. Here’s how it’s done:

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

After the reset all settings is done, perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS Max and then check if your able to use the phone without an issue. 

Fifth solution: Restore default factory settings on your iPhone XS Max. 

Performing a factory reset can be considered among the last options if none of the previous methods is able to solve the problem. This is usually needed to deal with complex system errors and memory issues that caused your delayed touchscreen response. Please note though that performing a factory reset will erase all contents saved on your phone, hence creating backups is necessary. You can back up your iPhone data to iCloud and then follow these steps to perform a factory reset through settings:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Select the Erase all content and settings option. 
  5. Once prompted, enter your device passcode. 
  6. Tap the option to confirm factory reset. 

Let your phone finish the entire reset process and then set it up as new.

If you prefer to back up your iPhone data on a computer directory, then you can use iTunes instead. Just get a Mac or Windows computer with the latest iTunes app ready. Then follow these steps to manually back up and reset your iPhone XS Max through iTunes:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Using the supplied USB/Lightning cable, connect your iPhone XS Max to the computer. 
  3. If your iPhone is prompted to Trust This Computer or asked for passcode, follow the onscreen instructions to proceed. 
  4. Select your iPhone XS Max once it shows up in iTunes. 
  5. Navigate to Summary section on the left panel and click the Restore [iPhone] option. 
  6. Read and then review the information to confirm iOS restore. iTunes will then reset the system and download the latest software version of your iPhone XS Max.

Just wait for the process to finish and then you can disconnect your device from the computer. Set up your iPhone as new and then check and see if that solves the touchscreen delayed response issue.

Still experiencing delayed touchscreen response on your iPhone XS Max?

Performing more advanced solutions like restoring iOS in recovery mode and DFU mode can be considered among the last options to deal with more complex system issues that caused delayed touchscreen response on your iPhone XS Max. Both these restore methods require the use of the latest version of iTunes app on a Windows or Mac computer, so better have that one ready if you wish to move on and troubleshoot further.

Otherwise, contact Apple Support and escalate the problem for official recommendations. To rule out hardware damage, you can take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Genius bar for thorough hardware assessment.

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