What to do if your Apple iPhone keeps turning off and on

When your iPhone keeps turning on and off, a hard reset or also known as a forced restart will help rectify the problem. Regardless of whether the phone is constantly shutting down due to low memory or the system being inflicted by major software glitches, a hard reset should do the trick.

Highlighted below are suggested methods and potential solutions to a similar issue on the Apple iPhone that keeps turning off and on. Read on to find out what could trigger the device to act up like this and what must be done to fix it.

Before anything else, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then drop in on our Apple iPhone 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 Apple iPhone that keeps turning on and off by itself and determining what causes the issue to arise

Stuck on infinite restart is one of the symptoms of low memory in mobile devices. It can also be triggered by some rogue apps, update bugs and malicious files stored in internal memory as cache or system data. In worse case scenarios, infinite restart or boot loop is an indication of hardware damage like a bad battery, busted chip or other relevant components that were spoiled from wear-and-tear.


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Before rushing to a service center, ruling out software-related factors is recommended especially if the symptom occurs on a new device.

Prior to troubleshooting the device, check your iPhone storage and view the current status of its internal memory. To do this, head on over to your device Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage menu then see how much is the available storage. If the available storage is below 1GB, then you need to free up some space by deleting old and unwanted files, apps, messages, and other useless contents.

If you haven’t yet calibrated your iPhone battery, then you should give it a try. Doing so will rule out battery-related issues that trigger occurrence of similar symptoms. To calibrate your iPhone battery, use your device as you normally do until the battery is totally drained. Then allow your device to charge up to a hundred percent and use it again until the battery is emptied.

Give your Apple iPhone another round of charge and then use it as you normally do. If none of that helps, then you may proceed to carrying out these procedures.

First solution: Force shutdown then restart your Apple iPhone.

Performing a forced restart is often used as the first solution to stuck problems or when your iPhone suddenly becomes unresponsive. This process works the same as a soft reset when it comes to dealing with minor software issues but the only difference is how they’re carried out.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or newer variant, follow these steps to force restart:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side button and then release it when the Apple logo appears.

On early iPhones like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, a forced restart is done this way:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power (Sleep/Wake) button simultaneously and then release both buttons with the Apple logo appears.

If you’re using an earlier version of Apple iPhone like the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 6, SE and 5s, a forced restart is done this way:

  • Press and hold both the Power (Sleep/Wake) button and the Home button for a few seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo is displayed on the screen.

Like a soft reset, a forced restart does not affect any saved information on the internal memory, hence it doesn’t result in permanent data loss.

Apps that are acting up are usually remedied by a forced restart.

Second solution: Install pending updates.

Updates that are left uninstalled on your device can also be deemed among the potential solutions because they usually contain bug fixes. App developers often pushed updates to get rid of existing bugs that caused their apps to go rogue and become unstable. If you haven’t configured your apps to auto-update, chances are that some critical updates aren’t implemented and that thereby caused some of your apps to go rogue and eventually ruined system functions of your iPhone.

To install pending app updates, your iPhone must have a stable Internet connection and ample of storage space. Whenever you’re ready, follow these steps to implement pending app updates via App Store:

  1. Tap App Store from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Updates.
  3. Tap the Update next to the name of the app to update individual apps.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the top-right corner of the screen to update all apps at once.

Aside from app updates, installing the latest iOS update available for your iPhone can also be the key to resolving the issue if system bugs and malwares are to blame. To ensure that the update will become successful, use iTunes to update your iPhone on a computer. Here’s how it works:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the original USB cable/Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on the computer. Be sure to use the latest version of the app to avoid system conflicts.
  3. When your iPhone appears in iTunes, click on its icon to select it.
  4. Then navigate to the Summary section.
  5. Click the button to Check for Update. Doing so will prompt iTunes to begin checking for iOS update.
  6. Click the button to Download and Update if a new iOS version is available.
  7. Enter your passcode when asked to continue.
  8. Follow the rest of the onscreen commands to complete the update installation through iTunes.

When finished updating your Apple iPhone, reboot or perform a soft reset to apply the recent system changes and to refresh apps and internal memory. Then use your iPhone to test and see if the turning off and on issue gone.

Third solution: Reset all settings.

When your iPhone started to act up after installing an update or customizing some settings, chances are that some settings changes had caused conflicts and eventually result in the device being stuck on restart loop. To correct the problem, performing this reset is recommended to erase all customized settings and system overrides that caused the system to glitch. Just follow these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Tap the option to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

Wait for the reset to finish. When it’s done, your iPhone restarts. By then you can enable only the features that you need to use on your iPhone.

Fourth solution: Erase your Apple iPhone and restore factory defaults in iTunes.

Complex system errors that could not be rectified by the prior methods usually require a full system reset or factory reset. This reset wipes everything from your Apple iPhone system including tough bugs and malwares that inflict major problems. But before you begin, back up all your files to iCloud or iTunes to evade from permanent data loss. Once your backup is secured, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone in iTunes:

  1. Launch the iTunes app on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer with the Apple-supplied USB cable or Lightning cable that came with it.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to appear in iTunes then select it.
  4. Navigate to the Summary section then click the button to Restore [device].
  5. Click Restore again to confirm that you want to restore your iPhone in iTunes. This will prompt iTunes to start erasing your iPhone and then installs the latest iOS version available.
  6. When the reset is finished, your device restarts. By then you can set it up as new.

Performing a factory reset can be done through settings or via iTunes but in this case, the latter method is recommended to ensure success in the process. The fact that your iPhone keeps turning on and off by own makes it unsafe to factory reset through settings.

Fifth solution: DFU mode restore to fix iPhone that keeps turning off and on.

The deepest type of system restore you can do on your iPhone especially when dealing with a corrupted operating system is the so-called DFU or Device Firmware Update mode restore. This is carried out through iTunes on Windows or Mac computer. Performing a DFU mode restore allows your device to sync with iTunes even without activating the boot loader, thus making it possible for fatal system errors to be fixed. The steps in entering DFU mode vary between iOS devices. If you’re using an iPhone 6s or earlier models, follow these steps to put it in DFU mode:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the original USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Then launch iTunes on the computer.
  3. If your iPhone is turned on, turn it off as you normally do.
  4. While your iPhone is turned off, press and hold down the Power (Sleep/Wake) and Home buttons simultaneously for about 8 seconds.
  5. After the elapsed time, release the Power (Sleep/Wake) button but keep holding down the Home button until you see the iTunes message saying that it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode…
  6. If you see that message, release the Home button.  

If you’re using an iPhone 7, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the original USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Then launch iTunes on the computer.
  3. If your iPhone is turned on, turn it off as you normally do.
  4. While your iPhone is turned off, press and hold down the Power (Sleep/Wake) and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for about 8 seconds.
  5. After the elapsed time, release the Power (Sleep/Wake) button but keep holding down the Volume Down button until iTunes prompts a message this message: “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.”
  6. If you see that message, release the Volume Down button.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X and later models, entering DFU mode is carried out with these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the original USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Then launch iTunes on the computer.
  3. If your iPhone is turned on, turn it off as you normally do.
  4. While your iPhone is turned off, quickly press and release the Volume Up button then quickly press and release the Volume Down button and finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen turns black.
  5. As soon as your iPhone screen turns black, press and hold the Volume Down button while you keep pressing the Side/Power button.
  6. After 5 seconds, let go of the Side/Power button but keep pressing the Volume Down button until your iPhone appears in iTunes.
  7. When you see your iPhone in iTunes, let go of the Volume Down button. At this point, your iPhone is already running in DFU mode and is all set for updating, downgrading, or restoring through iTunes.

A few moments then, you should see that your iPhone screen becomes completely black. That means you have successfully entered DFU mode. If the screen doesn’t turned completely black or it shows some texts or logos, then that means you haven’t entered DFU mode and so you need to try again from the start. Once your iPhone is in DFU mode, you can proceed with iOS restore using iTunes commands.

Again, you will lose all saved data on your iPhone in the process so if possible, backup your Apple iPhone data beforehand. Don’t forget to check if your iPhone no longer keeps turning off and on after performing the process.

Is your iPhone still turning off and on?

If your iPhone continues to turn off and on after exhausting all prior solutions, chances are that some of its physical components have obtained damage and therefore needs repair. In this case, take a trip to the nearest Apple service center and ask an authorized technician to assess your device and fix any damaged component. If a bad battery is to blame, then you can request for a new battery replacement.

For further recommendations, contact your Apple iPhone provider or carrier and relay the issue so that they can give you more inputs.

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