How to Fix Crashing Apps on iPhone & iPad

Sep 3, 2015 - 78 Comments

Fix app crashes on iPhone and iPad

Though iPhone and iPad apps are generally very stable, sometimes you’ll encounter an application that crashes at random. In iOS, a crashing app usually presents as an app that seems to quit itself immediately, returning back to the Home Screen of the device without user intent. An app crash can happen immediately upon launching the app, crash randomly in the middle of using the app, or sometimes a crash can even be triggered predictably by a particular action that is attempted within the application. Regardless of when the iOS app is crashing, we’re going to review a few solutions that nearly always work to remedy the problem and should get you on your way to a trouble-free app usage experience again.

iOS Apps Crashing? Follow These 5 Tips to Resolve the Issue

We’re listing these tips in order of ease and difficulty, for best results you’ll likely want to try them all.

1: Reboot the Device

OK before anything else, just reboot the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. This works so well for resolving many common app crashing issues, and it’s so simple, that you absolutely should try this first.

The best approach for app crashing issues is to try to force reboot the iPhone or iPad by holding down the Power button and Home button until the device flashes the Apple logo. Then let it boot back up and try to use the app again, it should work… if not keep reading on!

2: Quit and Re-Launch the App

Sometimes the simplest solution to a resolve a crashing application in iOS is to quit the app and then relaunch it. The idea behind this is that you’ll clear the app from memory and allow for a clean launch.

  1. Double-click on the Home button to bring up the multitasking screen
  2. Locate the application you wish to quit, then swipe up on the app to quit out of it
  3. Hit the Home button to return to the Home Screen of iOS, then tap the app icon to re-open it again

This works to remedy some basic causes of application crashes, but it’s not perfect. If the app crashes again during usage, or if you’d just prefer to prevent further issues, keep following the next tips.

3: Update the App

Keeping apps updated is often vital to maintaining application stability and the reason is quite simple: developers identify bugs within their apps, fix them, and then push an update to the app. Of course many users will ignore app updates, but if you’re experiencing a problem with a particular app, don’t do that, keep the app updated (it’s good practice anyway).

  1. Open the App Store and go to the “Updates” tab
  2. Install any updates available to the application which is exhibiting crashing problems or bugs
  3. Relaunch the freshly updated app

If the application crashing was caused by a bug that has since been remedied with an app update, this will resolve the problem.

Still having issues with an app crashing? It happens! Move onward, we’re not done yet.

4: Delete the App and Re-Install

Yes, deleting will simultaneously uninstall an app, but you’re going to re-install the same app again immediately. This is usually pretty quick, though some apps which are large can take a little while to download again.

  1. Locate the problematic app on the Home Screen of iOS, then tap and hold on the icon
  2. Tap on the (X) icon when it appears, then confirm you want to delete the app
  3. Now launch the App Store and use the Search function (or visit the Purchases tab) and locate the name of the application you just deleted, then re-download it

Try opening the app again, working fine? Good, it should be.

Another perk to deleting and reinstalling apps is that it dumps app cache at the same time, which will free up some storage capacity, and those caches can sometimes be the cause of the app crashing in the first place. Some apps in particular are really bad with handling caches, a few bad oranges will bloat out cache to be absolutely enormous in size, which, when attempting to load, can lead to an instant crash from memory issues.

The delete and re-download trick has been around for a while as a remedy for a variety of app related issues, and it often still works.

If it’s still having issues, you’ll want to be sure you’re updated to the latest version of iOS…

5: Update iOS to the Latest Version

Updates to iOS often include bug fixes for system software, but some of those bug fixes and refinements also impact third party apps too. Additionally, some apps actually require a new version of iOS for certain features to work, or even for the application to work at all. Updating iOS to the latest version is fairly straight forward and usually without incident, and this combined with installing the latest version of an app is usually the be-all-end-all solution to a problematic app experience. Be sure to back up the iOS device before you update iOS, however.

  1. Back up the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iCloud or iTunes – don’t skip this
  2. Open “Settings” > “General” > and go to “Software Update”
  3. Choose “Download & Install” and let the entire iOS updating process complete

When the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch boots back into the latest version of iOS, and assuming you’ve already followed the steps above and have updated the app, the app that was crashing will almost certainly work without incident at this point.

Updating to a new version of iOS and a new version of the app really works. I had a friend run into this exact scenario recently with Instagram crashing, the app kept crashing repeatedly on them no matter what they did, initially when scrolling through a feed, and then crashing instantly upon launching the app – the only solution was to update iOS to the latest version, which immediately solved the problem.

Did these tricks work to resolve your app crashing problems? Do you have another fix that works for when an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch app crashes at random or crashes at launch? Let us know in the comments what works for you!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

78 Comments

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  1. Capt. Obvious says:

    Buy a new iPhone.

    • noah says:

      That’s my plan (I’m due anyway), but I need to get through the next month or so because I’d rather pay the discounted price for the current iPhone 6 after the iPhone 6s comes out.

      • Waloe says:

        I would recommend buying iPhone 6 off contract in that situation, the iPhone 6S is not looking too exciting so I agree might as well get the discounted 6.

      • Scott says:

        I deleted and then uploaded Instagram through iTunes while plugged into my computer and it worked.

    • Waya says:

      thanks, the swipping thing worked!

    • na says:

      if you can go into setting on the iPhone then tap on the Safari option for me, then turn off safari suggestion and search engine suggestion to see if Safari will work after both of them are turn off.

      bug with apple

    • leticia says:

      well my phone was working fine but my app wont go away and it still on my home screen i try everything and nothing happen the app is still on the screen how can you take it off it wont let me see my home screen ?

    • Lee says:

      Buy a new ANDROID. That’s the last words that an Apple CSR said to me when he could not help me fix a problem (same problem 100s of others had already logged). So I did — buy the Android. Love it. Meanwhile, this apple pos is gonna be used as a Spotify player or a boat anchor.

    • Goldy says:

      I wouldnt bother, IOS has been nothing less than rubbish since V7 they are screwing it up more with every update. Buy and Android phone next. many are now better than apple.

    • noah says:

      Just sync ipad with computer itunes, working much better now

    • Zoe says:

      None worked.

  2. noah says:

    what if the app that doesn’t work is mail.app and you’re already on the most recent version of iOS?

    • Waloe says:

      To fix crashing Mail app, delete the email account and re-add it

      Not convenient but there is usually no other way

      • noah says:

        didn’t work.

        • Paul says:

          What happens with Mail app when it tries to open? Does it crash immediately?

        • Waloe says:

          You may have a different issue, it may be with settings or cache or something else with the iPhone.

          Back it up and restore it.

          Or, reset the iPhone to factory settings which deletes everything off of it, then add the mail account as new. Does it work then? If so, something was wrong with the prior install.

          If the email account is with Gmail or Yahoo, there are different email apps specifically for those email services too. I use Gmail app, it is good.

          • noah says:

            Not Yahoo or Gmail. I believe backup and restore will work and I’m sure resetting the entire phone will. But both are a pain the neck if I’m getting a new phone in a couple of weeks. I may break down and do it anyway.

          • Bruce Webb says:

            You can always try “Reset network settings”. Less severe than a total Reset or Restore.

    • Neil says:

      I would check your mail in another app/browser. I had this issue and it was a rogue email causing the crash.

  3. Robert D. says:

    Funny, my worst App for crashes is Safari.

  4. Two apps you’d think would be totally stable? Hmm, both from Amazon.

    Kindle — crashes upon opening EVERY time, open again and it’s fine. For months and months, through several updates.

    Audible — spin, spin, spin, no longer works at all, can’t hold books and that “we’ll be back to you in a business day” malarkey? Five days, so far.

    Haven’t done #3 yet however so will.

  5. Helen says:

    My iCloud has crashed and I’m not sure what to do. If I do what is suggested above will I lose my ‘Pages’ as everything is on that site

  6. Louis says:

    Problem is the APPLE MAIL app on IOS 8. I have it on an Apple IPAD and it frequently crashes as you describe. Closing and reopening works, for a while, but it still frequently crashes. Updated to newest IOS version, assuming this would fix. No good. Totally restored tablet but this did not fix it.

    Any ideas on how to get IOS APPLE app for Mail to stop crashing?

    (PS: I have exactly same setup and accounts in iPhone mail app and it never crashes)

  7. Dave says:

    You can fix Mail app crashing often by hard rebooting the iPhone or iPad

    Hold down the TOP POWER BUTTON (or side on the new jumbo models) and the HOME BUTTON until you see the  Apple logo appear

    Sometimes you have to delete the account, hard reboot, then re-add the account. If you do that, you will lose any mail stored on the Mail app though.

    • Louis says:

      Thanks. I will try that.

      I use several mail accounts so it will take time (to re build the accounts) but worth it if it fixes the crashing.

      Thanks for the assist.

  8. Hugh Briss says:

    Been there, done that many times. All steps. But, sometimes the vendors don’t update their apps to keep up with iOS updates, and then you’re out of luck. Harmony by Logitech was just such a POS app. Took them weeks and beaucoup user complaints to update. Luckily, I had a much earlier version on my iMac iTunes, so I deleted the iOS app from my iPad and somehow managed to get the older version onto my iPad from iTunes–I forget just how I did it. Worked for a while, though not optimally as the older app didn’t offer quite the same feature set.

  9. KURT HANSON says:

    Apple software engineers found that you couldn’t downgrade back to iOS 8 from the iTunes incompatible back up you made before upgrading to the iOS 9 Beta, but since the Apple webpage informing anyone that they could was already live, they just said, “Oh, well. It’s two-thirty. Let’s call it a day and get a beer at Bob’s, Jo, before the crowds get there.”

    Remember that 1984 Apple Superbowl commercial?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zfqw8nhUwA

    In more ways than one, Apple is losing that pristine touch and quality of excellence. No lie.

    🖖

  10. Yeraze says:

    Funny you wouldn’t mention “Reboot the phone”.

    Evernote regularly gets into a state on my phone where I can’t add picture notes, it just crashes back to the home screen. I’ve tried all the steps above, and the only thing that seems to fix it is to reboot the phone, then it’s fine for a few days.

    • Eric says:

      I agree. I would have put this one at step #2, right after restarting the App. Deleting an App often deletes all its *content* as well. If it doesn’t sync to the cloud, then you just lost whatever content might have been associated with that App.

      Rebooting the phone, either by cycling it off then back on, or by a hard restart, can solve a whole range of issues.

    • lol says:

      Actually in the 3rd tip it mentions specifically to reboot the iPhone or iPad afterwards. If you actually read the article, you would see that.

      • Paul says:

        Correct the reboot trick was mentioned as a subset of one of the existing tips, I edited the guide and moved rebooting iOS to the very top of the article since it is quick, easy, and does often work to resolve crashing app issues. Might as well make it obvious! Hopefully those skimming the post will now see it, but if you’re experiencing issues you should absolutely read the article rather than skimming!

        • Bruce Webb says:

          I work Apple Support as a newbie. In training they call this the Three R’s: Restart, Reset, Restore. Restore can be a pain in the ass. Restart is easy, peasy. I like peasy. Also quitting Apps via the Multitasking screen is a miracle worker. (Your Apps don’t quit when you switch via the Home Button). Also deleting e-mail accounts and reinstalling (you mostly won’t lose e-mails, which are saved on the servers). Mostly your phone isn’t broken and you don’t need to get it back to factory settings. But if you do and you have backed up your phone to iTunes or the iCloud it is no big deal.

          In an ideal world your iPhone would work like an Etch-a-Sketch. Just shake it and it goes back to ‘Good as New’. But there are simple ways to ‘shake’ it. Or “Like Paul said”.

  11. Applications says:

    thanks this is helps a lot

  12. Thando says:

    Hi please help a friend of mine we exchange phones he gave me his 4s.ive rest it and now I can’t sign in to iCloud and I think it’s useless to use it without it.please help how can I sign in with my Apple ID

    • GUMBO says:

      Are your iPhone apps crashing? This article helps you fix your apps if they are crashing on iPhone. iCloud and Apple ID do not matter in this case. Maybe reboot your iPhone if your iCloud is crashing, or reset the iPhone and put in your Apple ID, but that won’t help it not crash.

  13. Scar_let says:

    PLEASE help me! I sell my art on my Instagram account and going on 5 days now, as soon as I click on the app it spits me right back off. I have tried all of these tricks multiple times with no avail! (Except for the factory set..I have pics I can’t lose right now.) I also have a personal acct, but I can’t even stay on the log in screen long enough to type more than 3 letters. I have emailed Instagram for help and have heard NOTHING back. I am so beyond frustrated! I’ve never experienced a problem for this long before! PLEASE HELP ME!!!

    • pal says:

      Try to update the Instagram app. You can also try deleting it and re-downloading it. You also may need to update iOS to the newest version available.

      • Spip says:

        Been having the same problem for o er a week now. As soon as I launch the Instagram app n my ipad it crashes. Heve been resetting the ipad, removing and redownloading the app: nothing works. I have ios 9.1 and cannot downgrade it. Have sent two messages to instagram, no reply. On my iphone 6 the app works perfectly well (ios 9.1 as well). This is driving me crazy! Can anybody help?

        • Hami says:

          I’m having the same problem with Instagram! I use it to edit pics for my small business and I’ve done all of those steps except restore to factory settings. I need this app to work asap!!!

  14. Bill says:

    I have an ipad 2 and ever since I updated to ios 9 every app I have crashes any ideas how to sort this out guys

    • Steve Long says:

      I have an iPad 2 and suffer the same problem as you do Bill. I accept that my iPad is elderly at 4 tears old but Apple have not persuaded me to upgrade and face the same problem when they decide the next version of the iPad is to be made unusable by a software upgrade. I will upgrade, but it won’t be to an Apple device.

      • Dirty Secret says:

        I have an older iPad too, I kept it usable by avoiding software updates. It would be a paperweight if I updated it to the latest junky iOS versions, I saw it happen with friends and colleagues iPads, no thanks! $500 is not the price of a disposable piece of junk.

        Don’t update iOS software! Yes, really. The secret to prolonging the life of Apple products is to never update the system software, which never speeds things up, never improves performance, never helps apps perform better, but always reduces performance and reduces usability. If you buy an iPad or an iPhone, you can update to the “point releases” (like going from iOS 10.0 to iOS 10.1) but never ever update to the full release (like going from iOS 10.0 to iOS 11.0) or you will lose performance.

        That’s my 2 cents, unless you have money to burn and don’t mind tossing out barely old hardware, avoid any and all software updates from Apple.

  15. Chloe says:

    I’ve been having the same problems with Instagram. It gives me around 5 seconds on the login page then the app closes, even if I manage to login and briefly see my homepage, when the app closes it then logs me out. I’ve got an iPhone 6S, it’s updated to iOS 9.1, I’ve tried resetting it and deleting and reinstalling the app, but nothing has worked. I think the problems started when I updated the app. Instagram works fine on my old iPhone 4S, but obviously it’s quite inconvenient to have to drag that around with me. I’ve also messaged Instagram and had no reply. I just don’t get why it doesn’t work!
    Please help!

  16. Haley says:

    None of this is working I tried all of it!

  17. Shiva says:

    hi i have updated my iphone6 software update to 9.2 today and and once phone switched off due to lack of power then i connect it and when i restart phone then i cant open any app it gives black screen and after few secs its force closing and when i open safari to search abt solution safari too force closing mostly any solution.for my problem pls let me know ty

    • Rae says:

      I am having the same issue since updating to 9.2. Messages crashed when I tried to text a picture. Safari crashes or the keyboard becomes unresponsive. Maps crashed while using for directions. What a nightmare! I have tried rebooting and issues still continue.

  18. Dave says:

    I have one newspaper app (Times Union) that repeated fetus to home screen only when reading the comics or looking at pictures. Have tried all the traditional solutions but haven’t worked.

  19. Malin says:

    I have tried all of above points with Instagram – including getting the newest iPhone ….it still crashes …. No idea what to do next!?

  20. Nkem says:

    Pleaee how about when the app crashing is “app store” or “photos” those can’t possibly be deleted and reinstalled- or could they?

    I have tried all of the steps severally.
    My ipad just has a mind of it’s own. Safari also crashes, and sometimes it ghost- types.

    Could it be that it’s just basically new for change?

    It’s the ipad3- 64gb wifi+ sim

    The annoying part is that i live in Nigeria, and we don’t even have a centre i could take it to

  21. Melissa says:

    The closing out open apps by swiping worked thank u

  22. Abbie says:

    The Photos app keeps crashing every single time I open it, and this just happened. I’ve tried rebooting the iPod Touch 5 (5th gen), but it hasn’t seemed to work. :/ I know it can’t be a memory problem because I’ve got 3.6 GB to spare.

  23. Christina says:

    Yeah none of this advice worked

    • Factually Stewart says:

      Actually Christina, this consistently works to fix crashing apps in iOS. In fact, it’s the only way to solve crashing app problems on the iPhone and iPad. The only other option is to ‘restore’ your iPhone and set it up as new, but then you will lose all of your stuff.

      Updating apps, quitting apps, and updating iOS works. It works for me and everyone else on a regular basis, maybe you are doing something wrong. Your next option is to go buy a brand new iPhone, maybe that advice will work for you.

  24. Julie says:

    Please check your storage first!! My iPad has been crashing upon launching email, Facebook and my favorite game freezes continually. I tried all of the above steps, to no avail. Deleting some unused apps fixed the problem immediately. I feel dumb, but….it was a process to determine the root cause. You’re welcome!!

    • June says:

      I have done everything stated here, including what others comments suggest and yet apps continue to crash over and over again. Every single app on my ipad crashes from time to time, some of them every time I use them. I always have the most current ios and app updates. I never have more than one app running at a time, e.g. I always do the double tap and swipe to remove all apps when I am finished with them. I have had it with Apple and will get an Android tablet next time. I have an android phone and love it. I don’t know how so many people get hooked on that Apple koolaid!!!

  25. Electricity says:

    Kik loads for 7 years and then crashes. All my apps do that actually. Rebooting the phone takes forever, reinstalling an app takes forever, all I wanna do is chat on kik or play blockheads but the phone decides that the app should crash 50 times after loading for 58 billion hours until I give in and reboot my entire phone which takes 10 minutes, tops. Either way, this website sure helped. Thanks.

  26. Lolis says:

    I have been having this same problem with my ipad mini 2, either the apps crash or they will not open at all, this is really annoying, a few times i have been so frustrated that I just want to slam it to the wall then I remember how much I paid for it, i will never buy any apple product ever again, they come up with new devices all the time and discontinue the “older” ones, I don’t have the money to just keep buying the latest every time, i am perfectly ok with the “older” ones, mine is not discontinued “yet” so I don’t understand why apple just does not care to fix the issue.

  27. Leslie says:

    the app that is crashing is the Notes app, it keeps immediately crashing as soon as i try to open it :( i have ios 9.3.2

  28. Ulrick says:

    the app that is crashing the ios is the Gmail and QR Code/Barcode app, it keeps immediately crashing or freezes /reboots or brings the iphpne to recovery mode and leaves the phone sometimes bricked as soon as i try to open it :( i have ios 9.3.2. -9.3.4).In my case i do a hard reset and Do NOT INSTALL GMail and QR Scanner……….Tadaaa no freezess problem solved.

  29. Hollis Hanover says:

    My Pages in iOS kept crashing after I loaded a crapload of documents into the “Pages” file on iCloud. Every time I would select Pages, it would open, try to load all the documents and then crash. I took a bunch of Gigs out of the ‘Pages’ file and put them in iCloud Documents. Worked like a charm. Now I open Pages and the only thing which shows up in “Documents” is a bunch of templates. I can then pluck the document I want from iCloud Documents, work on it, put it back and all is hunky dory.

    Everyone likes a happy ending.

  30. Julie says:

    None of these have stopped my email from crashing. It has done this since the latest update.

  31. Helen says:

    iphone 4 app crashes I’ve tried everything you suggested but it still doesn’t work. According to the settings I already have the latest iOS software. What do you suggest?

  32. DJ says:

    for my situation, these very basic suggestions did not help… many of my apps continually crash – very frustrating
    Apple is getting worse and worse over the years in their systems operations, not better. The system is up to date. The apps are up to date. Apps randomly crash and have to be rebooted.

  33. Thisguyneedshelp says:

    I tryed and nothing is working there is no update and I already tried everything else please tell me what to do

  34. Thisguyneedshelp says:

    I have a couple apps that don’t work and nothing is working

  35. John yang says:

    Avis app keep crashing when viewing the current reservations

  36. Mario says:

    Tried everything you suggested and still not working.

  37. A Man says:

    I have done all of these and it still doesn’t work

  38. Gabs says:

    For me musical.ly is crahing every time I try to make a musical.ly every time I hold down the button to record it goes black then back to home screen!!!! None of the tips above worked for me either

  39. Gabs says:

    And the musical.ly doesnt need an update

  40. Alan Hill says:

    I have an ipad 2 , keeps crashing, slow, unresponsive, it’s the biggest pile of crazy I’ve ever had the misfortune to own ( along with an iPhone 5 ) . I’m going to smash it and the phone as well . I’ve upgraded to a Samsung galaxy s7 that’s superb , I’m also getting a galaxy tab , problem solved.

  41. wlaoo says:

    the inbuilt memo voice app crashed in IOS6 : using ifile on a jailbroken iphone. Go to var/mobile/library/caches then I deleted the whole folder com.apple.VoiceMemos

  42. Ben says:

    I have the latest iPhone 7 Plus, and I’m having a problem with the notes app, I tap on it and it INSTANTLY closes out, I don’t know how to fix it.

  43. Dlewis says:

    None of this works for me. I’ve done all of this and more. I can’t reload an app when the App Store , iTunes and and any other apple App crashes when I I touch it. Now my music and Facebook apps are crashing. I’ve went through safari and it’s the same thing. I’m out of options. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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