How to Force Reboot iPhone XS Max & iPhone XS

Oct 1, 2018 - 7 Comments

How to force restart iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS

The iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR have new and different methods for force restarting these model iPhones, due to the fact that none of these models have a Home button. Initiating a forced restart on these new iPhone models may be different and slightly more complicated than before, but it’s still easy enough that even a novice user can master the method.

This article will show you how to force reboot an iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.


If you’re already accustomed to the procedure for force restarting iPhone X or force restarting iPhone 8 then you’ll be in familiar territory because forcibly restarting all of those devices is the same as force restarting the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

How to Force Reboot iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

You must press the buttons in the proper sequential order for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR to force restart successfully. If you do not follow the proper process, the device will not force restart. Here’s how force restarting these model iPhone devices works:

  1. Press Volume Up, then release that button
  2. Press Volume Down, then release that button
  3. Press and hold down the Power / Lock button on the right side of iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR
  4. Keep holding the Power / Lock button until you see an  Apple logo appear on the display of iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, or iPhone Xr

How to force restart iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS

If you do not see the Apple  logo, then you did not successfully force restart the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR, and you’ll want to repeat the process again.

The onscreen Apple logo should look like this after a successful force restart, demonstrating the iPhone XS Max / iPhone XS is starting up again:

Forced restarting an iPhone XS Max

You may need to keep holding the Power button for what feels like a while before the Apple logo appears on the screen, it’s a much longer hold on that button than any of the others which just need a quick press and release.

If you failed to forcibly restart the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, or iPhone XR, simply repeat the steps above until you succeed. Press and release Up volume, press and release Down volume, then press and hold Power button until you see the Apple logo. Pretty easy, though yes it is different from many earlier model iPhone devices.

While this is how you force restart an iPhone XS and iPhone XR, you can also apply other methods to simply shutting down the devices, like using the Settings approach to shut down an iOS device, without even touching any buttons, which you can then turn back on. A standard shut down and startup is NOT the same as force restarting an iOS device however.

An improper attempt at forced restarting an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max will likely result in something like a screenshot being taken, so if that happens then you did something wrong as obviously a screen capture is not in the process of force rebooting.

While this approach is the same as force restarting an iPhone X and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, it is different from force restarting iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7, which is also different from force restarting any iPhone or iPad with a Home button. While there is some fragmentation in the approaches to force restarting for now, presumably all future iPhone and iPad models will have no Home button or alternate methods of force restarting and will then therefore all fall into line with how the process works on iPhone XS Max and other new iPhone XS and iPhone XR models.

Why force reboot an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max?

The primary reason most users will ever need to force restart an iPhone XS Max or iPhone XS or iPhone XR is if the device is frozen, unresponsive, or crashing. It’s a very common troubleshooting trick that often remedies many iPhone (and iOS) issues.

The force restart procedure interrupts whatever is going on with the device to forcibly reboot it. This can lead to data loss from current apps and onscreen activity however, so you should not forcibly reboot if you’re currently engaged in something on the screen that is important or unsaved.

Do you know of any other tips or tricks for forcing an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or Phone XR to reboot? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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

7 Comments

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  1. PaulL says:

    What purpose does it serve to eliminate the Home button? This seems like an innovation looking for a problem.

    • Name it says:

      Why do they change the reboot method every new iPhone? Change for the sake of change?

      I guess removing Home button allows for a bigger screen on the front of the iPhone without the room for a Home button. But what I don’t understand is why didn’t they just use 3D Touch to mimic a Home button to unlock the iPhone and return home? You could 3D Touch bottom of the screen to go Home or unlock… Or you can use Face ID now which any agency, official, snooper, or bad guy will just hold your iphone up to your face and unlock it for you, no password required since you can’t hide your face :) Totally secure LOL!

  2. Ge Ri says:

    Hold your horses there Charlie !!
    Is is NOT a change as this is the same exact way you
    Force reboot an iPhone X, from one year ago.

    Repeat
    NO CHANGES

    As to Why No Home Button
    gestures Far out perform, the clicking of a button
    or two clicks of a button, or three or four.

    Buttons are antiquated.
    Don’t believe me
    Check out iPones in five years

    • Nigel says:

      “If you’re already accustomed to the procedure for force restarting iPhone X or force restarting iPhone 8 then you’ll be in familiar territory because forcibly restarting all of those devices is the same as force restarting the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.”

      Someone clearly didn’t read the whole article.

  3. Ian T says:

    The Home Button is a mechanical device which takes a lot of use and is therefore subject to failure; takes up space which can be used to expand screen real estate without enlarging the physical size of the device; and is nothing like as reliable for fingerprint recognition as Face ID. Swipe gestures are easy to learn and execute. And BTW, 3D Touch is dead, hardly ever used by most people.

    • PaulL says:

      You’re saying fingerprint or Face ID is *more* reliable than pushing a button? Yeah, I don’t think so…

    • vdiv says:

      I use 3D touch all the time to edit text, clear all notifications, launch the task manager, invoke common app actions without launching the apps, to preview and open email, etc, etc.

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