How to Force Reboot iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR

Oct 1, 2018 - 18 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, XR, 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, iPhone XR, 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


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  1. JJ says:

    I have done this several times and it is still not working …. I have never had to sign in and what not this is very frustrating.

  2. Alastair says:

    I have come to the conclusion that Apple is a “technology joke”. I have 7 Apple Desktops and Laptops (7 in fact) that have all failed. iPhone are junk as well (as well as iPad’s). Apple computers are built to fail, they always do! My current phone is an XS (Version 10) – randomly changes languages, loses contacts in the database (though they are till in there somewhere as a received call brings up their actual data, and numerous other problems. Keep up to date, makes no difference. Recently gave up on Apple, bought a top of the line Dell Laptop, in first 3 months, 2 power supplies, now screen failed (at 6 months). Had to pay for new myself as no longer in the UK, now in Australia…. Guess what – ZERO support as no longer in the UK. So “warranty” means if your brand new DELL Laptop fails, “tough” – Dell laughing all the while”…. Dell warranty, like Apple, means if your $3,000 computer fails anytime inside the pretend warranty period, “Hey, we can sell you a new one”….. No more “premium” brands for me as you need to be prepared to just throw it away!”

  3. Momo says:

    Who cares about what button I’m more curious isn’t you why we have to do it all the time! Or how I lose access to my apps and my phone numbers disappear out of my settings, or every time there’s an update my Settings divert back to default excuse me but they’re my settings and I’d like to keep them my settings! Oh and xs max camera sucks! And I want to see the HTC one has the best camera and everything in my life on a mobile device

  4. Craig B says:

    This particular sequence of button presses is what is excessive here, not the combination or the fact that you use all of them. The fact that you have to press volume up, THEN volume down, THEN hold the power button for a very long time (30-45+ seconds when I did it) for the forced restart to happen tells me more than a few Apple customers for some reason have a problem with putting their iPhones in situations where one or more side buttons are constantly being pressed.

    Because on any other device in the last 10+ years, computers, consumer devices, etc., holding the power button for 15+ seconds is enough to force it off, so most people know how to do that. Maybe holding the power button for 15+ seconds AND THEN releasing it and pressing the power button to turn it back on was too complicated for some people…

    • PH says:

      Yes force rebooting the new iPhone models is confusing and requires a long press time. But with so many actions assigned to the Power button on the iPhone nowadays, they probably figured it is necessary to do so to prevent accidental reboots. Just a guess.

  5. YouMobile says:

    I just bought Iphone XS but having problem with camera, it takes time to capture when using flashlight. Can you help out fixing it? Thanks

    • kingsley says:

      I tried on my xs max too and Siri won’t leave the screen even after an hour of holding the power button.. pls help me

  6. Dave Roose says:

    followed the directions (Xs Max) and when pressing and holding the power button, I Siri comes up and won’t go away.

    • Pna says:

      You must follow the instructions exactly as written, then when you get to the power button part hold it down until you see the Apple logo. It can take a while, I think it’s a confusing new way to force reboot iPhone XS but this is what Apple has decided is the way.

  7. Sanjeev says:

    Issue : During iOS update iPhone XS frozen not able to reboot. Tried above suggestion

    • Cali says:

      I have the same problem – XS is frozen with white illuminated background and black apple logo. Above combination will not restart

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


    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.

  10. 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!

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