In this tutorial we show you how to restart an iPhone or iPad. This can be an effective solution if your iDevice has frozen or slowed down, or is otherwise behaving oddly.

Why to restart

If you've ever watched the IT Crowd, you'll be well versed in the mantra "Have you tried turning it off and on again?", which is the stock response used by Denholm Industries' IT department to solve all computer-related ills.

In real life… well, strangely enough this exact method is often the way to fix problems that occur on your iPhone or iPad. Restarting can clear out random problems that cause the device to get stuck in a loop, appear sluggish or otherwise impair their performance.

For bigger issues, you might find it necessary to reset your device to factory settings. If even that doesn't solve the problem, a trip to the Apple Store is in order. Sadly, this often results in a fixed device but with all the data wiped clean, which makes it vitally important that you backed up your iPhone or iPad beforehand, either with iCloud or iTunes. With that safety net in place you can restore your device when it starts to have problems.

Restart your device

This is the basic method of turning off an iPhone or iPad, but many of us hardly ever do it - we just leave the device charging overnight and carry on where we left off next day. It's a good idea to restart from time to time.

All you need to do is press and hold the power button (aka the lock switch, and located on the top edge of the iPhone SE and similar models, and on the top right of the iPhone 7, 7 Plus and other larger models). Hold it down until a 'slider to power off' message appears. Do what the message says and your iPhone will be powered off.

To turn it back on again, repeat the trick: press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears, then let the device complete its startup process.

Force-restart your device

If your iPhone or iPad has become unresponsive, or you've shut it down and it won't turn on again, all is not lost. There is a feature on iOS devices that can be used when the normal modes of operation aren't working.

To force your device to restart, hold down the Home button (the one on the front of the iPhone or iPad) as well as the power button until the Apple logo appears. Now you can let go of the buttons and let your device complete its start sequence.

This is called a force-restart (or sometimes a hard reset), and should hopefully fix any issues you were having. If things are still not as they should be, then it might be a good idea to restore an old backup, as some of your files could be corrupted and causing the issue.

How to force-restart an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus

Unlike other iPhone models, the iPhone 7 and its Plus-sized sibling do not feature a physical home button - it's a software-based haptic button that senses a press and buzzes to simulate a click rather than physically pressing down - and you'll find that the guide above won't work on these devices.

However, if you do encounter problems you can still force-restart your iPhone 7. Press the power/lock key on the right side of the phone while also pressing and holding the volume down key on the left.

After holding these two buttons for a short while, your iPhone will turn off its display and you will soon see the Apple logo appear. Take a look at the video below to see how it's done: