iPhones and iPads are for the most part reliable and user-friendly devices, but they do go wrong occasionally. From time to time they will freeze, get stuck on a blank screen, fail to update iOS or iPadOS, or refuse to turn on. These are relatively rare hazards, but that's not much consolation when it happens to you - and the effectiveness of the solutions available varies widely. Often you will have to face the loss of vital data.

In some situations it's possible to sort out a misbehaving device using Apple's own solutions: a hard restart, a factory reset, or Recovery Mode. But all too often you'll find that this doesn't do the trick, and your only recourse is to set up an appointment at an Apple Store - and even an Apple Genius specialist may not be able to help you. When you're out of conventional fixes, it's time to consider a third-party software solution.

Let's say you upgraded your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, and now regret it - perhaps you find the interface difficult to use, or your device has slowed down. Ordinarily, our advice would be to make the best of it; particularly as downgrading on iOS is extremely difficult. But there is software available to make the task easier. In this article we focus on iMyFone Fixppo, which is designed for jobs exactly like this.

Fix common problems without data loss

We should add, at this point, that downgrading iOS and iPadOS is only one arrow in iMyFone Fixppo's bulging quiver of features. Name almost any of the most common iPhone complaints, and Fixppo will have a solution to offer – and it will frequently be able to achieve this without the loss of your data.

The software can deal with iPhones and iPads that are stuck in a non-responsive state. This includes the so-called white and black ‘screens of death’, as well as persistent logos - whether you're looking at the Apple logo or the spinning circle that normally indicates processing. Similarly, Fixppo is designed to aid iPhones that you can't get out of Recovery Mode (it can also enter Recovery Mode with one click), or which have become caught in a boot loop. And if your device keeps failing when you attempt a restore or a system update, it can help here too.

And that leaves the most fundamental problems: when your iPhone won't do anything at all, and there's a worrying suspicion that it's bricked. In such situations, it's tempting to despair, but iMyFone Fixppo is designed to rescue phones that are totally frozen, or simply won't turn on.

We will add, finally, that the software does a handy sideline in tvOS fixes. Fixppo offers many similar functions and fixes on the Apple TV (2015 or later) as it does on the iPhone and iPad.

So how does Fixppo work? To make it easier to grasp the wide range of iOS, iPadOS and tvOS problems that the software can deal with, the makers have divided them up into a Standard and an Advanced Mode. These are defined by whether or not the fixes they contain will result in data loss. Standard fixes will leave your device in the same state it was in before the problem struck; Advanced Mode, which addresses issues that are too complex for Standard Mode, will result in data loss. Assuming that you follow a regime of regular backups, this needn't be too much of a concern: you'll be able to restore from a recent backup and quickly get your apps, settings and data back.

Let's walk through one of Fixppo's simple fixes. We'll assume that an iPhone has become frozen and isn't responding to any user input.

To begin with, we'll download, install and launch iMyFone Fixppo. From the app's starting menu, select Standard Mode, which will be more than enough for this simple issue.

The software will ask for an iOS device to be connected, so – in our case – we plug the iPhone into our computer using the standard Lightning/USB cable. In this case, we have only to unlock the device, although more advanced issues may require that we place it into Recovery or DFU mode before it can be recognised.

Using the dropdown menus, select an appropriate firmware version, then click Download. A progress bar appears while the firmware is downloaded

The final step is to hit the Start button. Fixppo will sort out the iPhone's problem and notify you when it's finished.

Special offer!

iMyFone Fixppo is a versatile piece of software designed to fix a huge variety of common problems on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. The , too, is designed to suit a variety of requirements.

Assuming you’re running a Mac, the basic plan currently costs $39.95 for a single device for a year, but iMyFone is offering a special price of $24.95 for Macworld readers; the family and multi-user plans offer lifetime subscriptions for 2-5 (special price $39.95, but normally $49.95) and 6-10 ($49.95, down from $69.95) devices respectively. Windows owners can get a one-month subscription for the reduced price of $29.95, down from $49.95.

Whichever plan you’re considering, remember that you can try the software for free before making any commitment.

Take advantage of the free trial / get the Macworld offer