By default, iPhones 'go to sleep' after a specified amount of inactivity in order to save battery life. (You can change this in Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock.) But even when your iPhone (or iPad) is asleep, it still uses up battery power - not an ideal situation if you're away from home and need to conserve power.

What should you do? Turn the phone off, of course. This is the most effective way of conserving battery power - and that's not the only reason to turn your iOS device off. Some say it helps speed up sluggish iOS devices, and it's also the only way to restart an unresponsive iPhone or iPad.

In this article, we show how to turn off your iPhone or iPad.

How to turn off an iPhone or iPad

No matter the reason, here's the simplest way to turn off an iPhone or iPad. It's virtually the same process for every generation and model of iOS device, with one exception - the X-series iPhones require you to press and hold two buttons instead of one.

  1. Hold down the power button (also known as the side button) for around 3 seconds, until you see a 'slide to power off' message appear. (To turn off an iPhone X, XS, XS Max and XR, however, you have to press and hold both the side button and one of the volume buttons until the power-off slider appears.)
  2. Slide the power icon to the right to power off your iPhone or iPad.
  3. The screen should go black and display a small progress wheel. After a few seconds, your device will power down.

If the button isn't working, don't panic - we can show you how to fix a broken power button, too.

How to force-restart an unresponsive iPhone or iPad

While the above tutorial explains how to turn off any iPhone or iPad, the iOS device needs to be responsive to activate the shutdown menu. But what happens if your device is completely unresponsive and still needs to be shut down properly? You'll need to perform what's known as a 'hard reset' or a force restart.

While this shouldn't be your go-to method for shutting down your iPhone or iPad, sometimes it's just what is needed.

  1. For all iPhones and iPads apart from the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X, hold down both the power button and home button for 10 seconds, until the screen goes black and displays the Apple logo.
  2. For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users, follow the same instructions but hold the volume down button instead of the Home button. This is because the Home button on the latest iPhone is software-controlled and may not be responsive in the event of an iOS crash.
  3. For the iPhone 8 and later, you should press and release volume up, then press and release volume down. Finally, press and hold the side (power) button until you see the Apple logo as above.

Once the Apple logo appears, let go of the buttons and allow your iOS device to restart. Once it's powered back on, follow the instructions above to shut down your iPhone or iPad properly.