iPhone 5 Won’t Turn Off

If your Apple iPhone 5 is frozen and won’t turn off, here’s what you can try:

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top of the device for about 10 seconds. See if the red slider eventually appears so that you can shut it off or force quit the offending app.
  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously for about 10 seconds. Hopefully, the Apple logo will appear and the iPhone 5 will finally turn off.

There have heard a few users report occasions where they’ve had to simply let the battery run all the way down before the device will work again. I’m afraid if the steps above don’t work, that is your last resort.


  1. James says

    Thank you. LTE stopped functioning. Apps stopped working and then even Settings just gave me a blank page on my iPhone 5. After five, even 10, seconds of holding down the wake/sleep button, I still couldn’t get the phone to turn off. Holding down the home button at the same time worked for me.

  2. trisha says

    I have an iPhone 5 and it was stuck in the settings area. After several attempts, holding the sleep/wake + home buttons finally worked and I’m now back in business.

    Wasn’t looking forward to waiting for a fully charged battery to run down.

  3. ally says

    Margarita, that’s the same thing that happened to me!! I also have the iPhone 4,and I will try your idea!!

  4. hasan says

    thx alot the 2nd solution while holding the power button press the home button worked! this is the 1st time i ever experienced this problem :(

  5. Ashok says

    Second option worked for me. I faced this problem for the first time ever since I bought the phone. Thanks.

  6. Ashelyn says

    My iPhone 3G is frozen on the safari we page and its just a white blank page… i tried holding the power button for 10 seconds…plugging it up to the computer… and letting the battery die. The battery won’t die it just stays there… it was on 10% for at least an hour. Its weird becuase it won’t lock, but it will show if you trun up the volume. The time still works to. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

  7. Gunns says

    Well mine froze today and all it shows is the apple logo. Its been this way for about 3 hours now. I need some help!

  8. Wendy says

    Pressing and holding sleep/wake and home key for 10 seconds worked for me too – Thank goodness!! Thanks heaps :D

  9. Margarita says

    Last night my iPhone4 froze and it wouldn’t shut off with anything I tried. I just had to let the battery die . Plugged it in the charger next morning and it worked. WEIRD!

  10. kelly says

    Pressing and holding sleep/wake and home key for 10 seconds worked for me! Thank you! My home key was not working and the phone wouldn’t turn off and I just got this phone a few weeks ago.

  11. steve says

    i have just had a new screen fitted but the slider does not work or the on off button

  12. steelydan says

    I am trying to power off my iphone 4s. I hold down the top button and then the red power slide appears. I slide it to the right and it starts to power down then the Apple appears and come back on. it will not stay turned off. any suggestions??

  13. kim says

    keep pressing the turn off button continuously as well as the home button and it should within a minute restart itself!

  14. SD says

    I have the iphone 4S…holding the power off button, sliding to power off, pressing the power off button and the bottom button at the same time, etc doesn’t work. No combination here does that. I finally tried to let the battery run down, and it STILL won’t completely shut off – it still shows the “plug in to power source” screen. I’m afraid that this is an iphone 4S issue…I find it incredibly frustrating that I cannot turn off my phone!! It is malfunctioning and needs to be rebooted. Guess I’ll be going to the apple store this week…Other iPhone 4S owners, I feel your pain!

  15. chengL says

    my iphone4s was frozen on power down mode. somehow screen font was changed to large size, the side bar was pushed off screen. can’t even to confirm power off.
    Only “Sleep/Wake + Home” works as you suggested. Thanks!!

  16. Lindsey says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been trying for 20 minutes to get my iPhone to shut off or come on or something and then I found your site. Thank you again this phone is my only communication right now you rock!

  17. Louise says

    It didn’t work for me – buzzing for over an hour now . . . hope it dies soon as I can restart.

  18. Buffalogal says

    I too am extremely grateful for your help. This is my first smartphone and when it locked up, I had no idea what to do. Didn’t want to go back to the default as suggested on the Apple website, so typed in a search engine “iphone 4s won’t shut off” and this website was one of the choices. This is the beauty of the internet, to get answers when you need them. Thank you so much.

  19. Rory says

    My phone would not turn off, no internet apps would work, and the settings app would not load. I tried holding down the top button (sleep/wake) for a long time and it did not work. The combination of both that button and the round button on the face of the iphone worked! Thanks. I’m back in business. Whew!

  20. Amarand Agasi says

    Fantastic, succinct, easy-to-find with a quick Google search. Oh, and it worked (Sleep/Wake & Home)…thank you!

  21. Samantha says

    Thank you so much, my phone is now working again! i got a scare as i thought i had broken it and i had only had it for 4 days! Once again thank you so much!

  22. sam1212 says

    I opened my App store and my iphone 4 froze. I tried pressing the sleep button to shut it off but it didn’t work. I checked a few minutes after and its now been on the screen where the circular thing in the middle keeps spinning. Its been like that for ages and my phones not switching off. I tried pressing the home button and the sleep button toghether but that doesnt work either. What should I do?

  23. Kamal- sri lanka says

    hi, this really worked. my phone was ringing and display was blanc. I tried holing down the top switch off button and failed. The moment I held down the top button and home button the logo apperared. great tip.

  24. Andrew says

    Holding both buttons down worked for me too. It got stuck for about 30 minutes with the progress icon. It initially just froze up out of nowhere. Glad I found this post, as holding the power button down alone didn’t work.

  25. Justin says

    Thanks! I’m new to the iphone and was worried when it froze. Holding the sleep/wake and home buttons for ten seconds did the trick. Thanks again.

  26. Mitch says

    It sounds like it constantly thinks one or both of the buttons are being pressed. The fact that it takes a screenshot tends to make me think that. Is there perhaps some gunk stuck near the buttons? If not, it seems like a hardware problem and you’ll have to send it in for Apple to fix.

  27. simon says

    Can anyone help with an iphone 4 problem?It will simply not switch off,have tried holding down the sleep/wake button as well as the home button at the same time but this activates the voice control.

  28. Catherine says

    Hi I also had the issue of my phone being frozen and continually vibrating, I held the top and bottom buttons too and it worked. Thanks for the help

  29. Barrie Roberts says

    It worked! Thanks for the advice. Although I thought I had already tried that, but obviously didn’t have the patience to hold it for as long as it needed to shutdown. Anyway ta!

  30. Happy says

    I had the same thing happen as Michelle H….pressing both buttons worked!!! I too thought I was headed to the iphone store. Whew!!!!

  31. Pete says

    Thanks guys, iPhone 4 frozen going into a app folder. Sleep/wake + home button for 10 secs did the job. I have my beloved phone back

  32. SirenXp says

    Thanks! I’ve only had my iphone a couple of days & I was changing setting in accessibility when by mistake I tapped on white on black which made the touch screen vary unresponsive & I couldn’t get it to change back, then once it locked I couldn’t unlock it so I was at a lose on how to switch it off/restart it but holding down the off & home button together for about 5sec got it to turn off & when I switched it back on it was slow but working so I quickly went into setting & turn off that setting.

    All working fine now but it did have me worried for a moment there thinking it had broken & I would have to go get it fixed, haven’t even made a call on it yet.

  33. SimplyAmazin' says

    Thanks so much. I thought my phone was gone. You’re a life saver. <3 :]

  34. Sean says

    Sleep wake + home button does turn off the phone but only momentarily. The phone turns on again in a frozen state that displays the apple logo.

    any further solution?

  35. Sam W says

    Thanks so much my iphone 4 was also not powering off just little circle spinning but holding down round button & power button worked

  36. Amanda says

    Awesome – thanks – that worked… Held down power button and home button and it rebooted. Anxiety attack was coming had this not worked..

  37. Boosh says

    Tried the above on my iphone 4 and nothing worked (held down sllep / wake for ages!) Tried lots of different combos but when I held all buttons down (sleep / wake, both volumes and the main button) with the switch button set to normal (i.e. not silent) and the thing switched off and I could restart. Not sure if this is by design / fluke or wahetevr but may be worth trying.

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