Every new operating system has its issues and Apple’s iOS 7 is certainly no exception. We’ve seen a multitude of bug reports rolling in and, while many people have updated successfully, there’s no shortage of people encountering glitches or even major problems. We discussed how to prepare for and download iOS 7, and we’ve suggested some helpful iOS 7 tips and tricks, now it’s time to review some common iOS 7 problems and, where possible, identify solutions. We’ll refer to the iPhone throughout the article, but the majority of the problems and fixes will apply to the iPad and iPod Touch as well.
Updated on 2-11-2014 by Simon Hill: Added unable to send email problem and disappearing contacts glitch.
Problem: Unable to send email
Some people have found that they are unable to send emails after the iOS 7 update. They can still receive emails, but when they try to send emails it doesn’t work. For some people it’s failing to send with an error message, for others email appears to send, but never arrives in the recipient’s inbox. This seems to occur intermittently and it can potentially happen on various types of email account. There are a few things you can try.
- Double tap the Home button and swipe the email app up to close it. Then try restarting it again. It may work properly for a while.
- Restart your iPhone by holding down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo.
- Enable Airplane mode and wait 30 seconds then turn it off again and try again.
- Select the email account that’s giving you problems from Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and tap on the Account section at the top where your email address is listed. Now tap on Outgoing Mail Server listed at the bottom and then tap on the Primary Server at the top of the next page. Make sure your email address is listed under User Name and then tap on the Password and re-enter it, even if it’s already filled in.
- You could try deleting the problem email account. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars select your email account and tap the Delete Account option at the bottom of the screen. Now make sure you have all the correct setup details and go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account to add it again.
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and set up your Wi-Fi connection again.
Bug: Disappearing contacts
Do you find that your contacts sometimes disappear? You’ll open up the Contacts app on your iPhone and find that it’s empty, or some of the contacts are missing. You may find that they randomly return after a few minutes or a couple of hours. You could start by going to iCloud.com and logging in to check that your contacts are all listed correctly.
- Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > iCloud and make sure that Contacts is toggled on.
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and then set up your Wi-Fi network again from scratch.
- Go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and make sure iCloud Backup is toggled on.
- If none of that works for you then you could always restore a backup from iTunes, assuming you made one. Launch iTunes on your computer, and go to Edit > Preferences > Devices to check Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically. Now plug your iPhone in, click on it in iTunes and choose Restore Backup from the Summary tab then follow the instructions.
Bug: White screen of death
A bug that seems to have cropped up for a lot of people, particularly on the iPad, but also various iPhone models is a random crash from the home screen which soft reboots the device and brings up a screen with the Apple logo. The background color matches the device, so a white iPhone will have a white boot up screen with a black Apple and vice versa. There’s some suggestion that this is linked to the battery, but it’s not clear.
- Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo to restart your device.
- Try DFU mode, explained below under the Glitch: Stuck on Apple logo.
- Backup and factory reset your iPhone.
- Apple has acknowledged this issue, Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller told Mashable “We have a fix in an upcoming software update for a bug that can occasionally cause a home screen crash.”
Problem: Can’t make or receive calls
If you’ve run into problems with making or receiving calls after updating to iOS 7 then you are not alone. You might find that people are trying to call you, but your iPhone is not ringing, or perhaps you are unable to make a call. Some people report calls apparently connecting, but the line seems to be dead and they can’t hear the other person. Assuming you’re not just in a dead spot (try making the call from another location), there are a few things you can try.
- Go to Settings and toggle Airplane Mode on for five seconds and then turn it off again.
- Make sure that Do Not Disturb in Settings is not turned on.
- Go to Settings > Phone and make sure Call Forwarding is not turned on.
- Go to Settings > Phone and check under Blocked.
- Make sure you have the latest carrier update by going to Settings > General > About. If there’s something available then you should be prompted to download it (make sure you’re connected the Wi-Fi and your mobile network).
- Make sure there isn’t another iOS update by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
- Try removing the SIM card, make sure it’s clean and replace it carefully.
- Try resetting your network settings via Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
- Go to Settings > Cellular and try toggling Enable LTE and/or Enable 3G.
- Contact your carrier and make sure there’s no problem on their end.
- Try factory resetting your iPhone.
Glitch: Keyboard is orientated the wrong way
Occasionally, iOS 7 fails to identify the correct orientation of your device and produces a keyboard that is only partially on the screen, rendering it useless. It is a common occurrence after using the camera from the lock screen.
- Slide across the screen and the keyboard will correctly orientate itself to the screen.
- The glitch appears to be fixed in iOS 7.1 beta.
Bug: Control Panel and Notification Center don’t appear
There have been some reports of an issue in iOS 7.0.4 that the Control Panel and Notification Center aren’t accessible by swiping up or down respectively, or will work for a short period of time but eventually become unavailable.
- Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch. Turning this setting on and off seems to provide a fix for the issue, albeit it sometimes only a temporary one.
Glitch: Stuck on Apple logo
If your update went wrong then you may well find that your iPhone is stuck on a blank boot screen or on the Apple logo and it won’t start up properly. You’re going to want to connect to iTunes and try DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode.
- Hold down the Sleep/Wake button to turn your iPhone off.
- Open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone.
- Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button together for ten seconds, and then release the Sleep/Wake button.
- Continue to hold down the Home button until you see a pop-up on iTunes stating that “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes.”
- Your iPhone screen should be blank, if you see a logo or message on it then you are not in DFU mode.
- Select your iPhone in the left hand column of iTunes and select Summary then Restore.
- You may need to install the iOS 7 update again.
Problem: Rapid battery drain
Many people are finding iOS 7 is more power hungry than iOS 6 was. You can find some general help by referring to our tips for saving smartphone battery, but there are also a couple of iPhone specific fixes worth considering.
- Disable the parallax effect that gives the home screen that 3D look by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.
- Turn off the background app refresh for at least some of your apps by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.
- Turn off AirDrop by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and selecting the toggle in the Control Center.
- Go to Settings > Notification Center and toggle off any apps that you don’t want to include.
Bug: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth not working
A lot of people have found that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions are not working properly after the update to iOS 7. They may appear greyed out in Settings and either won’t toggle on or appear to toggle on, but turn straight off again.
- You should try rebooting your iPhone and your router, but it is unlikely to permanently fix the problem.
- Some people have had success by removing an apostrophe from the iPhone name. If your iPhone is called something like “John’s iPhone” then this might work. Go to Settings > General > About > Name and change it to something with no apostrophe.
- Some people have reported success by putting the iPhone into Airplane mode and then going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings, but the problem may return.
- You could also try going to Settings > Control Center and disable Access on Lock Screen then turn your iPhone off and on again.
- Make sure that your router firmware is up to date.
- Try backing up your iPhone and then restoring it. Check how to factory reset an iPhone for details.
- If nothing is working for you, try contacting Apple or take your iPhone into an Apple Store.
Problem: Keyboard lag
This one seems to be a problem for iPhone 4 owners, but it may not be limited to that model. Sufferers have been complaining about lag with iOS 7 in general, but also some serious delays when typing on the virtual keyboard.
- Go to Settings > iCloud and turn Documents & Data off.
Bug: iTunes Store keeps crashing
Some people have found that the iTunes Store app on their iPhone crashes when they try to open it. There are two potential fixes to try.
- Open the Music app and tap Store in the upper left corner. You should find that the app now works, although the problem might reoccur.
- Double tap the Home button to open the multitasking menu. Close iTunes Store if it is listed. Now go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and click on your Apple ID then choose Sign Out. Sign in again and open the iTunes Store app and it should work.
Bug: iMessage or FaceTime not working
Many people have encountered issues with FaceTime and/or iMessage not working after the iOS 7 update. For a number of users iMessage was not sending messages correctly, some people found that it wouldn’t activate. There were also complaints about FaceTime calls failing.
- Turn FaceTime and/or iMessage off and on again via the toggles in Settings.
- Turn off Cellular Data in Settings > Cellular and make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi, then go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. You’ll have to set up your connection again, but FaceTime and iMessage should now work.
- If nothing else has worked then back up your iPhone and try restoring it.
- Apple addressed the iMessage issues in the iOS 7.0.3 update released in October.
- Apple addressed the FaceTime issues in the 7.0.4 update released in November.
Some people have been complaining about random freezing on their iPhone after the update. It doesn’t seem to be confined to a specific model.
- If it happens in a specific app then double-click the Home button and find the app that froze and swipe it up to close it.
- If that isn’t working then hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home Button until you see the Apple logo.
- Try backing up and restoring your iPhone.
Bug: There is a crazy way to bypass the lock screen
If you’re worried about the security risk posed by the revelation that people can bypass your lock screen and gain access to some content, there is a way to close the loophole.
- Go to Settings > Control Center and toggle Access on Lock Screen to off.
Apple has already released an update to deal with this bug and you can get it via Settings > General > Software Update.
Problem: Apps keep logging you out
Many users have encountered issues with apps like Mailbox and Snapchat logging them out. App developers are working on fixes and seem to be in agreement that the way iOS 7’s background refresh works is the problem.
- Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn it off for any apps where you’re finding problems.
- You may have to wait for an update from the app developer or Apple to find a permanent fix for this one.
Bug: Loads of unread emails
Some people found that they had hundreds or even thousands of unread emails after updating to iOS 7. This problem seems to be particularly common for Gmail users, but it can occur with other email accounts.
- Go into your email account on your computer and select all your emails then choose Mark as Read. Now go back to your iPhone and the count should be drastically reduced. It may be quicker to select all, choose Mark as Unread and then choose select all again and click Mark as Read.
- You can also select Edit > Mark All > Mark as Read on your iPhone, but for it to work, you’ll need to download all your emails to the iPhone first, which can take a long time.
Problem: iPhone won’t turn on
A few people have reported that their iPhone won’t turn on at all after installing the recent update. Plugging in the charger doesn’t seem to have any effect. In some cases, there’s no recognition when plugging into a computer and trying to connect to iTunes either. There’s probably more than one problem at work here, but here are some steps you can try.
- Make sure that you’re using an Apple cable. Apple is working to block third-party cables and chargers by including an authenticator chip in its official cables. It’s not likely, but just to eliminate them as problems, try using a different cable and a different power outlet.
- Try holding down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button together for at least 10 seconds.
- If you are using an official cable then plug your iPhone in and leave it to charge for at least a couple of hours before trying the Sleep/Wake and Home button again.
- Try a factory reset.
- Try DFU mode (you can find full steps under Glitch: Stuck on Apple logo at the start of this article).
- If none of these steps works for you then it’s time to call Apple, or, even better, take your iPhone into an Apple Store.
Annoyance: Motion sickness
A lot of people have reported motion sickness issues with the new iOS 7 platform. The parallax effect, bright icons, and all the zooming transitions can prove to be a bit much and may cause nausea or dizziness. There are a few things you can try to lessen the problem, but they aren’t going to fix it entirely because you can’t turn off the animations right now (it’s possible Apple will address this in a future update).
- Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.
- Make sure that you are using a static wallpaper via Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness, and then choose from Stills or your own photos.
- It’s possible that larger text will help via Settings > General > Text Size.
- You can also reduce the transparency via Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast.
Glitch: Speaker not working
There have been a few problems reported with the speakers on Apple devices after the iOS 7 update. Some people get no audio from the speaker, some report that audio is only gone when playing media, and for some people it’s not working with headphones either. There are a couple settings you should check and other steps worth trying before you contact Apple.
- If you’re having the problem with an iPad, try toggling the side switch. You can also check under Settings > General > Use Side Switch To and see if it is set to Mute.
- Check under Settings > General > Accessibility > Mono Audio and make sure it’s off.
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button to reboot your device.
- Try restoring your iPhone.
- If you find that the headphones work then there could be a problem with the port. You could try blasting it with compressed air, or even sucking to see if anything is stuck in there. If you’re going to use a brush then be very gentle.
Glitch: Media controls not working
Many people have found that the media controls in the Control Center and on the Lock Screen are not working after the iOS 7 update. Luckily there’s an easy fix.
- A soft reset should deal with this one, so press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red “slide to power off” appears and slide it. Once the device is off, simply press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until you see the Apple logo.
Glitch: Receiving someone else’s messages or contacts
You may find after updating that you end up syncing contacts, or even receiving messages that belong to another family member. This is probably because you are using the same Apple ID. Your best option is to create a new Apple ID for one of you (you’ll still be able to share an iTunes account).
- Go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive and you can select any number or email that you don’t want to be sharing messages with. You can also change your Apple ID in here.
- For contacts, the problem is probably caused by sharing iCloud. You can go to Settings > iCloud and choose Delete Account and then Keep on My iPhone. Then use your new Apple ID to set up a new iCloud account just for you.
Problem: Can’t send text messages
A few people have reported issues with sending text messages after the iOS 7 update. There are a couple of possible reasons for this.
Tap and hold on the message and then select “Send as text message.”
- If the issue is popping up in iMessage then it may be because iOS 7 turns the send as SMS option off by default. Go to Settings > Messages and turn Send as SMS on.
- You could also try the steps listed under Bug: iMessage or FaceTime not working.
- If the issue seems to be with sending texts to other types of phone then it could be because the recipient is still registered with Apple, or has another Apple device. It may be worth checking if they used to own an iPhone that they never deregistered, or if they used their SIM card in an iPhone in the past.
Bug: Can’t download app updates
Quite a few people have found that they can’t download app updates after the iOS 7 upgrade. There could be multiple apps showing that updates are available, but they simply don’t start. Turning Wi-Fi off and on again, or even connecting to iTunes may not resolve the problem, but there are other things you can try.
- Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and tap on your Apple ID, then select Sign Out. Double tap the Home button and make sure you swipe up any problem apps that are running to close them, then reboot the iPhone and sign back in to iTunes to try the update again.
- If that doesn’t work, try going to Settings > General > Usage and select the problem apps, then delete them, reboot the device, and try to download them again.
Problem: Charger or cable won’t work
Along with the iOS 7 update Apple killed support for many unlicensed, third-party cables and chargers. This results in users getting the pop-up message “This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone.” You can dismiss the message and in some cases you might find that the cable works anyway, but it probably won’t. Certified cables have an authenticator chip in them. There is a workaround you can try.
- Plug the charger into the wall or the cable into your computer, and then plug the other end into your iPhone. Dismiss the warning. Unlock your iPhone and dismiss any warning. With the screen on, unplug the cable and then plug it back in again. Dismiss the warning. You should find that it charges now.
- Buy a cable that’s licensed and part of Apple’s MFi program. They generally have the “Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad” logo on them.
Problem: Camera not working
If you updated to iOS 7 and encountered a problem with your front-facing camera or your main rear-facing camera then you’re not alone. Some people report that the main camera keeps freezing or refuses to load; they just get a black screen. Others are complaining that the front-facing camera is excessively blurry. This could be down to an app or it could be a hardware failure. Here’s what to try:
- Close the camera app, double tap the Home button and swipe the camera app up to close it completely, then reboot your iPhone and try loading the camera app again. This will work for some, but it doesn’t mean that the issue won’t return.
- Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and make sure Allow: Camera is on.
- If an app is causing the problem then removing it might fix your camera. Remove third-party apps one by one, reboot the iPhone, and test the camera. It’s a good idea to start with anything that obviously uses the camera.
- Take it into an Apple Store and show them the problem. If you’re still under warranty then you should get a replacement without any hassle.
Problem: Hate the new calendar app
Lots of people have been complaining about the new calendar app in iOS 7. It may be a touch too minimalist, or perhaps the tweaked functionality is causing frustration. There’s no way to get the old calendar back, but there is another option.
- Download a new calendar. There are some great options in the App Store. We recommend Fantastical 2 ($3), or you could try free options like Tempo Smart Calendar or Cal.
Problem: Can’t scale or move wallpapers
We’ve seen several complaints about the difficulty of scaling photos for use as wallpapers. It will quite often zoom in on the photo and cut heads off at the top. We think this is down to the parallax effect. We’ve got three possible fixes for you to try.
- Turn the parallax effect off by turning Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion to on. You should notice much less zooming and be able to crop correctly.
- Create the exact right size of wallpaper, we discuss this in our iOS 7 tips and remember that a 200 pixel border all the way round your image will not appear in the central screen.
- Open the photo you want to use and tap on it so the menus disappear, then take a screenshot (press Home and Sleep/Wake together) and use the screenshot as your wallpaper.
Problem: Home button or Sleep/Wake button not responsive
A few iPhone owners have found that their Home button, or their Sleep/Wake button, or both, are less responsive after the iOS 7 update. It may take several button presses to register, and the fault can be intermittent, working perfectly sometimes then refusing to respond. We haven’t found a definite fix, but there are a couple of possibilities.
- Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and try toggling Switch Control on and off again.
- Back up your iPhone with iCloud and try restoring it.
- Take it to an Apple Store and show them, although you can expect a big charge for a replacement phone if you’re out of warranty. It might be cheaper to try and get a button replacement at a local repair shop.
Glitch: Ringer volume too low
A lot of people have been reporting that the ringer volume on their iPhone is much lower after the update to iOS 7 and that it’s causing them to miss incoming calls. This seems to impact various models and there’s no definite fix that works for everyone, but there are a few things worth trying that seem to have worked for some people. We’re going to assume you’ve tried going to Settings > Sounds and using the volume rocker to turn the volume up.
Workaround: Create your own ringtone using a song and crank the volume up.
- Go to Settings > Sounds and toggle Change with Buttons then try and use your volume rocker.
- Try going to Settings > Music and turn Sound Check off.
Glitch: Refreshing apps after switch
A number of people have been complaining about the fact that certain apps seem to refresh themselves after multitasking by switching to another app and then returning. For example, Safari refreshes and takes you back to the top of the page instead of returning you to where you were, or Facebook dumps you back at the top of your feed instead of where you were scrolling. Even iBooks sometimes refreshes and takes you back to the bookshelf before loading back to the page where you were.
This seems likely to be a memory issue, and it could be related to the time between switching, but it’s not clear. If it is a memory issue, then that would explain why people with older devices seem to encounter the problem more. Sufferers have reported that this is not related to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and changing those settings has no impact.
- If you switch within a few seconds then the refresh is less likely to happen. The longer the gap before you return, the more likely it will refresh.
- Some people reported temporary success after a hard reset, others found that performing a complete restore worked for them, but there is no consistent fix because for other users a reset or restore has not solved the problem.
- Apple is apparently investigating, so complain about any issue you encounter and report details and it might help speed up an update fix. We’ll keep you posted.
Problem: Unresponsive touchscreen
There have been a few reports of people finding that the touchscreen on their iPad or iPhone is unresponsive after the iOS 7 update. This seems to occur intermittently. Sometimes after a call, or when loading or exiting an app, the screen will just stop registering any touch input at all. There is a theory that this might be a hidden message about battery life or some other message that you can’t see which is disabling the rest of the screen for touch input. That would explain why the workarounds will only temporarily fix it.
- Launch Siri and tell it to launch an app for you.
- Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until the screen goes blank and you see the Apple logo to restart the device.
- Try restoring the device using iTunes.
- A fix via an update from Apple seems likely. In the meantime you should report the issue to Apple or take your device in to an Apple Store and show them the problem.
Problem: App downloads appear stuck on “Waiting”
Recently, an issue has arisen for users downloading updates for apps. Rather than the app downloading and installing the update, the app icon simply displays “Waiting” and never progresses past this point.
- Performing a hard reset. Do this by holding down the Home button and the sleep/wake button at the same time. It appears to fix the problem.
- Open the App Store and log out of your Apple account. Reboot the device. Upon restart, log back in, open the App Store, and retry the download.
- Turned off the Automatic Update option by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads > Updates. Delete the app currently marked as “Waiting” and re-download it from the App Store.
That’s all of our iOS 7 problems and fixes right now, but check back because we’ll update this roundup with new problems and solutions as we find them. If you’ve encountered a different issue, or you’ve found a fix that works, then please post and share.
Updated on 1-23-2014 by Simon Hill: Added white screen of death bug (random reboot), problems with making and receiving calls, and updated freezing glitch.
Updated on 12-26-2013 by AJ Dellinger: We’ve added two new problems for those experiencing keyboard orientation, app download pauses, and control panel issues.
Updated on 11-27-2013 by Simon Hill: Added issues with new calendar app, refreshing apps after switching, unresponsive touchscreen, and updated the iMessage and FaceTime problem.
Updated on 11-8-2013 by Simon Hill: Added issues with ringer volume too low, inability to scale photos for wallpapers, and unresponsive home or sleep/wake buttons.
Updated on 10-23-2013 by Simon Hill: Added issues with app updates refusing to download, third-party cables not working, and the camera not working.
Updated on 10-01-2013 by Simon Hill: Added issues with device not turning on, motion sickness, speaker not working, media controls not working, receiving someone else’s messages or contacts, being unable to send text messages, and added software update news to lock screen bypass problem.
Article originally published 9-25-2013.