How To Turn Off An iPhone XR – XS


There was a time when switching mobile tech on and off again was pretty straight forward. You could hold down a button and the phone would switch off, saving the battery as needed or reducing the risk of unwanted calls. But, with so many of us resisting the need to switch phones off completely, this all changed. Physical buttons are rare apart from a few on the side of the phone.

Apple iPhone XR Image

Unfortunately, that little power button on Apple devices isn’t as straightforward as it once was. Apple made some changes to the functions of the iPhone XS and XR models and the power button suffered as a result. These changes came as a bit of a surprise to all those that had developed a form of muscle memory with all their tech. Suddenly the power button was too multi-functional and switching the phone on and off wasn’t as simple as hoped.

Below we will look at the processes needed to turn off your new iPhone XR or XS, as well as the ways to turn it back on and force a restart. We will also look at some of the additional tools that you can try for troubleshooting when the phone still doesn’t want to turn back on. The idea here is to prepare you for different situations. It helps to be able to turn a phone on and off whenever we like. It is also quite alarming when it won’t turn off at all.

Thankfully, there is a straightforward process for turning both the XR and the XS off and on again.

How To Turn Off iPhone XR

Let’s start with turning off your new iPhone XR so that you can save some battery or be respectful in social situations. Here you need to press and hold the side while simultaneously holding down a volume button. Either volume buttons will work so choose whichever is comfortable. This will activate the display. Three sliders will then come up on the screen. They are “slide to power off”, “Medical ID” and “emergency SOS”. Slide the first of them from left to right and the phone should power down.

How To Restart iPhone XR

If you need to force restart the iPhone XR then there is a separate solution to try. This is one that may tack a bit of practice – and that you might not have thought of when testing out buttons for yourself. Press the volume up and volume down buttons in quick succession. Then you need to press and hold the side button until the phone decides to restart itself. This can be a great help when an App crashes or another technical fault arises. It should reboot the system back into working order.

How To Turn On iPhone XR

Turning on the device is pretty straightforward as it is the same as before. There was no need for Apple to change this one – not yet at least. All you need to do is to press and hold that side button until you see the familiar Apple logo appear. Unlocking the device is a little more complicated, but still intuitive to iPhone users. Just press the side button and use the slider at the bottom bar to unlock the phone and continue where you left off.

How To Turn Off iPhone XS

The great thing about the iPhone XS is that there is the same process as the XR. All of these new models – the X, XR, XS, and XS Max – share this new approach. Again you need to find that timing in holding down both the volume and side button. One-touch and you activate the Apple Pay or Siri. Hold it down and you should get that same slider. After a while, you should get used to the process.

How To Restart iPhone XS

Again, the force restart system is the same for the iPhone XS and XS Max as it is for the XR. Quickly press and release the volume up button and then do the same for the volume down button. Do it too slow and it won’t activate the process. It is a bit like all those old cheat codes for game controllers in the 90s – timing and dexterity are everything. Then you can press and hold the side button until the phone restarts.

How To Turn On iPhone XS

The same method for turning on the iPhone XR applies to the iPhone XS. At the moment, this seems like one feature that will stay the same. There is no need to overcomplicate this feature for users.

Why did Apple change the way we turn off these new iPhone models?

You might wonder why Apple decided to mess around with the function of the power button. Surely, if it isn’t broken then there was no need to fix it. Well, Apple started adding a few too many applications onto that one button. That side button is now linked to Siri and Apple Pay. So, there is the risk that in trying to use either system, you accidentally turn the phone off. Or, you accidentally open up one of those apps when trying to switch off the phone and conserve battery. You don’t want to try to turn your phone off at the cinema just to have Siri asking how it can help or trying to look up trailers.

There are also software fixes if the button idea doesn’t work

Find the settings menu in your new iPhone XS or XR and head to the General section. Two options will come up – Shut Down and Reset. You don’t want to reset the phone at this point, just turn it off. So, press the Shut Down setting and move the slider as with the other methods.

You could also use Assistive Touch to help you here. This virtual button can be calibrated with a range of functions and this could speed up the process. You could enable it with either the Shut Down or Restart function. It depends on which is more commonly needed on your phone.

What if the phone won’t turn on at all?

You may get to a point where you try these different methods and find that your phone won’t respond. This isn’t that uncommon because of all the software and tech involved. Bugs in the system or app issues can stop the phone from starting up properly. In some cases, the software may start running in the background but the screen is dark. In this case, you need to think about some other solutions to get your phone up and running again.

Your iPhone’s battery may have completely run out. Yes, this sounds like one of those obvious problems that we shouldn’t have to mention. But, if the phone won’t do anything at all, the battery might be the culprit. Do you remember what the percentage of the battery was the last time you used it? Plug it into the charger for a little while to get a bit of juice and then try the power button again.

You could try to restore it through iTunes

Plug your iPhone XR or XS into your laptop using your phone’s lightning cable and the USB port. From there, use the same force restart approach where you press and quickly release the Volume Up button and the Volume Down button in quick succession. Then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears. This will trigger a message to connect to iTunes. From there, use the iTunes programme to either update or restore the phone. Restoring the phone will wipe everything so you can start fresh.

When to head to an expert for further help

If all else fails and you can figure out how to get the phone to turn on or off, you might have some other software or hardware defect. Take your phone into an Apple store or the retailer from which you purchased it. Their technical support advisors should be able to take a look at the phone and show you where you are going wrong. It might be something simple that they can fix or reboot then and there. The worst-case scenario would be a critical fault with no resolution. Don’t be embarrassed if it is something simplistic. These teams see the most basic of errors and misunderstandings about their tech. Also, it is Apple’s fault for changing the basic buttons after so long.

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You will get used to these new functions after a while

So, in short, the bad news here is that the new iPhone XR and XS system did get a little more complicated for users. You need a little more effort and coordination to get the phone to turn off or restart. The good news is that it isn’t too difficult to learn and you will get the hang of it. It also does mean that you can use Siri and Apple Pay without too much risk. There are also different solutions out there if the iPhone starts playing up. Before long, you will be glad of the change.

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