What to do if an app doesn't open on iPhone or iPad

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Pau Monfort

Apps tend to perform well on iPhones and iPads, due to the stable nature of the system software. But you will still encounter the weird app refusing to work properly. Rarely, the problem can be severe enough to prevent it from opening entirely. Several reasons, such as bugs, glitches, and conflicting settings, often cause this. 

If an app won't open on your iPhone or iPad or crashes immediately, the fixes and tips below should help you restart it.

Force quit the app and try again

When an app doesn't open repeatedly or crashes after a few seconds, you need to forcibly remove it from the iPhone or iPad memory before restarting it. In most cases, this should allow the app to load smoothly.

Start by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to open the App Switcher. If you're using an iPhone with Touch ID, double-click the button instead Home. Then, he drags the problem app up and off the screen to forcibly close it. 

Follow by reopening the app from the Home screen or App Library of your iPhone or iPad. 

Restart iPhone or iPad

Your next course of action should be to restart the iPhone or iPad. This is a surefire way to fix random problems that prevent an app from opening.

Go up Settings and touch Generali > Switch off. Follow by swiping the icon power on right to turn off the device. 

Wait 30 seconds, then press and hold the button lateral on iPhone or iPad to restart it.

Force restart of iPhone or iPad

If the iPhone or iPad becomes unresponsive after trying to open an app, you need to force restart the device. You can try restarting the app after. 

Depending on the device model, press the appropriate buttons to trigger a forced restart.

iPhone 8 series and later | iPad without Home button

Quickly press and release the button Volume up, press and release the button Volume down and hold the button lateral until you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 7 series only

Press and hold both buttons Volume down e Side until you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 6 series and earlier | iPad with Home button

Press and hold both buttons Home e Side until you see the Apple logo.

Update the application

If the app still doesn't open on your iPhone or iPad, you are probably dealing with a serious software-related bug. The update should fix the problem.

Start by going to the App Store. Then, search for the app and tap Update to bring it to the latest version.

You can also check the release notes (under the section New on the App Store page of the app) to check if a recent update fixed the problem.

If you don't see a button Update next to the app, continue with the fixes.

Update iOS and iPadOS

The latest updates for iOS and iPadOS come with bug fixes that can potentially fix the underlying issues of a malfunctioning app. 

It is also vital to upgrade if you are on a relatively new iteration of a major version of system software, such as iOS 14.0 or iPadOS 14.0, due to rampant bugs and deglitches.

Open the app Settings i went his Generali > Software update. If you see a new update, tap Download and install to apply it.

System software updates are also the only way to update stock apps like Mail, Safari, and Reminders.

How to update iPhone without iTunes

Reset or clear the cache using the Settings app

The Settings app on your iPhone or iPad may contain options to reset the app or clear its cache. For example, if Netflix doesn't open, go to Settings > Netflix is active Restore to restore all Netflix default settings.

If an app refuses to open due to conflicting settings or an outdated cache, the problem may be solved.

How to clear cache on iPhone or iPad

Download or delete the app and reinstall

Downloading an app and reinstalling it can also help resolve persistent problems caused by a corrupt installation. Start by going up Settings > Generali > IPhone storage. Next, tap on the problematic app and select Offload App

Follow by restarting your iPhone or iPad. Then, tap the app icon on the Home screen to reinstall it.

If that doesn't work, try deleting and reinstalling the app. However, this will also remove any locally downloaded data related to the app, such as offline videos in Netflix.

Internet connectivity troubleshooting

Apps like Discord and Netflix may not open or freeze if they have internet connection problems. If so, here are some things you can do:

  • Switch to another WiFi connection
  • Renew IP Lease
  • Restart the router
  • Switch to data network
  • Skip the DNS cache

Check for server-side problems

Server-side issues can also prevent an app from communicating with the internet and prevent it from opening. In that case, you have to wait for the servers to come back online. A quick Google search should reveal the server status for an app or service.

Reset the settings on your iPhone or iPad

If none of the above worked, try resetting the settings on your iPhone or iPad. This should fix problems caused by corrupt configurations.

Start by going up Settings > Generali > Restore. Then, tap Reset Network Settings to reset all network related settings to their default values. After that you will have to manually reconnect to the Wi-Fi networks.

If resetting the network settings didn't help, you need to reset all system related settings to their default values. To do this, go up Settings > Generali > Restore and touch Reset all settings

Network, privacy, accessibility and other settings need to be reconfigured after the reset procedure.

Contact the app developer

Some apps may still refuse to open, especially if the app hasn't received updates in some time. The best solution is to notify the app developer of the problem. You can do this by going to the app's App Store page and selecting the option App support. Additionally, you can contact the developer via email or social media.

Further Reading:

  • How to disable Siri on your iPhone and iPad
  • How to turn off automatic brightness on iPhone
  • How to uninstall apps on iPad
  • How to unlock iPad without passcode
  • Here are the devices that will receive iOS 13
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