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Troubleshooting iPhone App Problems

written by: Stephanie M. Lucas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 1/24/2011

Do you have an iPhone app not working? Did you have an iPhone app close unexpectedly? Learn how to troubleshoot iPhone app problems with these easy tips.

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    Internet Connection Causing iPhone App to Crash

    If you are using an app that uses a data connection to function, a lost internet connection could cause the iPhone app to close unexpectedly. Since most iPhone apps do use an internet connection, one of the first things you want to check when your iPhone app stops working is your data connection. The easiest way to check your connection is to open Safari and go to a new webpage to see if the internet loads. If the internet won't load your trouble is probably caused by the poor connection; try the app again when you have a stronger signal.

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    Check for App Updates

    If one particular iPhone app is closing unexpectedly or having problems, you may want to check to see if an update is available for that app. iPhone app developers are constantly improving and fixing bugs in their apps, so you need to check for updates periodically. To check for iPhone app updates, go to the iPhone app store and select the "Updates" tab across the bottom of the screen. If updates are available for any of your downloaded apps, they will be listed. Select which apps you would like to update, or choose to update all. You will be prompted for your Apple ID password to confirm.

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    Reboot iPhone to Fix iPhone App Problems

    In some instances, your iPhone may become frozen or unresponsive while you have an app open. Or perhaps an iPhone app won't load. Often restarting the phone can fix the app problems that are related to the phone freezing up. To reboot iPhone you'll need to hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the phone and the home button simultaneously. Continue to hold both buttons until the phone shuts down and the Apple symbol reappears. After your phone relaunches, try the app again.

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    Update to Newest iPhone OS

    If none of the prior troubleshooting tips have helped to fix your iPhone app problems, you may want to make sure to update iPhone software. If you don't have the most current version of iPhone OS, you'll need to connect to iTunes to perform a software update. Apple offers software updates periodically to fix bugs in the operating system, offer added features and improve upon existing features. Sometimes these updates are needed to help third-party apps perform properly.

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    Delete and Reinstall iPhone Apps with Problems That Won't Resolve

    When all else fails, you should delete the app from iPhone. Don't panic, you'll be able to reinstall the app for free; Apple keeps track of the apps you've purchased with your iTunes account. To delete an app, hold your finger down on the app icon on the home screen. Keep holding until a black circle with an 'x' appears on the icon (the icons will squiggle on the screen as well). Press the 'x' to delete, then confirm (as shown below). To re-download the app after it is deleted, find the app in the App Store and download it again.

    Edit App screenshot Confirm App Delete screenshot 

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    Report the Issue with iPhone App Problems That Can't Be Resolved

    If you have been unsuccessful in your attempts to fix issues with an app, you should report the issue to the developers. This is quick and easy to do. Find the app's information page on the app store. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the "Report a Problem" button. Select the type of problem you're having with the app and press the "Report" button. It's that simple. See the screenshots below showing an example of reporting a problem with an iPhone app, using the PBS iPhone app information page on the app store. Good luck with fixing your iPhone app problems!

    PBS iPhone App Bottom of PBS App page Report an iPhone App Problem screenshot