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.
Here are the iOS 7.1 issues we’re hearing about with some advice on how to deal with them, for the iOS 7.0 problems you’ll find it below.
iOS 7.1 Glitches
Bug: Thieves can bypass Activation Lock
There is a bug in iOS 7 that allows a thief to disable the Activation Lock protection. The method to disable Find My iPhone is not very difficult and there are examples videos on YouTube. As long as the thief has your device and it’s unlocked they can bypass the security and restore your iPhone through iTunes.
- The attacker must have access to your unlocked device. The simple fix for this is to make sure that you enable a passcode. Go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock and tap Turn Passcode On. Pick the code you want and set the Passcode Lock down to as short a time as you can put up with.
Glitch: Apps crash or won’t load
Quite a few people have encountered issues with apps refusing to load up or crashing intermittently after upgrading to iOS 7.1. On the whole there should be less app crashes in iOS 7.1, but if you’re having problems that’s no comfort.
- Double tap the Home button and swipe up on any app that has been crashing or failing to load. Now try loading it again.
- It’s always worth trying a restart. Hold down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo.
- Your apps should automatically update, but you can check in Settings > iTunes & App Store to turn on Updates under Automatic Downloads. If you prefer to do it manually then make sure that any app that’s crashing is fully up to date.
- Try uninstalling any problem app and then reinstalling it. Backup to iTunes first if you’re worried about losing saved data in the app.
- Try a factory reset by going to Settings > General > Reset and choosing Erase All Content and Settings. You’ll want to make sure you backup first, but bear in mind that you might reintroduce the problem if you restore your backup.
Bug: Thieves can bypass Passcode to access contacts
Another exploit that has emerged recently enables anyone with physical access to your iPhone to use Siri to bypass your passcode and gain access to your contacts list.
Solution:If you’re worried about this then it’s easy to combat. Just go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock and look under the Allow Access When Locked section to turn Siri off on your lock screen.
Problem: Wallpapers dark at the top
A lot of people have been complaining about the fact that some of their wallpapers have a darkened band at the top after updating to iOS 7.1. It generally covers the top third and it only seems to impact on certain wallpapers, while others remain unaffected. Apparently this is a deliberate change and the shading is intended to make it easier to read text that sits on top of the wallpaper.
- Try a different background.
- If it’s really annoying you then submit feedback to Apple. If enough people complain then there’s a chance they’ll remove it or allow you to override it in a future update.
Problem: Rapid battery drain
- There are many ways to squeeze more juice from your battery and you may also consider some iOS specifics, such as turning off Background App Refresh in Settings > General, turning off AirDrop in the Control Center, turning off Location Services in Settings > Privacy, and consider turning off at least some push notifications via Settings > Notifications.
- You should also keep an eye out for rogue apps guzzling more juice than they should. Double click the Home button and swipe away anything you aren’t using. Be vigilant for battery drain when you use specific apps.
- Hold down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo to restart your device.
- Try going to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset All Settings.
- You could try erasing everything. Make sure all your precious content is backed up then take a look at how to factory reset an iPhone.
Glitch: Freezing and lag
A few people have run into an issue where the screen just freezes for a few seconds. It will just be entirely unresponsive at apparently random intervals and then start working again without any obvious cause. Sometimes it happens when opening or closing an app, or it may occur when a notification comes in. There’s a chance this is linked to a specific app, so keep an eye on what’s running.
- Hold down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until the device restarts and you see the Apple logo.
- Double tap the Home button and make sure you swipe to close anything you don’t need running, and stay on top of this.
- Make sure that your apps are up to date. The quickest way is to go to Settings > iTunes & App Store and make sure that Apps is toggled on under Automatic Downloads.
- You could try resetting your settings via Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset All Settings.
- You could also try a factory reset and restore via iTunes or iCloud.
- If that doesn’t work then contact Apple.
Bug: Wi-Fi not working or unavailable
We’re not surprised to see people encountering Wi-Fi issues after the iOS 7.1 update; this seems like a common complaint every time there’s a new platform version. Some people are finding that previously good Wi-Fi connections are now a bit flaky, others are reporting that Wi-Fi is completely unavailable and they can’t connect at all.
- Try switching Airplane mode on for 30 seconds or so, then turn it off and try connecting to Wi-Fi again.
- Try holding down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until your device restarts.
- Turn your router off for 30 seconds and then switch it on again.
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and then set up your Wi-Fi network again from scratch.
- Try changing the channel on your router and check the rest of the settings.
- Make sure that your router firmware is up to date.
- Try a factory reset of your iPad or iPhone.
Problem: Bluetooth not working properly
Here’s another common problem that also cropped up when iOS 7 came out. If you’ve been having trouble getting Bluetooth devices to connect properly, or your Bluetooth streaming has been choppy then you’re not alone.
- Start by holding down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until your device restarts.
- Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and then set up your Bluetooth pairings again.
- Check the manual for your Bluetooth device. Is there a pairing button? Can you delete the saved pairings? Is there a firmware update?
- Try a factory reset of your iOS device.
Glitch: Keyboard lag
Quite a few people have been reporting a significant lag on the keyboard when they type on their iPad or iPhone after the iOS 7.1 update. Luckily there’s an easy fix for this one.
Fix:Go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Keyboard Dictionary.
Problem: Full screen caller photo gone
A lot of people are complaining that the full screen caller photo has been replaced in iOS 7.1 with a grey screen that has a photo of the contact in a small circle. This means it’s harder to see who is calling at a glance.
Potential fix:Sadly there’s no way to get the full screen caller photos back right now, but a lot of people are complaining online and you can join them by submitting feedback to Apple. If enough people make a noise about this then Apple might just bring it back as an option in the next update.
Problem: Touch ID not working
The iOS 7.1 update was supposed to improve the Touch ID feature, but for many users it seems to have broken it. Some people are reporting that Touch ID is now working much better for them, but others are struggling to get it to work at all after the update.
- Head into Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and make sure that iPhone Unlock is still on. Try turning it off and on again.
- Try going into Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and then tap on each fingerprint listed and choose Delete Fingerprint. When they’re all deleted, try Add a Fingerprint to set it up again. Make sure that the Home button and your hands are clean.
- If that didn’t work, fire up iTunes on your computer and attach your iPhone 5S to try a restore. Choose your device in iTunes and click Restore iPhone … then work through the instructions. You can use iCloud instead, just make sure you have a recent backup first in Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup then go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings and when you set up your iPhone 5S again choose Restore from a Backup and sign in to iCloud to choose the backup you want.
- Your last option is to take it into an Apple Store and show them the problem.
Glitch: Sound muffled or low volume
A few people are reporting that the sound is muffled after the iOS 7.1 update and that the volume won’t go as high as it used to go. This seems to be mostly affecting iPads and it should be easy to fix.
- Always start by trying a soft reset by holding down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button until the device restarts and you see the Apple logo.
- There’s a side switch on the iPad that can be used for mute. Check in Settings > General and see what is ticked under Use Side Switch To.
- Plug in some headphones and test them and then unplug them again.
- Try going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and see if makes a difference.
- If nothing works then head to an Apple Store and see what they can tell you.
Glitch: Auto-brightness not working
If you’ve run into issues with the brightness on your iPhone or iPad and it doesn’t seem to be behaving as it should, then don’t panic.
- Go to Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper and toggle Auto-Brightness to off. Go into a dark room and slide your brightness bar to the bottom, all the way to the left. Now toggle Auto-Brightness back on again.
- Try going into Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast and see if Reduce White Point is on.
iOS 7.0 Glitches
These problems are for those of you still running iOS 7.0 many of them may still impact or be useful to those running iOS 7.1
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, 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 tips for saving iPhone 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Problem: 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.
Problem: Speaker not working
There have been a few problems reported with the speakers on Apple devices after the iOS 7 update. Some people are suffering with 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 some 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.
Data source: Digitaltrends (By Simon Hill)