How to fix app crashing problems on your iPhone or iPad

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 6 Jan 2016

App Store

One of the things we tend to take for granted is the stability of the iPhone and iPad apps. I realized it yesterday when I had an app that I wanted to use, kept crashing on me. It has been a while since I have had an app crashing on me like this.

It can be quite annoying as we are so used to getting information instantly on our iPhones and smartphones.

What is app crashing?

An app can crash randomly in the middle of using it, which is probably more common, or it can crash immediately after you launch it. The problem I was facing was the latter, where it was just not possible to use the app. The issue where the app crashes randomly in the middle of using it, is most likely due to a bug so the best thing to do in such cases is to report the bug to the developer so that they can fix it.

There are a few solutions you can try to fix the app crashing issue on your iPhone or iPad.

Tips to fix the App Crashing issue on your iPhone or iPad

Here are some tips you can try to fix the annoying app crashing issue:

Quit and re-launch the app

The simplest thing to do when you hit the app crashing issue is to force close or quit the app running in the background and re-launch it. By force closing or quitting the app, you’re removing it from memory so you can relaunch it cleanly. Follow these simple steps:

  • Press the Home button two times quickly to access the app switcher or multitasking tray. You’ll see small previews of your recently used apps. Alternatively, if you have an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, then you can press firmly on the left edge of the screen to switch to the multitasking view.
  • Swipe until you find the app you’re looking for.
  • Then swipe up on the app’s preview to close it.

Press the Home button again to go back to the Home screen, and relaunch the app. This solution works for some basic issues If that doesn’t work try the solutions mentioned below.

Force Reboot the iPhone or iPad

Like most IT problems, one of the first things you can do to fix the problem is reboot your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to see if it resolves the crashing issue.

The best method to fix the app crashing issue is to force reboot the iPhone or iPad rather than just restarting your device using the Sleep/Wake or Power button. It is also called hard reboot or hard reset.

You can force restart or reboot your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch by pressing and holding both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10-12 seconds until you see the Apple logo.

When you restart the iPhone by powering it off and powering it on again is that all the memory (RAM) gets written to the disk, and is loaded into the RAM again when the device reboots. In case of the force reboot, iPhone or iPad does not load what was loaded before, so it is more effective in resolving app crashing issues.

After your device has rebooted, launch the app to see if it has resolved the crashing issue.

Install latest Update of the App

If the app crashes immediately after launching it, then it could be due to several reasons. One of them could be due to some server side changes. So the app could be crashing because it is not compatible with the server side changes. The developer may have released a new version of the app to fix the compatibility issues or the bug that is causing the crashing issue, so you should also check if there is an update available for the app in the App Store if the app hasn’t been updated automatically.

  • Open the App Store app.
  • Tab on the Updates tab.
  • Check if there is an update available for the app that is crashing under Pending Updates. If there is an update available then tap on the Update button to install it.

Try launching the app again to see if it fixes the crashing issue. If the app still crashes then you can also try force closing or quitting the app running in the background and launching the app again.

Delete and Reinstall the app

Deleting the app and reinstalling it is not an ideal solution as it means that it will delete the app related data as well. But it could help in resolving the app crashing issue. One of the advantages of deleting and reinstalling the app is that it will clear the app cache that may have got accumulated over time which means that you will also end up freeing up storage space.

  • Go to the Home screen.
  • Tap and hold on the app icon you want to delete, and wait for a few seconds to put it in jiggle mode. Note, if you have an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus then lightly place your finger on the app icon to avoid triggering 3D Touch Quick Actions.
  • Tap on the x on the app icon, then tap on Delete when prompted to delete the app.
  • Now launch the App Store, and tap on Search in the tab bar at the bottom to search for the app and install it again.

The delete and reinstall trick is also a common solution to fix app related issues like the crashing issue.

Install Latest version of iOS

Some of the app crashing issues could be because you’re an older version of iOS. While most apps are backward compatible, you can try installing the latest version of iOS to see if resolves any compatibility issues.

  • Plug your device in to power and connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Open the Settings app and tap on General > Software Update. iOS will automatically check for available updates and will inform you that the latest software update is available.
  • Tap Download & Install to download and install the update.

After the update process is completed, your device will reboot into the latest version of iOS. You can launch the app to see if it fixes the crashing issue.

If none of the methods mentioned above help in resolving the app crashing issue, then contact the app developer to see if they have a solution to fix the issue. You should get the contact details of the developer on the app’s iTunes page (tap on Developer Website).

In my case force closing the app and relaunching it resolved my app crashing problem. In some cases, the app crashing issue has only got resolved after installing a major iOS software update i.e. upgrading from iOS 8.x.x to iOS 9, which is usually after Apple releases a major software update.

Let me know if any of these solutions helped in resolving your app crashing problem.